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Adventure Racing in the Danish Outdoor Capital

Author : Rob Howard
PhotoCredit : Rob Howard

Silkeborg city centre

Teams are currently heading for the city of Silkeborg in Denmark for the Yeti Adventure Challenge - a weekend of adventure racing which includes a choice of 3 races ranging from 4 to 24 hours.

It’s a well established event, having been organised since 2005 by the local orienteering club (which is the biggest in Denmark with around 400 members) and has grown over the past couple of years with support from the local tourism authority and businesses in the city.

These include race sponsors Yeti (part of Nordisk who are based in Silkeborg), and the Radisson Blu hotel which accommodates visiting international racers.  The race has even had the royal seal of approval with the Crown Prince of Denmark racing 2 years ago, and last year the rrace had a visit from ‘AR royalty’ – Team Seagate.

Silkeborg is an ideal location for adventure racing as it’s the Danish Outdoor Capital and is located in the countries ‘Lake District’ (Søhøjlandet).  This is an inland area of gently rolling hills including the highest in Denmark at a mighty 171m, which isn’t too imposing but after last year Seagate said they were surprised how tough the riding was. There may not be high hills but there are lots of them!

The region also includes the largest forest areas in the country and the main attraction are the numerous lakes, which are not found anywhere else in Denmark.  I’m told the Gudenå river here is also the only true river in Denmark (the others being too small), and that nowhere in the city of 45,000 is more than 500m from nature.  (From where I am sitting writing, which is near the city centre, the view is mostly of forest, lake and river.)

The programme for the weekend is designed to test all abilities with the Masters category offering a 17 to 24 hour non-stop course for teams of 4, and for the first time this year the start will be in the coastal city of Aarhus, Denmark’s City of Culture for 2017.  After registration the competitors leave at 19.30 tonight and the race starts in Aarhus at 21.00. Teams will be given their maps on the bus and they know already that the course will include kayaking, mountain bike orienteering, an SUP stage and a trek’n’swim stage, finishing back in Silkeborg. 

The ‘Challenge’ and ‘Fighter’ courses are based around Silkeborg itself and start at 9am and 11am on Saturday.  The challenge course Is a one-day event for teams of 3 who are not quite ready for the longer race, and will last from 7 to 12 hours on a circular course around the city.  The Fighter course is from 4 to 8 hours and is designed to attract those having a go at adventure racing for the first time, with almost all of these competitors coming from Silkeborg.

The Race Director Nils says the organization “want to show you can have a good, tough race in countries where there are no dense jungles or high mountains,” and that the Fighter course is to “show how much fun adventure racing can be”.

The strong community involvement in the town and this high level of local participation help to ensure it attracts thousands of spectators, which is a rare thing in adventure racing and the race also has 60 local volunteers helping to supervise all the activities. (There will be 3 races going on at once on Saturday morning.)

The Masters race will have live tracking and you can find information on that and more about the race at .  Rob Howard will be posting news and photos for SleepMonsters over the weekend.

About The Author

Rob Howard
Rob is Editor of He's traveled the world reporting on and photographing adventure races and day-to-day he keeps his finger on the pulse of AR to ensure SleepMonsters is the heartbeat of the sport.

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