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A challenge to brawn and brains

Combine biking, canoeing, climbing, running and map reading into a 10-hour contest, and you have Extreme North Dakota Adventure Racing, scheduled for Sept. 26 in Polk County.

Combine biking, canoeing, climbing, running and map reading into a 10-hour contest, and you have Extreme North Dakota Adventure Racing, scheduled for Sept. 26 in Polk County.

The race will begin and end in the Cabela's parking lot in East Grand Forks. Race director Andy Magness said competing teams will have options to shorten the race.

"They will have access to 20 checkpoints," Magness said. "The minimum distance will be between 45 and 50 miles. Completing all 20 checkpoints will push the total distance past 70 miles."

Magness, who designed the course with twin brother Jason, said the four-hour option is more beginner-friendly. In both options, teams of two to three competitors test endurance, athleticism and teamwork. Magness said six teams have entered and he's waiting to hear on another five. The goal is for 15 teams.

The group first held the event in 2007 at Turtle River State Park. That course covered 75 miles over 12 hours.

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Climbing also will be new to this year's race.

"We're planning on introducing some vertical components with ropes and rigging," Magness said. "Whether it's repelling or zip lines, it'll be part of the 10-hour option. We don't want to put teams off that have a fear of heights."

Magness said merchandise prizes will be awarded in the three-person open and two-person divisions. A cash prize will go to the champion in the three-person, co-ed division, which Magness said is considered the premier division in adventure racing.

Magness said race organizers, including the Northern Heights Rock Gym and Team Yogaslackers in Grand Forks, have submitted a grant application to the North Dakota Department of Tourism.

"We're trying to get the state behind us to make this an annual event and destination race in North Dakota and eventually move the event to smaller communities," Magness said.

Magness said people who want to volunteer to help with the adventure race can e-mail magn6494@gmail.com . More information on adventure racing may be found at www.NHRG.YogaSlackers.com/AR.html .

Reach Johnson at (701) 780-1262; (800) 477-6572, ext. 262; or send e-mail to jjohnson2@gfherald.com .

Related Topics: POLK COUNTY
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