Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic

July 2009
The original adventure race. 180 miles in 3 days 17 hours across the Hayes Range by foot and packraft, on just 2 hours of sleep. First place.

The Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic could be considered “the original adventure race.” It was first held in 1982, seven years before the first Raid Gauloises, thirteen years before the first Eco-Challenge, and twenty years before the first Primal Quest. I’ll add that the Classic could also be considered the only “real” adventure race — today’s most well-known races are really just a prescribed sequence of outdoor sports; and burdensome rules, substantial mandatory gear lists, aid stations and support crews, and numerous checkpoints neutralize much of the “adventure” from these television-oriented events.

How does a fit backpacker with little experience in Alaska — though ample experience in the Lower 48 — perform here?

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