re-sized pactola-lake Dakota

Adventure racing in the picturesque Black Hills of South Dakota

For somebody just getting into Adventure Racing here’s something for you – an 8hr, 15-20 mile race called the 7242 – in the beautiful Black Hills of Dakota, immortalised in the 1950’s film ‘Calamity Jane’ – sorry, couldn’t resist adding this little bit of history!

The Black Hills  are a small, isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming. Set off from the main body of the Rocky Mountains, the region is something of a geological anomaly.

Black Hills: Pactola Lake #4

American Indians have lived in the Black Hills since at least 7000 BCE. The Arikara arrived by 1500 AD, followed by the Cheyenne, Crow, Kiowa and Pawnee. The Lakota arrived from Minnesota in the eighteenth century and drove out the other tribes, claiming the land, which they called HeSapa, Black Mountains, for themselves. Now the Lakota, Sioux and Cheyenne claim rights to the land saying that in their culture it was considered the axis mundi, or “sacred center of the world”.

Dipping ever more deeply into history, following the defeat of the Lakota and their Cheyenne and Arapho allies fn 1876, the United States took control of the region from the Lakota in violation of the Treaty of Fort Laramie. The Lakota never accepted the validity of this purchase, and the area remains under dispute to this day…

The Black Hills of Dakota are, and always have been, an oasis of pine-clad mountains on the Great Plains.

Now you’ve had the history lesson, back to the race…

It is on Sunday, 4th October 2009 and registration is open now.

It will be approximately an 8-hour course depending on your level of fitness and navigational skills and it will include Mountain Biking, Trekking, Navigation, Photography, Acting and Joke Telling… a little different to the norm and why I feel it is a good one for newbies to the sport… an introductory run so to speak.

Competitors must be a 2-man team of either sex and must be 18 years old by the day of the competition. No support crews will be allowed.

This event is run by BHAR (Black Hills Adventure Racing). Realising that they lived in an area of astounding beauty and vast tracts of the great outdoors on offer, Josh Ellis & Mitch Ruedebusch established the company in the Fall of 2008. They plan on using the hills to challenge people both physically and mentally. “We all need to be challenged occasionally in life to find out what we are capable of,”  they say, and they look forward to seeing you out there…

To register please go directly to their site:

And prizes? “The winning team for each division will receive the donations given for that particular division.  May not be enough to overcome the recession but beer money is always good!” they say.

Black Hills, SD

The photographs give you an idea of the diversity of the region – and don’t forget, Mount Rushmore is there too…

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3 Responses to “Adventure racing in the picturesque Black Hills of South Dakota”

  1. Natasha
    2012 | 30 March at 15:25 #

    I just want to note that the picture you have placed at the bottom of this article is NOT the Black Hills. It’s called the Badlands, and is nearly 60 miles away from the area this race covers.

    • gavin
      2012 | 31 March at 09:51 #

      Hi Natasha

      Thanks for the heads-up. The image name has been updated now to Badlands, with your excerpt noting the distance from the race.

      Many thanks

      • Natasha
        2013 | 23 January at 16:43 #

        No Problem… although, as a side note, anyone who visits should take the trip there! 😉 It’s well worth the view, even if you don’t bike all the way to it…

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