High Profile Adventure Race at YCB

Eli Rolli, Summer Camp DirectorWritten By: Eli Rolli, Camp Director. This past weekend YMCA Camp Benson hosted the 11th Annual Lightning Strikes Adventure Race. Over 100 racers from 11 different states gathered at camp to compete in either the 4-hour or 8-hour adventure race. Participants use a map and compass to navigate from checkpoint to checkpoint trying to clear them all in the fastest time possible. Along the way racers are mountain biking, rock climbing, rappelling, ascending a fixed rope and zip lining across the Waukarusa River.

This is phenomenal weekend of learning and racing in the outdoors put on by High Profile Adventure Camp. About half of our participants are new to the sport and are here to learn the basic skills of adventure racing. Other participants are very experienced and love coming to camp for this race. 

The more novice racers arrived at Camp Benson on Friday evening in order to attend seminars on orienteering and adventure racing for beginners. On Saturday morning everyone headed to the Mississippi Palisades State Park to hone their land navigation skills. The participants then spent Saturday afternoon rappelling, zip lining and rock climbing at camp. World Champion Adventure Racer Robyn Benincasa shared some of her racing experiences with the group and discussed the importance of teamwork during a race on Saturday evening. Robyn is one of the top motivational speakers in the country and holds three Guinness World Records. Rock climbing at YMCA Camp Benson

Both the 4-hour and the 8-hour Adventure Race started bright and early at 7 a.m. on Sunday morning. Some people competed in the race by themselves while others competed as a team. The Lightning Strikes Adventure Race is open to the public and to all ages. This year a record number of families competed in the race with the youngest racer being 7 years old. We even had a camper family participate this year and they placed second in their division! That was awesome. 

The 3-person coed team Wedali (We Eat Dirt And Like It) won the 8-hour race thus qualifying them for the USARA National Championship in Pennsylvania. The Wedali team cleared all of the checkpoints and all 5 bonus checkpoints in a time of 7 hours and 20 minutes. This team hails from Minnesota is has won multiple National Championships.

This race takes the High Profile Team a year to plan and is only made possible by the 30 plus dedicated volunteers who help put it on. YMCA Camp Benson loves hosting this event and we are excited to be hosting the Thunder Rolls Adventure Race, which consists of a 12-hour and 24-hour adventure race, will be hosted at YMCA Camp Benson on the weekend of August 18-20.

Adventure Race participants at YMCA Camp Benson, an overnight summer camp in Illinois.

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