ROCKFORD, Mich. (WOOD) — Hundreds of outdoor enthusiasts navigated their way through Camp Roger in Rockford on Saturday for the fifth annual Winter Edition of the Michigan Adventure Race.
The mild temperatures and lack of snow did not seem to discourage racers. Teams of two and three ran, biked, and snow-shoed their way through the woods, reaching course checkpoints and facing various challenges along the way.
Mark VanTongeren, Race Director for Michigan Adventure Racing, said it’s largest winter adventure race in the United States.
“It says something about West Michigan. I think the way people are networked, people are like ‘come on, try this race’ and that helps a lot,” VanTongeren said. “And I think people here are just used to toughing it out through winters, so I think it’s not really that big of a deal to them.”
Kyle Heys, one of the overall winners of the race, said part of the challenge is the unpredictable nature of the course.
“You’re in the woods, you don’t know what terrain you’re going to get to, you don’t know what the challenges are going to be,” Heys said. “So it’s a blast to kind of figure it out as you go.”
Competitors could donate to charity to get a leg up on certain challenges. The charitable donations will fund a Camp Roger scholarship for kids who are unable to afford summer camp.