Adventure Racing News
presented by Inov-8

2008 Checkpoint Challenge presented by Trailblazers Adventure Racing Club and team Checkpoint Zero / Inov-8
posted Monday, June 30, 2008 by Peter Jolles @ 12:59 PM - 0 comments

Checkpoint Zero/Inov-8 in association with Trailblazers Adventure Racing Club is pleased to announce the 2008 Checkpoint Challenge. Building upon last years successful partnership at the Trailblazers Siege on Fort Yargo sprint adventure race, we are now offering individuals looking to move from sprint races to 12 hour races the opportunity to train and race with members of the Checkpoint Zero/Inov-8 adventure racing team in the upcoming Midnight Rush adventure race.

As part of the Checkpoint Challenge, six selected individuals will be paired up with Checkpoint Zero/Inov-8 team members who will mentor and accompany them through training, race preparation as well as the actual race itself. This is an excellent opportunity for people looking to take their adventure racing to the next level, but are nervous about going at it alone.

This years Midnight Rush adventure race will be held on September 13th at Lake Russell in Clayton county, Georgia. The race will feature mountain biking, trekking, rappelling, paddling, and of course, navigation. The 14 hour race will start at 10 AM and take racers well into the dark, finishing at 12 AM giving teams the opportunity to experience adventure racing at night, without having to stay up all night long.

In order to be selected for this unique opportunity, please send an email to to the selection committee with a 200-400 word essay with the reason(s) why you think you should be selected for the 2008 Checkpoint Challenge. Selection will be done and winners will be notified by August 16th. To be eligible, we ask that applicants be a current member of the Trailblazer Adventure Racing Club, familiar with adventure racing, but never have completed a 12 hour or longer adventure race. Entries must be received by August 1st.

The Xstream Expedition - Presented By Helly Hansen
posted Tuesday, June 24, 2008 by Adventure Xstream Series @ 10:32 AM - 0 comments

The Wests premier adventure race series, the Adventure Xstream Race Series consisting of Sprint, 12 & 24-hour adventure races in spectacular locations such as Moab, UT; Durango, CO; Buena Vista, CO; Vail, CO; and Breckenridge, CO announces the 5th installment of the Adventure Xstream Expedition Race, September 25th through 28th in Moab, Utah. This years Moab Expedition Race will be racers last chance to do an expedition race in this venue for several years as the Xstream Expedition will be taking a sabbatical in 2009 & 2010.

The race will take place the last weekend in September and includes 3 days and more than 250 miles of nonstop adventures including paddling, trekking, mountain biking, navigation and rappelling throughout the Utah Canyonlands and the La Salle Mountain Range. The first team to cross the finish line together, having successfully completed all challenges and made it to all checkpoints will be declared the winners. In addition, this years race will feature LIVE GPS Tracking & race reporting via www.CheckPointTracker.com

Early Registration is open online at www.GravityPlay.com until July 1st. Teams of 2-person and 4-person will be accepted. Prizes and prize money of more than $10,000 will only be awarded in the coed 4-person category and an additional $10,000 in series prize money. Additionally, teams can compete in this race for points in the Checkpoint Tracker Points Series for a free entry into Terra Traverse (multi-day expedition race in Canada in October 2008). Entry fees of $450 per person make this race the most affordable Expedition adventure race in the world.

Race Director Will Newcomer said, The Adventure Xstream Race Series has gained a reputation for staging its events in beautiful and challenging terrain, and Moab, Utah has this in abundance. We been excited to have this Moab Expedition Race as the season finale and offer it to racers across the world, in light of the overwhelming demand for affordable expedition races.

Moab, Utah is a region of duality, with both majestic desert canyonlands and harsh rugged mountainous terrain. In September 2008, fifty, four and two-person teams will converge on the world famous terrain of Moab. They will race through 250+ miles of Utahs most impressive terrain by mountain biking on rugged slickrock trails, paddling down the majestic Colorado River, trekking in the remote La Salle Mountain Region, rappelling fixed ropes down towering red rock walls and orienteering amongst more than 40 check points and 250 miles. In true expedition race form, the 2008 Adventure Xstream Expedition Race will increase its problem-solving nature, challenging competitors with teamwork and navigation.

The $20,000 prize purse will draw the best field in adventure racing, in addition to weekend warriors who want to challenge themselves in an affordable, expedition length race. For more detailed information about the 2008 Adventure Xstream Expedition Race Registration process, visit www.GravityPlay.com or call the race hotline at 970.259.7771.

The Adventure Xstream Expedition Race Fast Facts:

Date: September 25th through 28th
Length: 250 miles, supported or unsupported
Location: Moab, Utah area
Teams: 50, 2 & 4 person teams
Entry Fee: $450/person (early registration ends July 1st); $100 deposit per person
Prize Purse: $20,000
Website: www.GravityPlay.com

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Primal Quest Montana is UNDERWAY
posted Monday, June 23, 2008 by Yak @ 12:43 PM - 0 comments

photo and Checkpoint Zero's Primal Quest coverage by Mike Bitton :-)

Track Primal Quest Adventure Racing Teams Online With SPOT Satellite Messenger Technology
posted by Yak @ 9:02 AM - 0 comments

SPOT, LLC., the pioneer behind the award-winning SPOT Satellite Messenger(tm), today announced that 60 registered Primal Quest Expedition Adventure racing teams are being equipped with the SPOT Satellite Messenger, to provide real-time tracking online at www.ecoprimalquest.com starting today. Primal Quest 2008 presented by SPOT is taking place in Big Sky Country, Montana June 23 through July 2, 2008.

Primal Quest fans can track the progress of the teams with real-time GPS tracking and custom leaderboard technology provided by SPOT, allowing for up-to-date viewing on SPOT enhanced Google Maps(tm) and MyTopo Maps.

"This year we are really elevating the Primal Quest experience by teaming up with SPOT and offering the best, custom leaderboard and mapping software we've seen to date," states Don Mann, Primal Quest Director.

Race fans can register for a chance to win a SPOT Satellite Messenger signed by the winning team and learn more about Primal Quest Montana 2008 Presented by SPOT at www.findmespot.com/primalquest Primal Quest Montana Expedition Adventure Race, referred to as, "The World's Most Challenging Human Endurance Competition," is a 10-day, 500 mile coed team adventure race; the largest human-powered, multi-discipline, multi-day event of its kind in the world. Since its inception in 2002, the race has attracted world-class athletes and established itself as the leading event of its kind. The SPOT Satellite Messenger meets the extraordinary demands of the Primal Quest teams, as they require a rugged, easy to use tracking product -- and a way to update their location reliably.

Primal Quest and Rush HD Announce Partnership
posted Sunday, June 22, 2008 by Yak @ 10:22 AM - 0 comments

The Primal Quest Expedition Adventure Race presented by SPOT and the Rush HD television network are proud to announce that they have entered into a three-year television license agreement to broadcast the race in both North America and Worldwide territories. Voom Networks/Rush HD will air four original episodes in High Definition,.

Primal Quest is "the World's Most Challenging Human Endurance Competition" and has been called "the Superbowl of Adventure Racing" by Sports Illustrated. This year's edition will take place in the back country of Montana where the top teams in the world will trek, mountain bike, and paddle their way across a 500-mile course with over 100,000 feet of elevation gain. Top endurance athletes from around the globe will compete for more than $175,000 in cash and prizes over ten days of grueling competition.

Voom/Rush HD is a division of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC, a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation, which has been an innovator in television programming and entertainment for 28 years. Today, Rainbow Media is a leading producer of targeted, multi-platform content for global distribution, creating and managing some of the world’s most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands.

Building on Rainbow Media Holdings LLC's history of original programming innovation, VOOM HD Networks was developed by Rainbow to meet the growing worldwide demand for quality high-definition programming. VOOM HD Networks comprise the world's largest suite of high-definition channels for distribution through satellite and cable operators. Produced exclusively in true high-definition and 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound, Rush HD delivers life on the edge with the adrenaline junkies of adventure sports.

The partnership of Primal Quest and Rush HD will deliver the excitement and intensity of the sport of adventure racing to a new audience later this year.

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Fort Yargo under Siege!
posted Saturday, June 21, 2008 by Peter Jolles @ 11:15 AM - 1 comments

The Seige on Fort Yargo is billed as a beginner sprint race, the kind to get newcomers introduced the sport and show them how much fun adventure racing is. Nonetheless, many of the top regional teams sign up to duke it out and have some fun along the way. This year, Paul and I took my fiance Carol along with us, mostly to have some fun. Of course it never fails that once those numbers get pinned on, the competitive spirit comes out in us, and we just have to go for broke.

The race started off by having the team split up. One member was to swim about a quarter mile in the lake, while the other two collected three checkpoints on foot. All team members would then meet up at the canoes. Carol was nominated to do the swim, while Paul and I went to collect the CP's on foot. The run was pretty straight forward and Paul and I got out in front quickly to avoid the stampede of folks making their way to each CP. Luckily, the race directors had thought ahead and had hung 4 punches at each CP to make it as painless as possible. Meanwhile, on the swim, Carol discovered that I had been the last one to wear her PFD and it wasn't adjusted properly. (Note to self, check the gear before the race start.) The vest was coming up around her head making it difficult to swim. Eventually, she made it out of the water, but not before most of the race had passed her by.

As we all got into the canoe, we started paddling hard. Paul has been doing a lot of training for the Yukon River Quest, a 450 mile paddle race, so I knew he'd set a strong pace in the front of the boat. I think we could have let him paddle the whole way and we still would have done well. By the time we got the first CP we had passed over a third of the teams that were ahead of us. Paddling towards the first of the 12 optional CP's in the race, we saw a large number of boats on the shore, obviously folks looking for the point. We managed to slip in between a couple boats, disembark, find the CP and get back before most teams even found the CP. Back on the water we had moved up to about 10th place overall. After getting the last 2 CPs, we were in 6th place, and looked to be about 3rd place co-ed.

We quickly transitioned from the paddle to the bike and took off towards the first CP. Along the way, another racer turned and looked at Paul and asked him where his helmet was. In our haste, Paul had forgotten it so we had to rush back, and grab it before we could continue on. Once we corrected that mistake, we started making our way through the multitude of teams that had skipped points on the paddle and had gotten off the water before us. It's never fun to pass on single track, but we took our time, and I don't think we elbowed anyone into the woods.

After getting all the mandatory and optional CP's on the bike we got back to the TA to set out on the last section, the run. We figured we were in good shape, and were going to try to get all the CP's on this section, but we knew it would be tough. After getting the first couple, we realized that it would be wise to skip the furthest out point, instead focusing on the points that were closer to the finish. As we debated this, we ran right by another of the optional points. Looking at the watch and trying to estimate the time it would take to get to the finish, we decided that we would have to blow off the one we missed as well, and hope for the best.

As we collected the last of the mandatory CP's on the run, we were given the choice of swimming across the lake back to the start, or running all the way back around. We knew we wanted to swim because that set us up to collect the remaining few optional CP's on the way in. With time ticking down, we grabbed the last of the CP's and started to head to the finish. By chance I took a look at the rules then, and realized that there was something we completely missed! We had to portage the canoe from the take out back to the finish line! Luckily we were still close to the canoe and Paul and I hoisted it above our heads and jogged to the finish. We crossed the line with 10 minutes to spare, but had no idea where we placed.

When they got to the awards ceremony, and announced the first place co-ed team we were shocked when they called out Checkpoint Zero. We had guessed that at least one other team had gotten more points than we did, but in the end, most teams had problems with several of the points like we did.

All in all a great race. This race was a great showcase for our Inov-8 shoes as every time we got them wet, they seemed to dry out in minutes. Even the swim across the lake wearing our shoes wasn't bad. I also learned that my PFD will, just barely, fit in the Race Pro 30 pack. Certainly made carrying the PFD a lot easier as it didn't flop around at all. One suggestion for the Inov-8 pack designers though, put some drain holes in the bottom of the pack. As I finished the swim and got onto dry land I realized I had about 15 lbs of water in my pack and had to turn it upside down to empty it. I'm guessing they probably didn't plan on anyone doing lake swims while wearing a pack!

-Peter

GU Energy Gel Announces Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel
posted Friday, June 20, 2008 by Yak @ 7:10 PM - 0 comments

GUsports, an innovator in the sports nutrition category, today announced the introduction of Roctane - an important advancement in nutrition for serious athletes. Roctane is a premium gel originally formulated by company founder Dr. William Vaughan to fuel his daughter Laura's course record at the Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run. The gel has since been used by select members of endurance racing communities, chiefly sponsored GU athletes such as World Champion triathlete and Olympic medalist Michellie Jones. As an underground project, Roctane has for the last several years enjoyed a cult status among those in the endurance community seeking an extra edge in their athletic performance. To date, the product has not been available commercially; however, beginning this June Roctane will be available at retail.

Two of GU's top triathletes put Roctane to the test on Sunday, April 13th at the Ironman Arizona triathlon. Michellie Jones, the women's 2nd place overall finisher and a three-time Ironman Champion, said, "The wind on the bike was brutal, followed by sweltering heat on the run. I'm impressed by everyone who finished in the conditions we had today. Having Roctane to help me through the roughest moments was a lifesaver! It gave me added energy and focus when I needed it most."

Five-time Ironman Champion Heather Gollnick followed Michellie for the 3rd podium spot. "Heading into the run, I had a big gap to close to move into the top three. It was all about relentless focus and power, and I managed to harness both and pick off a few of my competitors. Roctane helped get me there for certain! I was so thankful for the boost," said Heather.

The key to Roctane lies in its high concentration of scientifically-proven performance-tested ingredients. Roctane's advanced formula amplifies GU's original Energy Gel recipe and adds new ingredients to boost the athlete's chances of success. Higher citrate levels help speed the conversion of carbohydrates into energy and also mitigate acid build-up in muscles. Increased branched chain amino acids provide extra energy during exercise and play a key role in maintaining concentration. Added histidine slows energy-sapping acid build-up and a new amino acid complex, Ornithine Alpha-Ketoglutarate (OKG), reduces muscle damage. Roctane's proprietary formula allows athletes to perform at a higher intensity for a longer period of time. Simply put, Roctane is an important new product for athletes intent on maximizing their performance.

GUsports President Brian Vaughan said, "We are meticulous with our product testing, and Roctane has been a labor of love. After seeing the demonstrable benefits it has for hard workouts, we're excited to get Roctane into the hands of athletes throughout North America. They will notice the difference."

Roctane will be initially available in Blueberry Pomegranate and Vanilla Orange flavors. The serving size will be 1.1 ounces and 100 calories. The retail price point will be $2.50 per packet. It will be released via limited distribution in specialty run, bike and triathlon retailers beginning in June 2008.

About GU

GU Energy Gel, the original energy gel, was launched in 1994 in Berkeley, CA.To this day, GU remains the market share leader and the premium gel available to endurance athletes. GU Energy Gels and their companion electrolyte drink, GU2O, are designed to provide athletes with scientifically-proven, performance-tested nutrition.

For more information about GU, log onto www.GUenergy.com.

Primal Quest online coverage to feature digital version of MyTopo maps carried by racers
posted Wednesday, June 18, 2008 by Yak @ 11:23 PM - 0 comments

Montanans know the "world's most challenging human endurance competition" is coming to their state next week, in the form of the Primal Quest Expedition Adventure Race presented by SPOT. But many are wondering how they can watch the race. It's a good question, especially since the five-hundred mile course remains a secret until the race begins in Big Sky, MT on the morning of June 23. "We can expect more details about the course to be revealed after the racers are well on their way," said Kevin Toohill, founder and CEO of MyTopo, a Billings-based company that is providing the official race map sets each team will carry.

"But for those Montanans with Internet access, online spectating will be terrific," added Toohill. MyTopo is providing access to its fully-detailed topographic maps online, in a Google Maps interface, which will be viewable via the official Primal Quest website starting on June 23rd through the race finish on July 2nd.

Each team will carry a SPOT Satellite Messenger that will send a GPS signal every ten minutes, allowing their progress to be tracked. A "live" online tracking system will allow visitors to the Primal Quest website to track the teams' progress in real time 24 hours a day from any place on the course.

"This is the first time in Primal Quest history that online spectators will be able to track the race online while viewing the exact same maps the racers are carrying in their hands, thanks to MyTopo," said Don Mann, race director of Primal Quest. "MyTopo is an awesome Montana-based company, respected throughout the adventure racing community; we continue to be amazed at their capabilities and grateful for their contribution to our sport. Because of MyTopo, each team will carry a set of nine maps versus the more than 40 maps that would have been necessary if we had relied on the old USGS quad sheets to cover the 500 mile course. And, the racers love the durability to MyTopo's waterproof, nearly indestructible paper."

"We are pleased to allow the PQ tracking system to stream in our topo data," said Toohill. "It will be a great value-add to the online viewing capability since topographic maps allow people to immediately know the name of every mountain top, stream, coulee, city or town they are viewing," explained Toohill. "The symbology and labeling unique to topographic maps will make viewing the adventure race online much more informative, especially for those of us in Montana who are familiar with many of the lakes, rivers, streams and mountains the course will traverse."

Since the company began in 1999, MyTopo has become an increasingly popular online resource for ordering large-format, custom-centered, navigation-ready maps. The company prints and ships within 24 hours, making it a convenient place to order printed maps. MyTopo allows users to center a topo, aerial or hybrid map any place in the US or a topo in Canada, add navigational grids, choose the zoom level or scale, and personalize with name and title. The maps are printed and shipped with 24 hours, with prices starting at $9.95. MyTopo has a special program for adventure race directors, allowing race maps to be ordered at a discount.

MyTopo also offers a software-like service called the MyTopo Map Pass. Annual subscribers can access US topos, updated with US Forest Service maps, color satellite images, and TopoPhoto hybrid maps. The measuring and drawing tools, ability to upload and download GPS waypoints, and advanced printing and downloading options make this a valuable service for those who need instant access to save, print, download and email navigation-ready maps from their own desktops. The maps are complete with UTM grids and scale choices or for those professionals or avid outdoorsmen and women who need access to downloadable and printable maps on a regular basis. This service is available for $29.95.

For more information on MyTopo, visit www.mytopo.com, call 1-877-587-9004 or email support@mytopo.com. MyTopo is a privately held company based in Billings, MT. MyTopo has provided the race maps for Primal Quest since 2004, and is also the official map provider for the GoLite USARA Adventure Race National Championship, the Checkpoint Tracker Adventure Racing Series presented by Inov-8, the Primal Quest Sprint Series, and many races held throughout the US and Canada each year.

Primal Quest is the premiere expedition length adventure race in the world and has been called the "Super Bowl of adventure racing" by Sports Illustrated. PQ Montana will be the fifth race in the series, in which co-ed teams of four run, mountain bike, paddle, and climb, non-stop, through hundreds of miles of back country. This year, more than 60 teams will compete for $175,000 in cash and prizes, and the right to be called Primal Quest Champions.

For the LAST time, the Blackberry Curve Challenge is NOT an adventure race
posted by Yak @ 9:02 AM - 5 comments

It's a marketing gimmick to sell Blackberries sponsored by the likes of Verizon, Facebook, Guitar Hero III and...wait for it...iTOOKthisONmyPHONE.com.

You can't make this s@#$ up :-/



Look, I'm sure it's a blast...I'm all for it...if I lived in Boston (I used to), Minneapolis, Portland or San Francisco there is every chance I'd give it a try.

Seriously, I'm all for this kind of event. It gets people off the couch, makes creative use of a ubiquitous and otherwise utilitarian trapping of modern life and I think we'd all rather see companies like RIM putting their marketing dollars into things like this instead of traditional advertising (unless you're gonna do it as well as Geico).

That's not the point.

The point is that adventure racing is adventure racing and every other kind of racing...no matter how adventurous...ISN'T.

Outdoornewswire.com disagrees.

Primal Quest clearifies policy on GPS devices
posted Tuesday, June 17, 2008 by Yak @ 11:36 PM - 1 comments

After their announcement Monday that GPS devices would NOT be prohibited at Primal Quest Montana set off an impassioned online debate about the impact on the race and the sport at large, PQ race management has posted an explanation as to why they made the decision and a few more details.

Highlights from this most recent post include the following:

  • All teams are highly encouraged to bring a GPS unit.

  • All GPS units will be sealed in a specially designed, tamper-proof bag by race staff. Re-opening the bag leaves physical evidence that the device has been used. Once sealed inside this bag, it will be up to the team to decide when, or even if, they will use their GPS.

  • Any team electing to use the device will be charged a time penalty at the end of the race. The decision to take this approach allows teams to still rely on their navigational skills, but have the safety of a GPS should they feel the need to use it.

  • If conditions continue to improve throughout the remainder of the week as expected, the use of a GPS will be limited to only specified areas of the course, or maybe not at all. The PQ Management team believes it is better to err on the side of caution and allow GPS units as a back-up safety device for all teams. As already stated, safety is our utmost priority.

  • For teams who do not have a GPS unit and are having difficulty in obtaining one, they are available in Bozeman, MT and we will be happy to assist you in locating a local retailer.

Whether these guidelines will temper the debate or fuel it remains to be seen.

Comments on this and other websites as well as several popular adventure racing email lists have ranged from tepid support in light of safety concerns to collective outrage as witnessed by the reaction of BAARBD (Bay Area Adventure Racing Babes and Dudes), a popular California adventure racing club, who updated their homepage with an appeal for adventure racers to email or call Primal Quest staff to voice their objections.

UPDATED: Did the "World's Most Challenging Human Endurance Competition" just get less challenging?
posted Monday, June 16, 2008 by Yak @ 2:30 PM - 17 comments

"Primal Quest Race Management has made the decision NOT to prohibit the use of GPS units in PQ Montana. This decision was made due to the fact that the course still has a great deal of snow covering trail and road markings, and we need to ensure that competitors do not wander into avalanche and cornice hazard areas."

I emailed Primal Quest race management and just got confirmation from the media director that they did send an email to all teams with the text quoted above and that teams WILL in fact be allowed to carry GPS units.

Navigation has always been a hallmark of adventure racing. You can't argue with need to put safety first and after the death of Nigel Aylott in 2004 I'm not surprised to see PQ deciding to err on the side of caution. At the same time this decision is going to eliminate what many consider to be an equalizer unique to adventure racing.

Smart navigation has traditionally been the way that slower, less athletic teams can beat their stronger competitors. If everyone is carrying a GPS unit then the team in front of you is less likely to get lost...there goes your chance of passing them in the night.

What impact do you think this will have on the race? Will the use of GPS at a race like Primal Quest change the nature of the sport? Is it a big deal or much a do about nothing?

Drop us a comment and let us know what you think.

UPDATE: Mike Bitton had a chance to speak to PQ race director Don Mann not long ago. He'll be posting more information on this decision including some comments from Don later today.

Checkpoint Tracker Adventure Racing Series presented by Inov-8
posted by Yak @ 11:29 AM - 0 comments

Top 10 teams by points as of June 16, 2008

372 - Eastern Mountain Sports
275 - Feed the Machine
199 - Calleva
182 - Checkpoint Zero/Inov-8
182 - WEDALI
180 - Alpine Shop
180 - ATP/Pura Vida
164 - Running Free
138 - Dancing Pandas
132 - TeamHalfwayThere.com

Complete Standings (PDF)

Mother nature puts the kibosh on Planet Adventure Sprint
posted by Yak @ 10:48 AM - 0 comments

The race was set for June 7th, but Gaia had other plans and adventure racing wasn't part of it.

You've all seen the news. This flood was epic in scope. The Indianapolis Star published a short summary of the impact over the weekend.

If you'd like to make a donation to support relief and reconstruction efforts you can do it here.

Army of Zero deployment schedule
posted Saturday, June 14, 2008 by Yak @ 2:03 PM - 0 comments

Mike Bitton, the first (and only) member of the Army of Zero has been given his marching orders for the remainder of 2008.

Starting next week Mike will be attending no less than four events through the end of the season to report for Checkpoint Zero.

First up is Primal Quest which starts in just over 8 days.

Mike will be taking out a second mortgage on his house to pay for the gas he'll need to drive from his home in Vancouver, WA to Big Sky country.

He's gonna do the loner thing and live out of his car for the duration. He tells me he's called in few favors and has lined up a short list of support crews that have graciously offered to let him hose off in their RV from time to time.

After a short visit back home we're then sending Mike across the pond to cover the Mountain X Race which runs from July 21st to 26th in France. He'll be following the exploits of the US teams racing for American pride.

In October Mike will be "coming home" to cover our own Upstate Adventure Race. He did such a great job shooting the Checkpoint Zero Adventure Race this past March we decided it was worth the cost of another plane ticket to bring him back for our newest event...gotta get those great marketing shots no matter the cost.

The best part of having Mike on the ground in October is that he'll be able to begin his coverage of the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge at the same time.

Say what?

In case you missed it...we recently announced that the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority has signed on as the latest sponsor of the Upstate Adventure Race.

The team that wins in October will be given a free entry and 4 round trip tickets to Abu Dhabi to compete in the second edition of this epic new expedition race in December. We're sending Mike with that team to document their trip from start to finish.

It's the sponsors stupid - Inov-8
posted Friday, June 13, 2008 by Yak @ 12:47 PM - 1 comments

OK, so that's not what James Carville said in 1992, but our sponsors have far more to do with the well-being of Checkpoint Zero, LLC than inflation or the weak US dollar.

We sometimes get so wrapped up in the day to day grind that we forget to let our sponsors know how much we love them and how instrumental they are to our success...no more.

Starting today we'll be blogging about each of our sponsors regularly (in no particular order) to make sure you know who they are and what they do.

Inov-8 - Official shoes and packs of Checkpoint Zero, LLC

It's pronounced "innovate"...and the name fits. These guys make the last adventure racing shoes I may ever wear.

I'm sporting their new Roclite 295's and I have to say...they're the cat's pajamas.

As God is my witness I have never worn a lighter or more comfortable pair of running shoes. Trust me when I say I'll be wearing them come hell or high water.

Hey Mark/Sue/Lisa/Thomas...can I have another pair if I ever manage to wreck these?

So far it's looking like that's gonna take a while...unlike the Merrell Overdrives that literally fell apart while I was wearing them...my Roclites seem to love abuse. Nice work Inov-8.

The rest of team Checkpoint Zero/Inov-8 are each wearing the shoe that fits them best. One of the great things about Inov-8 is that they actually understand how to make GREAT shoes to serve a wide range of runners and have a product lineup that proves it. You're sure to find more than one model ideally suited to your foot and running style.

We're also using Inov-8's excellent packs. True to their name they've got a unique approach to carrying water that's truly...innovative.

Read more about their Horizontal Hydration System to see how "positioning the bladder...creates a lower center of gravity and with the bladder shape fitting around the lumbar region makes the pack a lot more stable."

They make a range of packs in sizes suitable for everything from a short sprint to a longer multi-day race. We use the Race Pro 20 for training and races during which we're not carrying the kitchen sink...when we are we use the Race Pro 30.

In addition to the support of our team, Inov-8 also been instrumental in helping us develop the Checkpoint Tracker Adventure Racing Series...wait for it...presented by Inov-8. Thanks to their generous support we're awarding 100 packs and 100 pairs of shoes to the top finishers at every race in the Series.

We'd love to hear from those of you that have used Inov-8's products. Leave us a comment and let us know what gear you're using and why you love it.

EMS leads Checkpoint Tracker Series after 9 events
posted Thursday, June 12, 2008 by Yak @ 9:10 AM - 0 comments

Eastern Mountain Sports has their sights set on winning this Series. They've been sitting in first place after an early season win at the Checkpoint Zero Adventure Race. That win along with another first place at the Planet Adventure Race and two second place finishes puts them at a commanding 380 points...enough to keep them out front...for now.

DART-nuun in particular is looking for a perfect 400 points by attending events like Wicked Gorge and Kit Carson Adventure Race. They've had to sit on the sidelines so far as most early season events were on the east coast. As the Series moves west look for them to make their presence known.

With this in mind EMS has actually decided to back out of the upcoming Untamed NE to refocus their efforts (and budget) on Series events. The goal is to reel in two more wins for a shot at their own perfect season. They narrowly missed first place two weeks ago at the Odyssey Wild Wonderful, dropping to second place behind Checkpoint Zero/Inov-8. Look for them to show up next at the Cradle of Liberty in PA later this month.

Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority sponsors Checkpoint Zero's latest event, the Upstate Adventure Race
posted Monday, June 9, 2008 by Yak @ 9:35 AM - 0 comments

The team that wins the first annual Upstate Adventure Race, set for October 25th, 2008 near Cleveland, SC, will be awarded a free entry to the 2008 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge. The prize includes round trip airfare from the US to Abu Dhabi for 4 racers.

"The Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge is a spectacular event that takes place in a magnificent corner of the world that most of us know little or nothing about," commented, Paul "Yak" Angell, president of Checkpoint Zero, LLC.

"This partnership between Checkpoint Zero and the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority will provide a once in a lifetime opportunity for one team that would likely never get the chance to travel internationally for a race like this, let alone to an exotic location like Abu Dhabi," Paul continued.

"I'm really excited to be able to offer such an exciting prize to the racers that have supported Checkpoint Zero's transition into a event production by attending the first two editions of the Checkpoint Zero Adventure Race. We're very excited about the Upstate Adventure Race and are confident this new relationship with the ADTA will help us make this it equally successful."

More information about the Upstate Adventure Race, including details and rules for the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge prize will be released later this week.

Teams are encouraged to register for the Upstate Adventure Race sooner than later as the race will be capped at 60 teams.