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Adventure Racing Ontario Series Finale

The long-running GHO (Golden Horseshoe Orienteering) team adventure run know as Raid the Hammer is happening on Sunday November 8th. This will be the 15th anniversary of the original adventure running I was there at the first one back in 2000. Tempus is really fugiting.

Once again, RtH will be the final race in the Adventure Racing Ontario Series. This is a series of 10 races running the gamut from full-on traditional adventure racing (Stars WAR Winter AR, Wilderness Traverse, ESAR), less navigationally challenging AR-offroad-multisport hybrids (Storm the Trent, RockStAR, Storm the Scarpment), team rogaines/adventure runs (Snowshoe Raid, Raid the Rib, Raid the Hammer) and an epic off-road multisport race (Bruce Peninsula Multisport Race) that started the 2015 season way back in January with the GHO Snowshoe Raid at Blue Mountain.

How it Works

Basically, you get a team roster of up to 5 racers together, try to survive the inevitable epic fights over the team name, and then race in either the Male, Female, or Coed categories. Each race offers up a maximum of either 50, 100, or 200 points, determined by a complex algorithm accounting for length, navigational complexity, number of disciplines, historical strength of the field, weather crappitude index, and arbitrary numbers pulled out of a hat at the drunken debauche-fest that passes for the pre-season Race Directors' meeting. I may have made some of that last bit up.

The “team” concept is proudly promiscuous, as people can race on different teams in different categories throughout the year. In order to ensure that people with no lives who can afford to go to every single race don't clean up every year, the number of events that can be counted is limited as follows: regardless of how many and which races a team runs, it can only count points from a group of events whose total of available points is not more than 300. I think that covers the basics. If you are an insufferable pedant and insist on seeing an accurate and stunningly boring description of the rules, then here they are: The Rules

The Current Standings

Teams highlighted are registered to race RtH.


  1. Long Sault Longshots - Mississauga Fire(Rob Makurat, Dorota Urbaniak, Mark Taylor, Jacek Jackiewicz)

  2. Attack From Above(Chris Laughren, Julie Parent, Paul Heuts, Patrick Crampton, AndrewReeder)

  3. Notta Walkers(Jaimie Walker, Steve Walker, Jeff Fitchett)

  4. Spinning out of Control(Chris Legge, Greg Diamond, Kelly Legge, Kevin Von Cube, Wayne Bennett)

  5. Exerkine-Adventure running-X(Milla Tarnopolsky, Mark Tarnopolsky, Mike Waddington, Emma Waddington)


  1. Tree Huggers(Barb Campbell, Denise Rispolie, Cathy Gallagher, Virginia Gingras, Ursula Tracz)

  2. The Breakfast Club(Tracy Roth, Ginger Gibson, Connie Byham, Emily Donkers)

  3. Navigate This Again(Michele Kitson, Willow Barker, Kelly Jackson, Angela Shepard)

  4. The Blister Sisters and the Bandaid(Janis Jarvis, Glenis McLaren, Jean Corner)

  5. That's not on the Map(Amber Panchyshyn, Iris Neher, Sally Heath)


  1. Pullin Foot(Tom Koster, Jason Livingstone, Jeff Livingstone, Johnathan Newell, Greg Critchley)

  2. Rickvansenk(Luka Senk, Stu Vander Geest, Rick Atkinson, Matt Campbell)

  3. Flummoxed(Ken Batten, David Crawford, James Schmidt, Simon Mellor)

  4. Outliers(Craig Adkins, Pete Denison, Jason Stark, Don McAlister, Cam Farrell)

  5. Muck Dynasty(Brandon Ashmore, Mike Lawton, Michael Burgess)

Based on the points and the currently registered teams as of Tuesday November 3rd, none of 1st place teams can be dethroned. However, there are 3 teams who could move into the top-3 with strong races here at RtH...

Coed – Spinning out of Control could move to 3rd if they finish 2nd or better

Female - Navigate This Again could move to 2nd with a win

Male – Black Swan Racing could move up to 3rd with 5th place finish and into 2nd with a 3rd place finish

How Did They Get Here?

The Female leaders - Tree Huggers - have shown across-the-board versatility with top placings at 2 Raids, 1 Adventure Race, and 1 Multisport race. They managed 48 and 49 points at the Snowshoe Raid and Raid the Rib, added 100 points at ESAR, and finished it off with another 100 at Storm the Scarp.

The Breakfast Club only did 3 races, but they were all 100 point-ers and they made them count. They were consistent top finishers at Storm the Trent, ESAR, and RockstAR scoring 92, 97, and 98 points.

These team clashed only once during the series, with the Huggers beating out the Breakfast Club 100 to 97 at ESAR.

In the Male division, Pullin Foot continued their strong performances from last year. They managed a near-perfect score with 99 points at Storm the Trent, 100 at ESAR and 100 at Storm the Scarp.

Team Rickvansenk went short, medium, and long to get their 2nd place total. They collected 47 points at Giant's Rib, 97 at ESAR, and 196 at Wilderness Traverse.

Head-to-head it was Pullin Foot holding a 2-1 record, beating Rickvansenk at Storm the Trent and ESAR, while being edged out at Raid the Rib.

Coed leaders Long Sault Long Shots have been prolific and consistent, getting their near-perfect score from the sprint multisport/adventure races. They scored 100 points in each of RockstAR and Storm the Scarp, and picked up 99 at ESAR.

Attack From Above was the top Coed performer at the Raid adventure run races, with 50 and 48 points at the Snowshoe Raid and Raid the Rib respectively. They nailed down their 2nd place spot with 195 points at Wilderness Traverse.

These two top Coed teams only went head-to-head once, with Attack outscoring Long Shots by 48 points to 46 at Raid the Rib.

Team to watch

The Warriors, with a crazy impressive rookie performance at the toughest race of the series, Wilderness Traverse, are going to be a force next year. They are strong runners, with x-country skiing engines and mad orienteering skills. If they do more than 1 race, then look for them to place top-3 for sure.

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