Frequently Asked Questions - East Fork Challenge

Are The East Fork Challenge races relay races?

No. Both the 6 and the 12 hour race use the standard adventure racing team format where all team members must complete all events of the race together.

What are the distances for the races?

For the 6 hour race you should expect about 5 miles of paddling, 5-8 miles on foot, and 10-15 miles on park roads, singletrack
For the 12 hour race, you should expect about 10-15 miles of paddling, 10-15 miles on foot, and 30-35 miles on road and singletrack

What is Adventure Racing, anyway?

Adventure racing (AR) is a sport in which teams (usually 1-4 people) must navigate a course of checkpoints using various non-motorized means. Races are usually held in wilderness settings and the traditional events include mountain biking, canoeing, and trekking. Navigation is accomplished through the use of a compass and topographic maps and the route choice between checkpoints is usually not specified, meaning that teams are generally free to choose their path from one checkpoint to another. Because of this navigational aspect, successful adventure racers aren't always the fastest and fittest teams, but the teams that minimize mistakes, navigate efficiently, and make good decisions out on the course.


Tell me more about the navigation aspect of adventure racing?

Before the race starts, each team will receive topographical maps with various checkpoints marked on them (racers in the 12 hour race should be prepared to plot some checkpoints).  Throughout the event, you'll be using the map and a compass to navigate from one checkpoint to another as you work your way through the course. The checkpoints are large, orange and white "flags" that are mounted throughout the course. At each flag, there is a hole punch that makes a specific pattern. When your team arrives at a checkpoint, your team will use the hole punch to mark a punchcard that you carry with you throughout the event. At the end of the event, your punchcard is turned in as proof that your team visited the various checkpoints throughout the course

12 hours seems like a long time. What if I don't think I can race for that long?

12 hours isn't as bad as it may sound. First of all, you'll be doing at least three different events in the race, so you'll often be switching from one event to another to keep things interesting. Second, you'll be reading the map and navigating to the various checkpoints in the race -- this definitely occupies your mind and makes the time go by quickly.

Besides the required gear, what other gear should I bring?

Food! While we are providing a post-race meal, you'll definitely want to take in some calories during the race. Also, you'll want to watch the weather and pack clothing as appropriate. A long sleeve shirt and/or fleece, in particular, may come in handy if temperatures get cool. Other gear you might consider includes sunglasses, biking gloves, and paddling gloves.

Are Ziploc bags acceptable as a "dry bag for cell phone"?

Yes. However, we recommend using at least 2 or 3 Ziploc bags if you choose to go that route. Whatever "dry bag" you choose, keep in mind that it might be the only thing between your phone and East Fork Lake if you accidentally flip your canoe!

What if I don't have a canoe or kayak to bring to the race?

Rental canoes are available for the race. The rental fee is $35/boat and includes the boat, pfd(s), and paddle(s). The canoes will be delivered to the start/finish area for you. In addition, a limited number of kayaks are available. However, the kayaks will only be available for solo racers. The rental canoes DO have a center seat in them.  If you are a team of 4, you will need to rent 2 canoes.


There are several hotels at the Beechmont/Amelia exit off of I275.  These are 10 miles from the park.

1.  Red Roof Inn - 513-528-2742

2.  Days Inn - 513-528-3800

3.  Motel 6 - 513-752-2262

There is also limited primitave camping (read no bathrooms, no showers) at the start/finish.  Email us if you are interested in camping at the start/finish.

The park also has a fee-based campground on the other end of the lake (about 10 miles from the start.  You can reserve these campground spots on the park website.


What if I still have questions?

Send us an e-mail at with any additional questions you may have.