Trekking means travel on foot over any type of terrain; it could be on trails or roads, or off-trail through forests, swamps, and mountain ranges.
What some teams consider as "trail running" might be "hiking" to other teams -- it can depend on your route selection, how far into the
race you are, and any number of other factors. There is a considerable amount of off-trail travel in an Untamed New England expedition course.
Be ready to scramble, bushwhack, and generally persevere through a wide variety of terrain.
Untamed New England features a wide range of mountain biking . . . easy rolling fire roads, twisty singletrack, staggering climbs, and anything in between.
Racers must bring their own mountain bikes, but rental mountain bikes can be arranged through the race organization.
Using map and compass to find your way is integral to Untamed New England. Many sections of the race are wide open in terms of route selection and
how your team should progress, usually with several viable trail or road options and occassionally there may be NO trails or roads. Bushwhacking
can be a big component of the race. The topographic maps show the locations of race checkpoints that must be visited in sequence, and it is up to each
team to select their exact route. Invariably, teams gain and lose hours of time in the race based on these strategic navigation decisions.
The race organization provides all the maps for the race.
The waterways of Untamed New England range from still, crystal clear lakes to rushing rivers. Wind can turn the average pond into a tricky paddling challenge,
and the race course is sure to have a wide variety of both calm and moving water. Class I or II whitewater could factor into paddling
legs, too, but one won't find too many sustained sections of rapids for the paddling sections. Teams will paddle solo kayaks (one kayak per racer) for
roughly 60% of the paddling sections; teams will paddle canoes (1 canoe per 2 racers) for roughly 40% of the paddling sections. The race organization provides the kayaks and canoes while
teams provide their own paddles and PFDs for these sections.
A tradition at Untamed New England is to have each team member complete an individual map and compass challenge. There are four courses to the relay, each
course is usually completed in under an hour:
short distance and easy navigation, short distance and hard navigation, long distance and easy navigation, long distance and hard navigation. A
different team member must complete each leg, making this another strategic element to the larger race.
The Untamed New England expedition race always includes elements of conservation, such as trail maintenance, into the race course. This is a fun
way for participants to give back to the regions they're racing through, and can be a memorable experience in-and-of-itself. Previous projects have included
bog bridge construction, river clean-up, invasive species removal, trail marking, and hauling equipment for trail crews. These don't require a lot
of time for the Untamed New England teams to complete, but it's remarkable what a motivated group can accomplish in a short period of time!
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Previous races have included packrafting and fixed rope sections; for 2018, this may or may not be the case (too early to tell).
There's also the potential for other suprises such as SUP (Stand-Up
Paddle Boarding). Look for clarity around any additional race disciplines later in 2017.