We know adventure racers often skip the paddling practice, but for the 2018 Untamed New England we're  suggesting you don't do that.

Review our new "Untamed New England Paddling" page and consider getting an ACA Level 3 refresher ahead of the race in July -- nobody can say we're not warning you :)



We've created a Facebook Group to facilitate informal collaboration between racing teams and staff, and help with Q&A about the race..

Any significant communications on behalf of the race organization, like Captain Communications, will go out via email to registered team captains and be posted to the official race website at ( This Facebook Group is an optional method for additional dialogue related to the race.  Participation is optional.

Find the group at this URL:

This is a closed Facebook Group: only racers and those involved with the event can access it. Please request access and specify which team you’re affiliated with.



There's a lot of garbage on the internet with headlines like this one . . . click bait.  Not wanting to be left out, we took a run at a fun piece of click bait to call our own -- but this is legitimate advice, just presenting in this internet list format that makes it look more like junk Wink

All Terrain Humans (and Moose) at Untamed New England

Without further ado, given that it's October 2017, here are our 4 ways to undermine your preparation for Untamed New England with the race 9 months in the future:

  1. 1) Wait to really start thinking about the race until 2018 rolls around.
    • This is a classic oversight.  With 3 months left in 2017, there's plenty of time to build fitness base, learn something about bike mechanics, practice more map & compass skills, validate your gear works in cold or wet conditions, the list goes on.  Consider Fall 2017 a gift you've given yourself: the gift of time.  It's an opportunity you should make the most of, and next July you'll be glad you didn't discard the final 25% of 2017


  1. 2) Keep silent about your race intentions
    • This is another classic mistake.  Studies show how valuable it can be to share your goals and intentions with others in an event like this.  Your family and friends can better support you if they know you're prioritizing this big event in July 2018.  Maybe your goal is to finish the race as a team on the Full Course, or to finish ranked in the Top 20, or to make it to work the following Monday without needing a wheelchair . . . post these goals on a bulletin board for all to see, and tell your social network what you've got going on.  That can be a fabric to support you when you're tired, not motivated to train, or even on the actual race course.
    • Selfishly speaking, publicity for the race is in short supply, so consider sharing your story with a local news outlet, or running club, or gym (and if you want some materials to share there like postcards or a poster, let us know we may be able to send you some stuff).


  1. 3) If you're not the "map person" on your team, don't worry about navigation skills
    • I think this is tempting for the non-navigators out there, but Untamed New England is a long race where fatigue or other circumstances can often make the "lone navigator" approach an untenable one at some point.  There is the orienteering relay on the race course, an Untamed New England mainstay, so brushing up with some orienteering practice is already a good idea.  But why stop there?  A team where each member can contribute to the navigation, in a pinch, is going to be much better off as 4 heads can often be better than 1. 
    • Developing those navigation skills can be as simple as bringing a printed topo map with you on your next bike ride, paddle, hike, or trail run.  Track your progress so that, if you stopped moving at any point, you'd have a good idea for where you're located on the map.  It's cool to realize what details you may be taking for granted all around you, and come race time you're certainly going to notice those subtle hills, ridges, or other features if you've been training with a map all this time.


  1. 4) Focus on pure cardiovascular fitness
    • This is a common point of advice we give newer participants in Untamed New England.  Cardio fitness is important, certainly, but be sure to mix in some all terrain human sessions to develop a more complete set of adventure skills.  This means getting out when it's rainy or dark, not skipping a workout just because you forgot your "good" backpack or shoes or whatever.  Mud . . . bushwhacking . . . crazy winds . . . the variety of the real world is what you should be looking to capitalize on here, so at least once per week skip the exercise bike at the gym or the perfectly flat asphalt run and deal with some imperfect circumstances as you prep for the race.
    • Adventure racing can be an exercise in ingenuity and perseverance, so don't neglect the muscles behind most ingenuity and perseverance: your brain.  The more accustomed you are with overcoming adversity in your routine exercise or training for the event, the better you'll be in the race when things always get hairy for one reason or another.  Always.
    • Just one final anecdote on this point, from a training bike ride our team did a few years ago.  We were part way through a 20 mile technical bike ride when the eggbeater pedal snapped off from one of our teammates' bikes; it was a stress break, and there was no way to repair that pedal out on the trail.  Instead of that rider walking out solo or canceling the ride, we decided it was all terrain human time and so we took turns pedaling the bike with a single pedal for a good 10 miles or more.  It was a great exercise in teamwork, and we learned how to quickly adjust the bike to fit different sized riders and to communicate about this unfortunate adversity.  That adversity was a great bonding experience, though, and it turned a routine bike outing into a special opportunity to learn more about ourselves and how we might tackle a problem in a real race.

That's it for now.  Four great ways to undermine your prep for Untamed New England.


Untamed New England Race Director joined the TA-1 Podcast to discuss the upcoming 2018 race and other adventurous subjects.  Have a listen at

Host Randy Ericksen and Grant, the Race Director, cover topics including:

  • -People use Facebook, who knew?
  • -Adventure racing is NOT for everyone
  • -Old school pop-culture references to adventure racing like WWF Wrestling, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
  • -What makes Untamed New England different
  • -Why Grant is a terrible business man




This feels like the right opportunity to share a bit about the history of Untamed Adventure Racing.  The Untamed New England expedition is a result of organic growth.  We started competing in adventure races in the year 2000 with an 18-hour overnight event in the Florida swamps; we were hooked on the sport from that point forward!

Here's a photo of our team racing in 2005; can anyone name all 4 of these vagrants?

Can you name all 4 of these adventure racers?

We began organizing races in 2004 and used our local terrain in Hampton Roads, Virginia as the base for our first event ever: the Tidewater Adventure Sprint Challenge.  It was a 4-6 hour race that sold out before most of our friends could register for the event, so instead all our friends helped us to put the event on.  That was the spark of a great idea: friends together putting on the best races they can imagine.  We were organized under the name "Hampton Roads Adventure" . . . or HRAdventure for short. 

From the modest start in 2004, in 2005 HRAdventure hosted a 4 race series in southern Virginia that included a 12-hour "Tidewater Traverse" race and an 18-hour "Storm the Eastern Shore" event.

For 2006, HRAdventure revisited the 4 race series and participation really boomed.  At the podium ceremony for that last event in 2006, we announced our run as HRAdventure had come to a close as we were relocating to Switzerland for our "real work."  Good friends took over HRAdventure, and we formed a new organization with no ties to Hampton Roads or any particular geography: that was when Untamed Adventure Racing was started.

For 2007, we operated the first event under the "Untamed" name: Untamed Virginia.  It was a 24-hour event through central Virginia.

In 2008, we organized the first Untamed New England race based from Franconia Notch, NH.  It was a 60-hour race that stood out from the crowd as a long race at a time when there were very few multi-day races in North America.  New England, in particular, struck us as terrain that was ripe for adventure yet under appreciated in the form of organized events.  We also organized another 24-hour Untamed Virginia race that year in central Virginia.

For 2009, Untamed New England moved north to the US/Canadian border with a 3 day event based from Dixville Notch, NH.  Untamed Adventure Racing also hosted some events in Switzerland, including the 3 day alpine stage race "Untamed Switzerland" combining snowshoeing, trail running, and orienteering.

Here's a great photo from an Untamed Switzerland stage on Mt Pilatus near Luzern, Switzerland:

In 2010, the Untamed New England adventure race joined the Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS); it was a prestigious distinction few races in North America had earned up to that point.  The race became officially a "3 to 4 day" event in duration.  Our Untamed Switzerland events continued, and plans started developing for a real expedition race in the Swiss Alps the following year.

2011 was the year we moved back to the USA from Switzerland, so there was no Untamed New England on the calendar.  We did organize final editions of some of our favorite events in Switzerland (like the CRUX winter ultra through the Züri Oberland!) and we assisted Eco Outdoor Sports GmbH (Staffan Källbäck's organization) with the inaugural Apex Expedition race ( -- Staffan carried the Apex forward into 2012 independently of us, and continues to be active in event management in Europe.  We were also commissioned by the New Hampshire "North Country" in 2011 to design a new endurance event called the North Country Endurance Challenge that we ran for 3 years through the Connecticut Lakes region of northern NH. 

2012 saw the return of the expedition Untamed New England race and this time a new host venue in Maine was the base: Northern Outdoors in The Forks, Maine.  We also started operating stage races in 2012 for private companies in a "corporate challenge" framework.  Additionally, other international events began engaging our services in technical support capacities for their specific events (we would assist in satellite tracking, communications, logistics, etc).

For a change of pace in 2013, we organized a shorter adventure race called "24-hours of Untamed New England" from Sugarloaf, Maine. 

In 2014, Untamed New England returned to Maine with the AMC as our host partner and the AMC's 100 Mile Wilderness as the signature location.  This was the last running of Untamed New England  . . . but that wasn't a permanent state of affairs.

After a few years, our batteries have recharged and we've heard the calling of the New England wilderness again.  We couldn't stay away for long. 

2018 will mark a return for Untamed New England we'll start adding new chapters to this history.

I want to emphasize that all of these events, and the many left off the list for the sake of brevity, have been successful due to the support of many friends, colleagues, business partners, and other groups.  It's impossible to operate successfully in a vacuum, and the sorts of outdoor challenges we thrive on are even more dependent on the collaboration of different teams and entities to make the sum greater than the constituent parts.  Finally, I'll conclude with the acknowledgement that this is only made possible through the strong support of our family in the pursuit of all this craziness.  Sacrifices are made.  I like pointing out how the best way to make a million dollars in adventure racing is to start with a billion dollars and just don't pay attention . . . the best adventures are rarely the most financially profitable.