14-Yr-Outdated Races Solo, Beats Out Grownup Groups in Journey Race

Competing in opposition to 21 different groups of all ages, 14-year-old Ian Dunlap placed on a solo orienteering clinic and nabbed first place on the 2022 Mission Lite Journey Race.

Like triathlons or ultras, journey races demand a diversified skillset and sustained focus. Though there’s no standardized format for journey racing, most occasions contain human-powered journey on foot, bicycle, and canoe.

Races happen in a number of segments, the place groups of 1, two, or three make the most of map-and-compass navigation to find waystations or checkpoints. For each checkpoint they attain in a preset timeframe, groups earn factors. Within the case of a factors tie, the quickest group takes the glory.

Mission Lite Journey Race

On Might 7, Ian Dunlap participated within the Mission Lite — a 4-hour race hosted by Do INdiana Off-road (D.IN.O). Apart from 14-year-old Dunlap and three different groups, all competing events had two or three members.

When the mud cleared, Dunlap had reached 9 checkpoints in 3 hours and 48 minutes to earn the highest spot on the rostrum. He completed 12 minutes quicker than the following solo racer and a whopping 27 minutes forward of the second-place group.

Per D.IN.O’s race guidelines, rivals are allowed to bypass sure segments of the racecourse in change for a one-point penalty. The individuals don’t know the sequence of the segments beforehand.

Skipping a phase is a danger. Rivals might select to lose some extent in favor of leaping forward to the segments they really feel extra assured about.

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However Dunlap used the rule to his benefit.

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Dunlap’s Strategic Gamble

As {the teenager} accomplished the preliminary biking phase of the Mission Lite, he made a strategic and improvised choice to skip out on canoeing and sacrifice some extent.

“Whereas driving, I noticed a number of groups heading again from the paddle part,” Dunlap advised us. “I took a have a look at the map and it appeared about 3-4 km there and again, which might have taken me nearly 2 hours to earn only one level.”

By eschewing the paddling, Dunlap was in a position to leap forward to his pure wheelhouse: orienteering. “I’ve been orienteering for about half my life, and I take into account this my strongest self-discipline in journey racing,” Dunlap mentioned.

In the end, the improvised audible got here up large for Dunlap — he scored 4 factors in orienteering, which greater than made up for his penalty.

In response to D.IN.O Race Director Brian Holzhausen, Dunlap’s success within the orienteering phase was a sight to behold. “It’s not nearly technique. It’s a really hilly and hard course,” mentioned Holzhausen. “Ian’s not a slacker. He put in a most effort — it was a well-deserved win.”

Although D.IN.O’s races are hosted solely in Indiana, journey races are popping up throughout the globe. Within the U.S., the first organizing physique of journey racing is the United States Journey Racing Affiliation (USARA).

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D.IN.O’s 4-hour Mission Lite is an entry-level model of the 18-hour Mission Journey Race. Grown-ups be warned: The 14-year-old plans to compete in the primary occasion subsequent yr.

A team arriving to their canoes for the paddling portion of their Adventure Race at USARA Nationals in 2021.
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