It's like a triathlon, with a twist. The racers won't know where they are going beforehand.
On Aug. 25, the Webster County Adventure Race will bring folks out to run, pedal and paddle a roughly 17-mile course through one of Iowa's largest state parks, while practicing their map-reading skills and completing other obstacles in their way.
"You will find out that morning what exactly the course is," said Webster County Naturalist Karen Hansen. "You will be counting on your own map-reading skills, and orienteering your way around. That's the adventure part."
This is the fourth year of the race, but the first time it will be at Brushy, said event organizer Matt Cosgrove.
"For the last three years it's been a race from Fort Dodge to Kennedy Park and back. This year we decided to change locations and mix it up a little bit," Cosgrove said.
"We think there is a lot of merits to changing scenery, changing location, making it as interesting as possible," Hansen said.
Participants will meet at 9 a.m. to get their race maps and passports, which will be stamped at checkpoints along the route. Racers will canoe or kayak, bicycle and run along the course. Participants should bring their own off-road bikes and compasses. Kayaks and canoes will be available to rent for $15; those who bring their own boats must register them.
"We'll have challenges along the way, where they'll have to stop and complete some kind of activity," Cosgrove said. "When they complete that they'll get a stamp in their passport."
The race is open to anyone 12 years old and older. Those under 17 will need a waiver signed by a parent or guardian.
If you go:
What: Fourth annual Webster County Adventure Race
Who: Webster County Conservation
When: 9 a.m. Aug. 25
Where: Brushy Creek State Recreation Area, beginning at the beach area.
Length: Roughly two to four hours. Distances are approximately 2 miles kayaking/canoeing, 3 miles running, 12 miles biking.
Registration: Due by Aug. 20. $30 per person, online at http://www.webstercountyia.org.
Cosgrove and Hansen said the race was designed to be fun for anyone.
"It's set up for people of all ability levels," said Cosgrove. "We have three divisions, so you can compete solo in all three activities; you can compete as a two-person team, where you and your teammate would stay together and do all the activities together; or you can do a three-person relay where one person does each activity.
"This is more of a friendly competition. Some people take it a little more seriously than others, but really it's just a fun activity to get out, see Brushy Creek, and bike, run and kayak through it."
The race is made possible by Webster County Conservation, the Fort Dodge Young Professionals and Friends of Webster County Conservation.
"It's a group effort, it takes more than what our staff can do," he said.
Application forms and registration packets containing more information are at www.webstercountyia.org. The deadline for registration is Aug. 20.