Blue Ridge Adventure Race

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Blue Ridge Adventure Race – The Largest Event in American Adventure Racing History

Press Release / 07.05.2021See All Event Posts Follow Event
Paddling at the Blue Ridge AR
Paddling at the Blue Ridge AR / © Legendary Randy Ericksen

This weekend (May 7th and 8th), the 24th Annual Blue Ridge Adventure Race will once again have racers combing the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains for checkpoints. The event, sponsored by the City of Blue Ridge, and put on by ARGeorgia, is just two hours north of Atlanta but is a world away from the city’s notorious traffic and busy airport.

With two races at the event, the Blue Ridge AR is able to take on first time adventurers as well as experienced teams like Mountain Goat Adventures, THISability, and Privateer Chattanooga.

The 8-hour race will range through the Chattahoochee National forest surrounding the mountain town of Blue Ridge, exploring some of the best areas of the Aska trail system and including a great paddle down the Tocca River.  Depending on their speed and ability teams can expect between 20-30 miles of mountain biking, 5-8 miles of trekking ad 4-8 miles of canoeing. The race starts at 06.30am on Saturday.

The 24-hour course arches west into the forest, probing deep into the Cohutta Mountains on a course which includes the best mountain bike trails in Georgia, plus a challenging river paddle. This year the race includes a bearing course so teams will need to have a basic understanding of how to shoot a bearing and count steps.  This race starts 3.30pm on Friday.

When both races end in Blue Ridge Saturday afternoon, it will be a watershed moment for American Adventure racing.  ARGeorgia’s flagship race, the 72-hour Sea to Sea, attracted 257 participants in February 2021; the Blue Ridge AR has 241 racers in the 8-hour event alone, and combined with the 94 racers in the 24-hour segment has become the largest adventure race ever held in the United States. (Ed. It’s even more impressive as many regular US teams are heading to America’s Toughest Race, which starts Wednesday.)

Race Director Jeff Leininger says, “I am blown away by the enthusiasm for this event, and we are so lucky to have the Blue Ridge Mountains as our backyard. When we realized how many participants we were going to have, we were able to redesign the course to accommodate the larger group. This is such an incredible moment for our sport.”

The ARGeorgia team puts on eleven events per year, divided between adventure racing and ultramarathons, experience that will serve them well as the Blue Ridge participants test themselves against the mountains. “We’re looking forward to seeing the sport continue to grow,” says Leininger. “This is just the beginning.”

The Legendary Randy Ericksen will be making video updates throughout the race and you can follow these and race news on the AR Georgia Facebook page.  There is also a live race feed page on their website.

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