There are enough triathlons and duathlons out there. How about a true test of your season-end conditioning? After five successful years as one of the most difficult sprint triathlons in the world, The Gut Check was reconfigured last year as a point-to-point adventure race within Cape Cod’s 2000-acre DCR Nickerson State Park. Each year, the course is different — and no one knows exactly what it will be until shortly before the race. Know that the 2021 race morning will be one that you won’t soon forget!
Until shortly before the race, all you’ll know about this year’s Gut Check is that it will combine running, cycling, orienteering and water crossing (two race categories: swim or surfboard/paddleboard). You will present yourself at designated checkpoints along the way. Expect a finishing time of 1 to 2 hours. Whether you compete solo or with a group of your friends (2, 3 or 4 persons), the objective is to use your wits and fitness to scramble your way (and, on the last cliff climb, it will be a scramble!) to the finish.
Prepare yourself for this event by training to be capable of running and biking for about two hours. Competitors can choose from swimming or paddling — any kind of board will do: SUP, kneeling paddleboard, surfboard. Bring your own, or a limited supply will be available to rent. Be prepared for over a half-mile of swimming and over a mile of paddling. Bring — at the least — a compass and a map! There will be four race categories: solo, two-person, three-person and four-person. All members of a team must remain in close contact and finish at the same time.
Where to go: Instructions will be emailed in advance; volunteers will direct you at park entrance
Race configuration: The 2021 event will involve trail running, road cycling and swimming OR board paddling (paddleboard, SUP or surfboard — no kayaks or canoes). A limited number of rental boards will be available; registered athletes will be provided a link to reserve.
Training: Fast athletes should prepare to be able to run/bike at sub-threshold for 90 minutes. Other athletes should be able to run and bike at aerobic level for two-plus hours. Training similar to that for an Olympic distance triathlon will be more than sufficient.
What to bring: Running gear, road bike with helmet, paddleboard with leash, safety gear (see registration page)
Water/Nutrition: Provided at checkpoints (5-8 per race)
Awards: Categories are male solo and female solo, overall as well as specified age groups. Also: 2-athlete team, 3-athlete team, 4-athlete team.
Rain Date: None. Course may be modified due to unusual weather conditions.
Questions: All athletes will receive email communications with further details as race date nears.