PIKA 101 [a racer’s guide]

Start: The race start location will be announced at bib pick-up. Start times TBA.

Finish: The finish line location will be released at bib pick-up. Note that there are two different race divisions-a 6-hour and a 12-hour, so mandatory finish times may be different for each race based on their true start times-assuming each race starts on time, racers from both divisions should expect to finish by 6 pm.

Registration: Registration closes Sunday, July 4-ABSOLUTELY NO EXCEPTIONS. There will be bag and bib pickup available at the Wind River Mountain Festival. There will be NO last-chance registration available at the Festival OR beyond July 4, so if you’re habitually “that guy,” don’t be. Putting on a race like this is difficult enough without last-minute changes.

Checkpoints: There are multiple checkpoints along the courses. Checkpoints may be checked in any order, but must be completed in the correct leg (eg. you may not get biking checkpoints on foot, etc.). Checkpoints may be skipped in the interest of time, but your team’s placing will be determined by number of checkpoints first and finishing time second.

Transition Areas: TAs are checkpoints where racers switch disciplines (bike to trek, trek to paddle). You will be able to leave LABELED (put your name on these, please!) bins or bags of gear at some TAs. Make sure your TA bins are well stocked-stash extra clothes, socks, shoes, food, drinks, first-aid, etc. Unlike checkpoints, all TAs are mandatory. Racers are responsible for placing their own TA bins the morning of the race unless otherwise noted at the pre-race meeting. Location of each transition area will be handed out with bib pickups. Each TA will have snacks, basic first-aid equipment and water. Bring your own container-Surly Pika is a cupless race. If a team does not check in at a TA before it closes, Search and Rescue will be notified, and they will begin a search. DO NOT SKIP A TA.

Mandatory Gear: Mandatory gear is mandatory. There will be random gear checks on the course. There will be a time penalty for each missing piece of mandatory gear. Don’t skip anything on the mandatory gear list.

Other Gear: Use good judgment. You must be able to get from TA to TA without resupply. Be prepared for sudden and drastic weather changes, and to be out for longer than you expect. Gear belts are not recommended-lightweight backpacks are best.

Punch Cards: Each team will be provided with a punch card. All checkpoints are marked by white and orange flags.  A unique punch is at each checkpoint-punch your card in the appropriate box to show you achieved that checkpoint. If you lose your card, another may be provided, however, only the punches on the card you have at the finish will count, so get it together and don’t lose your punch card.

Boats: Boats for the paddle sections of Surly Pika must be man-powered-no sails or motors are allowed. If you do not have a boat, the Great Outdoor Shop has a limited number of canoes and kayaks for rent. All boats are required to have the Aquatic Invasive Species sticker available from Wyoming Game and Fish. Boats must be dropped off at the staging area prior to the race start. The boat staging area will be manned on race day for drop-off, or boats may be dropped off the night before as well. Surly Pika Adventure Race nor its agents or volunteers are responsible for damage or theft of boats.

Bikes: While the Surly Pika bike leg takes place on a trail, racers should still have a mountain bike-a road bike will not be sufficient.

Maps: Race-specific maps will be handed out the morning of the race at the pre-race meeting. Other maps specific to the area will be announced closer to race day.

Entourage: Adventure racing is not the most spectator-friendly sport. However, family, friends and fans may cheer you along where able. Transition Areas are the best for this. TA locations will be handed out with bibs. Remember, no outside assistance is allowed, although fans may shuttle you to the start, or pick up your bike or TA gear after you finish. The finish line (location to be announced at bib pick-up) will also be a great place to gather.

Leave No Trace: Pack it in, pack it out. Guess what? Everybody poops and nobody wants to see yours. Bury it. Remember that we are guests of the Forest. The Surly Pika Adventure Race is granted access by a special-use permit from the United States Forest Service and future races depend on you. Please be respectful of each other and of the area. Rules and regulations exist for a reason. Don’t be an asshole.

Bear Safety: You are racing in bear country. The Wind River Range is home to both grizzly and black bears. Although an encounter is unlikely, each team is strongly encouraged to carry bear spray and to know how to use it. Teams are also responsible for knowing how to travel in bear country. Take extra precautions with your food-please don’t litter or leave food behind. This protects both you and the animals in the area. Safety should be a team’s first priority-respect safe distances while in the presence of all animals.

Assistance: Pikas are expected to be self-sufficient! Racers may not receive outside help, but are allowed to accept or give help from/to other racers. In the event of injury, racers are obligated to stop and help each other. This is a team race from start to finish. Stick together.

Manners: We do not receive special use of the trails as racers. We are still required to abide by all trail rules. Please yield to other trail users and say “Excuse me” and “Thank you.” You must yield to horses. Remember, you are wearing race bibs and are representing Surly Pika Adventure Race-everything you do, or do not do is a reflection of the entire race. The possibility of future events depends on you. Also remember your manners while interacting with race volunteers! Putting on a race like this is an enormous undertaking and our volunteers are taking time away from their homes and families to help make the event successful. Treat all volunteers with respect-they certainly deserve it. Tell them “Thank you.” Tell them more than once. Should you have a concern or a complaint, please reach out to a Race Director.


  • Race Directors win all arguments, so don’t even bother.
  • No motorized forms of travel.
  • No GPS/Phone navigation assistance. Altimeters and odometers are okay.
  • Pikas must be within 20-meters on foot and 50-meters on bike of their teammates at all times.
  • Helmets must be worn at all times while on bikes and PFDs must be worn at all times while in boats.
  • Only ride on trails. Bikes are not to be ridden at any time off trail.
  • Failure to comply with any of these rules may result in team disqualification or time penalty.