Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mighty MO Expedition Wends Way Through Ozarks

Photo by Mike Bitton
A team shoots through Class III whitewater on the St. Francis River in Southeast Missouri during the Mighty MO Expedition adventure race.

I just got back from the Ozark Mountains of Southeast Missouri, where I covered the Mighty MO Expedition adventure race. It was fun to catch up with the teams I'd already met, and great to meet even more teams I never knew.

If you aren’t familiar with adventure races, they are multi-sport endurance events. In most adventure races, athletes will at the very least hike/trek/run, mountain bike and paddle either whitewater or flat water. Race directors add to or subtract from these core disciplines depending on the available terrain. One thing that is nearly universal in adventure racing is that the course is not marked. Athletes must find their way through the course, hitting every checkpoint in order, to avoid a time penalty.

In Missouri, I was on assignment for Checkpoint Zero. That’s a website that covers adventure racing ( If you visit the site and click on the “Features” link at the top of the page, you’ll be taken to a page showing the biggest adventure races in the world. If you click on the Mighty MO Expedition adventure race logo, you’ll be taken to the coverage I provided of the event. I wrote several journalism-style news stories during the race, as well as magazine-style features profiling three of the participating teams in the weeks leading up to the event.

My next assignment for Checkpoint Zero is the TRIOBA sprint adventure race in Ellensburg, Wash., coming up May 20. Other Checkpoint Zero assignments will follow, including the Wicked Urban adventure race in Portland, Ore., on June 4, and the TRIOBA 12-hour adventure race July 15.

In August, I will cover the Adventure Racing World Championships for Checkpoint Zero. Lucky for me, school is out for the summer at that time, so I am available! I’ve heard teams will cross into the Arctic Circle. I’ve never been to Europe, and I’ve never been to the Arctic Circle, so this will be the trip of a lifetime for me!

No comments: