Summer is definitely here!

Life is picking up the pace, May 22 saw the second Open5 event with over 100 entries, new sponsors are on board for mapping and sports nutrition, and excitement is brewing as we draw near to the first Open24 - read on.


The south lakes event on the 22nd May provided some real surprises for the competitors, with a ferry trip to the start, jaw dropping views on the run over Claife Heights and arguably some of the best mountain biking in the country as found in and around Grizedale.  The breadth of competition was amazing, some competitors taking the event as a good walk and a pleasant afternoon ride to those who are at the top of their sport in orienteering and mountain biking.

Russ Ladkin who competed in the Open5 filed a race report on the event - you can find it on the Sleepmonsters website click here.  James Kirby of Mountain Bike Cumbria also took time out to take some excellent pictures - a few are seen below a gallery of photos to purchase from James can be found on Sleepmonsters click here (over 160 photos).

Its now a summer break for Open5 but will return with a vengeance in October in the North Pennines - expect to hear from us again before that date, but start preparing yourself for another great day in this amazing countryside.

16th October North Pennines - Blanchland - Village Hall
4th December Central Lakes - TBC

More details on the Open5 events at

Open24 - A big day out

Plans for the Open24 are rapidly coming together, be prepared for a memorable experience.  Numerous emails have been finding their way to Open Adventure about the Open24 so we have put together a list of questions and answers at the end of this e-mail.  So if you are tempted, take a nose at what we have on offer.

More details on the Open 24 event at 

Interest in this event has been taken by DreamteamTV a television production company that specialises in adventure sports coverage - with interest already expressed from Sky sports.  To make this happen we would need to find a sponsor - if you know or are part of a company whose brand image would benefit from a linkage with Adventure Racing and TV coverage give us a call and we can make it happen.

Open24 - the questions...

We are competing in the Wilderness ARC is it possible to compete as a team of 4? Yes and no - we will still regard you as competing in pairs however we have no problems in you travelling together on the course.  Please mention this either on your entry form or on an e-mail and we will ensure you set off together.  The only rule we do have is that two pairs can not raft two open canoes together except in an emergency.

What canoes are you using?  15-16ft Open Canoes

How far is the swim? about 800m, if you are at all worried about it we can loan you a buoyancy aid - or if it is a real problem, there will be an opt out option although you will incur penalties.

Do I need a wet suit? You don't need a wetsuit however if you choose to use one you will have to carry it with you to and from the appropriate stages.

I have never abseiled is this is a problem?  no, we will set up the rope sections assuming no prior technical knowledge - so your safety will be in the hands of the rope technician not yours, however we won't put your harness on for you.  Also whilst no knowledge is needed, due to the volume of people on the event we won't be able to offer participants the chance to pause, contemplate what they are about to do, um arh, shall I shant I - you will be politely removed from the stage.  If you think this is problem we recommend you get out and have a go at abseiling.

Would it be OK to miss the rope sections out?  Yep although as with the swimming you will incur a penalty on your scores

Is it possible to hire the kit required for the rope section? yes call Paul Noble at Total Adventure on 015395 44451 or e-mail info[at]

Where is it?  not telling you until 2 weeks before the event.  It is in the north west of England and within one of the national parks.

Can we sleep?  Yes - we are not making this a secret, the majority of the overnight section will involve being on foot.  The transition to and from this stage is the same and it is possible to camp here - so if you fancy just collecting one foot control and getting a few hours kip that will be no problem.  The tent you might wish to use does not have to fit in your kit box, however it should be clearly labelled with your name and should be no larger than a 2 man tent.  Please note we will not be putting it up or taking it down for you.

Any top tips?  I recommend you at least spend a few hours in a canoe with your partner before the weekend, preferably with a coach (try total adventure) it might make the whole experience more pleasurable.  For the trekking section we will be making use of some remote areas and in some circumstances using control locations that are beyond the regular path junctions - familiarising yourself with contours on a map and how they would look on the ground would be a real benefit.


The Open24 is soon here (July 30/31) and if we can't tempt you to give it a go perhaps you might be able to help out - we think you will have one of the most memorable weekends of the year in ... ah we can't tell you that - wing us an e-mail on volunteer[at] 


In addition to Crosstrax and Mountain Hardwear we have recently been joined by EAS UK , Anquet Mapping and CompassSport.  EAS is one of the largest sports nutrition company's in the world with a huge presence in world triathlon market - for Open Adventure its been a bit of coup to have EAS on board, their enthusiasm to support Adventure Racing is astounding.  Expect a goodie bag full of nutritional products at any of the Open Adventure events you find yourself at. 


25% off

Following on from our advice in the questions and answers section of the website, where we recommend you try products before race day, you can buy EAS products at a mighty discount of 25% from their website.  For the recent Open5 event we gave each competitor a precision carbs drink, myoplex energy bar and a energy gel - to try more visit the EAS website and type in the OA55125 in the coupon field.  Offer closes 31/12/05, discount does not apply to special offers or P&P.

Anquet mapping is well established in the UK market producing ordnance survey and Harvey electronic mapping products.  We use Anquet mapping for the production of the maps and calculating the distance in which competitors will cover in an event, as you can imagine totally invaluable for our events or for your day in the hills.  We will have the software on demonstration at our events this year and will be including demonstration CD's and leaflets with the goodie bags - but just in case you are itching to see what it is all about have a look at their website 

CompassSport is  Britain 's National Orienteering Magazine - the magazine regularly features articles on Adventure Racing by Rob Howard (the man behind Sleepmonsters).  They are supporting the prize pool with free subscriptions to all of the winners of Open Adventure events in 2005.  Their core business is foot orienteering with strange maps - however, the unquestionable advice from top Adventure Racers is, if you want to improve your navigation, orienteering events are the way to go. 


What already - yep we are already thinking about 2006, if you have any great ideas on locations for Open5 events we would love to hear from you.  Primarily they must provide excellent running and MTBing - Swaledale and the South Lakes have set a tough standard!  The events should also provide a suitable network of paths/bridleways and tracks - in terms of location anywhere north of Manchester to the border.  So if you have an idea give us a bell, we would love to hear from you.

And Finally ...

Give us a wave if you are at the ACE race in the Lakes next weekend (we will be on the tandem), and have a good day.

No worries
James Thurlow

Event Director