New to Open5 events? - Page 1 of 3

New to Open5 events?

New to Open5 events?Here is an overview...

An Open5 is an Adventure Racing style event where you visit as many points (controls) as you can by bike and on foot within a 5 hour time limit. There are five entry categories; male and female solo; male, female and mixed pairs. You navigate to each control location using an OS map with pre-printed controls on it (see example map extract on the right). Each control is assigned a value that you get when you start (see example control sheet extract on the right). But beware - some controls are not live, so you can't completely plan your route before you start! The winner is the person who has collected the most points. You can make the event as hard or as easy as you like as there are no fixed routes. You can either run or bike first - it's up to you.

The total time for the event is 5 hours. How you decide to split the time between the run and MTB stage is down to personal preference and strengths. Typically, competitors will aim to spend 2 hours on the run and 3 hours on the bike. You must collect at least one control from each discipline which can only be undertaken once.

The events are usually held in areas which provide a good challenge for beginners as well as regulars. We like to select interesting locations which have natural beauty for our events. Controls are located on paths and tracks of mixed-terrain and self-navigational around your chosen route is a key aspect. The emphasis is on having a fun day out at your own pace.

As there are no marked routes in the event area, you will need to be familiar with the concept of navigating around public rights of way and open access land using Ordnance Survey Landranger (1:50,000) and Explorer (1:25,000) scale maps. There are some extra symbols for the Explorer scale maps here. If navigation is not your strong point then take a look at this document from Ordnance Survey for some tips. There is a list of mandatory kit that is needed in order for you to take part in an Open5.

If you don't feel quite ready to take on the challenge, but want to see what all the fuss is about then how about volunteering to marshall at an event near you. To keep up with the chat, info & event updates then follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Once you have decided to go ahead and enter an Open5 event, remember to take a look at the following articles which take you through the process of an Open5 in more detail.

If you would like to know more about our Open5 events please click here to send us an email.

We hope to see you at an Open5 soon.

Your first Open5 event

We do try and keep things simple but invariably we get a good number of questions before events and on the day from those new to this kind of events. This little article will take you step by step through the day.

Before the event:

Sort out your kitEven if you are local to the event it will invariably be an early start on the Sunday morning. It’s a good idea to sort out your kit well before the weekend. Do you have all of the mandatory kit listed in the rules? First Aid kit, Whistle, etc.

What about your bike? If you are going to get it serviced don’t do it in the week before the event or if you do make sure you take it out for a few hours off road before the day. If you need to hire a bike give us a shout at Open Adventure and we can often point you in the direction of a hire company that can deliver to the event.

Sleep well.

The morning:

RegistrationTime whizz’s by so we recommend you arrive early. Park your car and come to registration. At registration you will receive a double sided A4 map, running / MTB numbers, and an electronic device called a Sportident (SI) dibber which is attached to your wrist.

The SI dibber is used to record when you started, finished and which control points you visited on the event. If you find yourself competing in number of similar events each year, you can buy a SI dibber from

The map we issue has a Ordnance Survey (OS) 1:50000 map on one side with the MTB controls (points you have to visit) already pre-printed. On the other side is an OS 1:25000 map with the foot controls pre-printed.

Look at the mapDisappear back to your car to collect your bike and any kit you might need for the day, food, drinks, clothing, spare shoes. Occasionally the start is right beside the car park so you can leave stuff in the car, on other occasions the start is a short cycle away so you might need to be able to carry anything you might need at the transition e.g. running shoes, extra food, etc.

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