Williamsport to Host 2023 Endless Mountains Adventure Race | News, Sports, Jobs


PROVIDED PHOTO In a photo courtesy of Chris Radcliffe, Endless Mountain Adventure Races participants from years past take part in the five-day expedition by foot, bike and boat.

The Endless Mountains Adventure Race heads to Williamsport next summer. Williamsport will be the host city in June 2023 for the race. Last summer, the five-day adventure race was held in and around Clarion.

Adventure races consist of teams traveling a five-day course on foot, bike and boat using a map and compass. Mixed teams are mostly 2 to 4 people. The boat part can be done by kayak, canoe or raft. The course asks runners to collect checkpoints along the way. The main focus of the race is teamwork, athletic skills and navigational strategy.

Endless Mountains is the only US race in this year’s Adventure Racing series. The Endless Mountains Adventure Race is in its second year and is produced by Rootstock Racing of Philadelphia, which has been running successful races in and around Pennsylvania for several years.

Last year’s race, held at Clarion, saw 32 teams made up of two to four runners.

“Often events of this magnitude are lucky enough to have 15-20 teams in their first run, and even those that are well established sometimes don’t see more than 30 teams competing,” said Brian Gatens, community outreach manager for the Endless Mountains Adventure Race team. “Leading a race for 32 teams in our first year has been an honor and a testament to the long history of the sport in the mid-Atlantic region and the vibrant community that continues to grow.

Adventure Racing is somewhat of a niche sport, but it’s also something that has a passionate following from its competitors. These competitors contribute to the success of races, as does the word of mouth they provide to get more people interested in other events.

“Word of mouth and rider experience after last year’s inaugural edition exceeded all of our expectations. As a result, we expect this momentum to trickle down to the number of teams this year,” Gatens said. “As adventure races grow in popularity, runners have more of a choice when it comes to big multi-day races and some may head to other venues this year, but whatever Either way, we expect to be closer to last year’s number.”

The Endless Mountains Adventure Race also has a Lite, 30-hour version of the race for those who want to participate but cannot commit to the multi-day experience.

Rootstock Racing was founded by Abby Perkiss and Brent Freedland. The two have been running races for more than a decade, not just in Pennsylvania, but elsewhere. Rootstock was formed in 2015 and the two have been considering a multi-day event ever since.

“For a variety of personal reasons, the time seemed right to start working on this project in 2020 when they discovered the PA Wilds brand and designation for this little-known region and mecca of the outdoors,” Gatens said. “Showcasing the region over four or five editions has become a main focus of the event, and each race will highlight a different part of nature and as many incredible parks and forests as possible.

Gatens admitted that organizing a five-day race event like this is essentially a full-time job not just for him, but for others involved with the Endless Mountains Adventure Race.

Gatens noted how Adventure Racing is a tight-knit community and a niche sport, and a sport that people love.

“It’s a blessing and a curse in that it can be difficult to attract new riders to the sport, especially for an event of this magnitude. At the same time, it’s an incredibly unique and supportive community. There are few sports that literally see the best teams in the world alongside brand new runners at the start line,” Gates noted. “They know they’re there with different goals and have different expectations, but they interact, support each other and are often best friends.

“Regardless of physical condition, experience, or technical expertise, adventure runners are people who thrive on adventure, exploration, and travel while being part of a tight-knit, supportive community. “, Gatens added. “It’s an incredible sport filled with the most incredible people.”

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