To be a part of ARES, the event must meet some basic requirements, such as:
The rules of adventure racing vary by race. However, virtually all races should include these cardinal rules of racing:
In addition, each race will have their own special rules. For example: penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct, public protest or „displays of disgust“ with race rules; failing to travel as a team; traveling within a wilderness boundary, destruction of property; damage to race equipment; testing positive for banned substance; missing race bib; administration of IV fluids other than by race medical staff.
Some races may also involve skill tests.
AR European Series (ARES):
Every team competing in the race included in ARES will get ranking dependent points. The matrix can be downloaded here. The winner of ARES is the team with highest total sum of points. ARES cup winner will get free entry to AREC (European Championships) next year.
AR European Championships (AREC):
Every year one of the participating races is announced to be AR European Championships. The winner of this race is AR European Champion and the reward is prize money equal to entry fee of the next AR World Championships!
ARES fund and charges:
All race organizers have to pay fee in ARES fund to cover basic costs of ARES. These financial resources are used to pay entry fee to ARWC instead of AR European Champion and to cover another operational costs. Organizers of ARES race must pay 1000,- Euro; Organizers of AR European Championships must pay 2500,- Euro, and at the same time must accept the registration of the ARES cup winner from last year at no costs (free of charge).
In addition – ARES helps organizers to promote their events, it´s possible to publish all required informations through ARES web page and all organizers can edit informations about their races on ARES facebook page.
Typically races will feature an organizational meeting either the night before or the morning of the race. At this meeting the course will be revealed for the first time. For sprints, racers may follow a marked course. For longer races, racers may be given maps marked to show checkpoints („CPs“) or racers may be simply given coordinates (usually UTM coordinates) that indicate where the CPs will be found. Special rules, last minute changes and other information may also be provided at the meeting.
Racers (teams) are required to visit a series of checkpoints or passport controls (CPs), usually in a specific order.
Most races include one or more transition areas that teams can visit to replenish supplies. Typically, teams change to another mode of travel in a transition area. For instance, teams will end a trekking leg and transition to mountain biking in a transition area. Shorter races often feature a single transition area that teams may visit numerous times during the event. Teams will leave food, water, paddling and biking gear, fresh clothing and any other items they may need during the course of the race.
Longer races feature multiple transition areas. Team gear is transported either by a support crew (provided by the team) or by the racing staff.
Virtually all adventure races feature mandatory gear that must be carried during part or all of the race. Races will often include mandatory pre-race gear checks by race personnel and harsh penalties or disqualification may result if a team lacks the requisite equipment.
In addition to pre-race gear checks, many race organizers also include on-course gear checks. This helps to ensure that teams that start with approved gear, compete with, and finish a race with that same gear.
Adventure races attract individuals of greatly divergent abilities. To make the sport more inclusive, many race directors will „short course“ racers; allow racers who miss mandatory time cut-offs to continue racing on a reduced-length course. These racers will often earn an official finish time but be „unranked“ and not eligible for prizes. Some races provide the option for teams to skip certain CPs but incur a time penalty (which often must be „served“ during the race).
Most adventure races are team events, with expedition length races typically requiring a set number of teammates (usually four) and requiring the teams to be co-ed. Many racers find the team aspect of adventure racing to be among the most enticing and demanding aspects.
Teams typically elect a team captain and designate a team navigator. Teams have different views as to the functions of each of these positions, with some teams having very little structure, while others assigned specifics rights and responsibilities to each of these persons. For example, a team that stresses a democratic philosophy may limit the captain’s role to be the keeper of the racing passport and rules, and limit the navigator’s role to carrying the map and being primarily responsible for determining the team’s position at any given time. A more regimented team may give the captain ultimate responsibility for making all decisions regarding rest schedules, rule interpretations and the like, while the navigator has full responsibility for not only tracking the team’s location, but determining route choice as well.
Although teams have been successful with differing organizational philosophies, few teams are able to complete expedition length races with poor team dynamics. Determining roles, goals and team philosophy before the start of the race is critical.
Adventure racing has been said to allow an individual to find his or her limits and push through them. Racing often takes participants out of their comfort zone by challenging competitors with unfamiliar surroundings, often while sleep deprived and physically exhausted.
Note: typically paddling gear or ropes for climbing will be provided by race organizers