Crooked River Adventure Series Starts July 9
Once again this year, Portage Park District, Kent Parks and Recreation and Kent State University are collaborating on the Crooked River Adventure Race Series, which consists of three adventure races taking place throughout Portage County this summer and fall.
All races give participants a chance to connect with the area’s natural and cultural resources, highlighting the Cuyahoga River, along with historic sites, parks, trails, hike and bike trails, nature preserves and scenic landscapes. Dave Herpy, Kent State’s outdoor adventure coordinator and race series committee chair, says the races help promote our area’s greatest local natural resource, the Cuyahoga River, as well as our local parks and recreational opportunities.
Two of the races, the Black Squirrel Adventure Triathlon and the Brady’s Leap Adventure Race, specifically highlight the city of Kent and the university. Kent State students, faculty and staff, as well as Portage County community members, are encouraged to participate in the races.
“These events are perfect for anyone with a sense of adventure, from the first time adventure racer to the seasoned competitor,” Herpy says. “Everyone who participates in all three races will receive series mementos. Prizes will be awarded to the solo racers (male and female) and each person of 2-person all-phase teams finishing with the top 3 overall series times.”
Herpy also encourages local businesses to register and participate as teams. Last year, more than 400 people between the ages of eight and 68 participated in at least one of the races, and organizers hope to increase overall registration by 25 percent this year.
The three races are:
Headwaters Adventure Race – July 9
Starts at 8 a.m. at Buchert Park, Mantua Village.
$40 registration; $15 canoe rental; $10 kayak rental
Go solo or grab a friend to make a relay or all-phase team and have a great time for a good cause! Presented by the Portage Park District Foundation, this event starts and ends at Buchert Park, Mantua Village and features a 2-mile run on the Headwaters Trail past state nature preserves, a 10-mile cycle on rural roads past preserved farms and historic sites to Camp Hi Canoe Livery, then a 5-mile paddle back to Mantua on the Upper Cuyahoga Scenic River. And a few other adventures along the way! Stay after the race for Mantua’s Art on the Hill event. For more information and online registration, visit www.portageparkdistrict.org or call 330-297-7728.
Black Squirrel Adventure Triathlon – Aug. 6
Starts at 9 a.m. at Heritage Park, Kent.
$35 individual; $70 team; $80 relay
Go solo or as part of a 2-person all-phase team, or as part of a 2-4-person relay team. Presented by Kent Parks and Recreation Dept., this event features a 2-mile canoe/kayak leg down the Cuyahoga River beginning at Tannery Park, a 5-mile bike ride on the Portage Hike and Bike trail out and back, then along Middlebury Rd. to Fred Fuller Park, and a 2-mile run that travels along Riveredge Trail to Fred Fuller Park to finish on the Main St. Bridge. Day of race registration. Enjoy an after-race concert in downtown Kent at the Home Savings Plaza. For more information, visit www.kentparksandrec.com or call 330-673-8897.
Brady’s Leap Adventure Race – Oct. 22
Starts at 10 a.m. at Kent State’s Student Recreation and Wellness Center, Kent.
$30 for Kent State students and Student Recreation and Wellness Center members; $40 for nonmembers.
Go solo or as part of a team. Presented by Kent State Adventure Center, this out-and-back traditional adventure race includes biking, paddling, trail running and rock climbing. The course features many of the historic areas that Captain Brady raced through to escape the Native Americans, including the Portage Hike and Bike Trail, Brady Lake, Towner's Woods and the Cuyahoga River. Racers are provided with a satellite image and topographic map of the area with a list of checkpoints and then they’re on their own to navigate the route. For more information, visit www.kent.edu/recservices or call 330-672-2803.