• Wed April 05 2006
  • Posted Apr 4, 2006
While the majority of the population tend to succumb to their comfy couches, enjoying the modern convenience of air conditioning during the hot summer months, a couple of entrepreneurial race directors are braving the heat and attempting to put the term ÓadventureÔ back into the Midwestern lexicon. SOAR Adventures, a non-profit adventure racing group created by Ryan Duppong and Mike Eilers, are hoping to do just thatÅgive Central Iowans an opportunity to match wits with Mother Nature.

Noticing the Midwest region was rather dry for adventure racing opportunities, and knowing there were novices and beginners itching to test their mettle in a race of their own, SOAR Adventures created SOAR Adventure Challenge in their backyard of Des Moines, Iowa in 2005. Though they werenÒt initially prepared for the onslaught of racer applications, which forced them to close registration a full month before the inaugural event, SOAR Adventures worked hard to host a premiere sprint-style race that proved very challenging in the face of the summer conditions racers had to endure. Not only was it a hot 94 degree day for the race, but coupled with over 70% humidity it combined to form a heat index temperature of 106 degrees on the courseÅa real scorcher of a day to remember. And, possibly in a showing that Midwestern teams can hold their own, 90% of the starting 38 teams finished the 8-hour event and all disciplines! Coming off that unique and successful race in 2005, the duo are now diligently working on their next annual installment of the SOAR Adventure Challenge, to be held July 8th. This yearÒs race will take it a step further and feature two non-stop, heart-pumping courses comprised of varying amounts of mountain biking, paddling, trail running/trekking, coasteering, rope elements, and orienteering/navigation, with a variety of fun mystery events sprinkled in along the way to keep teams on their toes. For beginner teams, the shorter course (6-8HR) is designed to challenge those who are just starting their adventure racing experience or wish to grow their skills. For intermediate/advanced teams, the longer course (12-14HR) has been chosen to appeal to teams who are looking for more of a variety and a tougher challenge. To make the event as accessible as possible, SOAR Adventures is keeping the entry fee and required gear to a minimum, and the local training opportunities Ö regular orienteering workshops and weekly paddling clinics and instructive bike rides through local outfitter shops Ö to a maximum. So if youÒre looking to test your limits, these intriguing courses are the perfect opportunity to learn and experience this multi-sport first-hand. With a plethora of sponsors already signed on to shower you in free stuff, you'll end the day with more than a wealth of memories and a well-earned swagger. All proceeds going to training resources, you'll be investing in your future adventuring career. Think you're ready for the Challenge? Visit for detailed race information

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