Black Hills Adventure Racing | Black Hills Travel Blog

Black Hills Adventure Racing

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Mountain Biking

If you thought Primal Quest -- the grueling 600-mile, multi-discipline race across the Black Hills and Badlands -- you might like to try a less-grueling version.

Like Primal Quest, Black Hills Adventure Racing is a competitive multi-discipline event. Unlike PQ, however, it takes just eight hours, more or less, to complete the course. And unlike PQ, it doesn't cost a ton of money to enter. A $20 donation is requested.

Black Hills Adventure Racing involves mountain biking, trekking and navigation (orienteering). It's set for Oct. 4 at 8 a.m., starting at the Willow Creek Horse Camp.

According to the website, Black Hills Adventure Racing was established last fall by Josh Ellis and Mitch Ruedebusch.

"The Black Hills of western South Dakota are a scenic playground for all who enjoy the outdoors.  Adventure racing is one of many outdoor pursuits that we can use to utilize and enjoy all that the hills have to offer," they wrote. "Black Hills Adventure Racing utilizes the hills to challenge participants physically and mentally.  We all need to be challenged occasionally in life to find out what we are capable of.  Come and compete and find out what your capable of."

I don't know these guys, but I like them. The last item on the mandatory gear list is: "A sense of humor, or a desire to acquire one." You also need a flashlight in case you encounter darkness and a whistle in case you encounter "lostness."

Ever the trend-spotter, I am beginning to think there's something to this outdoor adventure racing stuff. Humans are naturally competitive. And mountain biking, kayaking, trekking and climbing are growing in popularity, especially in the Black Hills. So it makes sense that people would organize these activities into competitive events.

I imagine the next step will be for adventure racers to go pro. After all, we have people who make a living from bass-fishing.

About the Author

Dan is an on-again, off-again Black Hills resident since 1978. The Aberdeen native hit the road after high school, building houses in Boulder, working oil rigs on Colorado's Western Slope, delivering cars in California. In Wyoming and Idaho, he worked as a newspaper journalist. But the Black Hills kept luring him back. For 18 years, he wrote for the Rapid City Journal. The job gave him a chance to see the Hills from atop Mount Rushmore and the bottom of the Homestake Mine. Whenever possible, Dan grabs his dog Kody and heads to the Hills. These days, he's perfecting the art of low-impact backpacking: hike two hours to a scenic spot, break out the wine, cook up the pasta, watch the sunset and fall asleep under the stars.

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