Test of strength

Ripey County is new home to
‘MISSION Adventure Race’

More than 100 athletes
will compete in off-road challenge

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

VERSAILLES, Ind. (May 2007) – Brian Holzhausen of Indianapolis loves to work out. After competing for years in mountain bike races, Holzhausen had the opportunity to buy a racing organization called Do Indiana Off Road, or DINO.
Under Holzhausen’s leadership, DINO has expanded its off-road racing to include trail runs, off-road triathlons and adventure racing. This year, DINO’s fifth annual “MISSION Adventure Race” has relocated to Ripley County, Ind. The event is scheduled for May 12.

Adventure Race

Photo provided

Adventure races compete in a variety
of disciplines, including canoeing.

“We moved the race to Versailles this year because prior participants had the advantage when we did the race in the same place,” he said. “The new terrain will give a fresh feel to the adventure race.”
There will also be a new MISSION Lite adventure race that offers beginners a taste of the exciting challenges of adventure racing. A shorter, four-hour cutoff, less complex navigation and reduced gear list will help beginning teams.
“The shorter race is specifically designed for first-timers who are in reasonable fit shape,” said Holzhausen.
More than 100 participants are expected to travel from around the country to Versailles to compete in this 18-hour event. The race consists of cycling, trekking, canoeing, ropes events, orienteering and more. Teams of two or three athletes stay together as they explore roads, trails, creeks, lakes, and back woods of Ripley County. They will navigate the course using only a map and compass to find their way through the race.
Holzhausen said DINO started in 1990 with mountain bike races. By the mid-1990s, the races grew into a series of about 10 to 20 per year. “It was going great and was really popular,” he said.
In 2001, the opportunity came up for Holzhausen and his wife, Amanda, to buy the DINO series. At the time, he was working as a civil engineer at Schneider Corp. He contacted former owner Kenny Cochran, who had owned and managed the series.
At first, he tried to manage both his job and the series, but then he realized he could quit his job and make a go of it with just the DINO series. As part of an expansion of the organization, he decided to add running races.
Of course, DINO running races are off-road along hiking or mountain bike trails. On a typical course, runners will face a variety of challenges, such as hills, dirt, rocks, roots and even sometimes mud and stream crossings. While record times may not be set on these courses, racers get to enjoy the most scenic and challenging trails in central Indiana.
After adding off-road triathlons, Holzhausen became interested in the adventure races.
“Most of the people who do adventure racing have some sort of background in biking or triathlons,” he said. “It is certainly not the type of race for the inexperienced athlete.”
Adventure athletes train by working out with their team on trail biking and hiking, navigation and many other disciplines that can be combined into an adventure race.
He has competed in the adventure races, himself. Last year, his team competed in the Planet Adventure race and finished eighth out of 35 teams. “Many of the teams drop out before they finish the race, so we felt good about where we finished,” he said.
In the five seasons DINO has offered its adventure racing, Holzhausen said it has experienced a tremendous growth in this area of competition.
“Our adventure race is a shorter version of the one many people have seen on television; people seem to enjoy it.”

• Anyone interested in participating in the MISSION Adventure Race or MISSION Lite should contact DINO at (317) 336-7553 or visit: www.DINOseries.com/mission.

Back to May 2007 Articles.



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