BELTZVILLE STATE PARK -- The Adventure Racing National Championship is being held in Carbon County this weekend.
“You’re challenging yourself and what you learn is that your body can handle a lot more than our mind will allow it to handle," adventure racer Jeff Bell said.
Adventure racing is a small team multi-sport event that utilizes mountain biking, trail running, canoeing and kayaking. The race lasts for 30 hours and is 100 miles long. This is the first time it’s been held in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
“They will get to see a lot of what put Northeast Pennsylvania on the map when it comes to the industrial Revolution they will be visiting a lot of those historic sites that are now ruins in the middle of the woods that rarely anyone gets to see,” adventure racing course designer Bill Gibbons said.
192 people from all over the country are broken up into teams if three. They'll be navigating their way through Beltzville State Park, parts of Jim Thorpe and other nearby places. The course is not marked, the participants have to use their own navigation skills to make it to checkpoints along the route.
“So, they have chances to improve by taking good routes or by their race being a lot longer by not taking the best routes, but that is their completely decision," Gibbons said.
Race participants say the key to doing well on the race all lies within the bond between teammates.
“The people who don’t do well are thinking about themselves and they forget about their teammates," Bell said. "If you're focused on them, and not you, the race becomes fun and you just have a good time.”
The race will finish around three pm on Saturday. Participants who make it to the most checkpoints throughout the 100 mile course in the fastest time will win a trophy.