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It is an adventure race match made in heaven....Both the canoe capitol and mountain bike capitol of Virginia are located in the Shenandoah Valley, the site of the Shenandoah Tough 3.5-day Expedition Race! We'll provide the Southern Charm. Y'all bring the grit.

We brought you a world-class event with the Adventure Racing World Championship last August in Wyoming. Now let us show you around our home state! For the past 7 years we have been producing our flagship 24-hour adventure race--the Shenandoah Epic--in the Shenandoah Valley. Our dream has always been to expand this race to a multi-day expedition race to take advantage of all the terrain and outdoor amazingness this region offers. So was born the Shenandoah Tough, a 3.5 day expedition race that covers 250 miles and has soloists and teams of 2, 3 or 4 navigating their way across the challenging and beautiful terrain of the Northern Shenandoah via foot, mountain bike, and boat. As a nice bonus, it's also the last ARWS qualifier before the 2018 Adventure Racing World Championship.

Click on the racer guide to find out all the information you need to know about the 2018 Shenandoah Tough Expedition Adventure Race. Click here for the Course Logistics outline.

Once the race begins at 8 am on Sept. 13, follow along here. Click here for our Facebook page and AR Live Coverage, where we'll have tons of race coverage. 



Join us in Virginia, the state for Lovers and Adventure Racers, in September 2018, to test you and your teammates against other racers, the terrain, and sleep monsters. And earn a one-of-a-kind finish line feeling! 


Click here for the full schedule.

August 26: Course Logistics Plan released

Sept 2  – 10:00 am: Online pre-race brief

Sept 12 – 11:00 am: Check-in opens

Sept 12 – 11:00 am–3 pm: Gear check-in

Sept 12 – 11:00 am–3:00 pm: Bunk house assignments and move in

Sept 12 – 3:30 pm-5:30 pm: Ranking activity and team pictures

Sept 12 – 5:30 pm: Dinner served

Sept 12 – 7:00 pm–9:00 pm: Load bikes and gear bins

Sept 12 – 8:00 pm: Volunteer meeting 

Sept 13 – 6:00–6:30 am: Final team meeting/maps released

Sept 13 - 6:30 am: Light buffet breakfast available (included)

Sept 13 – 8:00 am: Race start!

Sept 16 - noon: Race cutoff

Sept 16 - 6:00 pm: Dinner and awards ceremony


The start and finish line, and host hotel, of the Shenandoah Tough is the beautiful and classically Southern Shrine Mont Conference and Retreat Center in Orkney Springs. (Accommodations are included with the race registration fee!) The majority of the race will take place in the Northern Shenandoah Valley, the Shenandoah Mountains, and George Washington National Forest. This area is a quick 1.5-hour drive from Washington DC but puts you into some of the most beautiful, rugged, and challenging terrain anywhere in the United States. 

Virginia, also known as the Old Dominion, is where the south began. It was the first permanent English colony and eight U.S. presidents were born here, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. During the Civil War the Shenandoah Valley was considered "The Breadbasket of the Confederacy." Today, the Big Valley serves as a hub of all kinds of outdoor adventures, plus a place to find some delicious wine and apple cider. Y'all join us!


Mountain bike, trail run/trek, paddle class I-III water (canoe), challenges, and navigation

Course Overview

  • Distance: 250-300 miles

  • Format: Point-to-point, nonstop race with all points being mandatory. Teams will not be short-coursed the first 24 hours of the race. After that time teams may be allowed to continue on a short course as unofficial if they feel they cannot finish the full mandatory course.

  • Estimated winning time: 40-50 hours

  • Course open: 3.5 days (84 hours)


  • Soloists (Male or Female)

  • Two-person team (Female, Male, and Co-ed)

  • Three-person team (Female, Male, and Co-ed)

  • Four-person team (Female, Male, and Co-ed)


ARWS standard rules and Adventure Enablers course rules.

Team Limit

50 teams


ARWS standard equipment list. Canoes are provided.


Total prize purse is $9,000. Only 4-person co-ed teams are eligible for prize money.

  • 1st - $4,000

  • 2nd - $2,500

  • 3rd - $1,500

  • 4th - $1,000

  • 5th - $500

The first place, 4-person co-ed teams also receives free entry to the 2018 AR World Championship on Reunion Island in France.

Other prizes are generously provided by sponsors.

Prize money is based on 30 teams entering. Purse may be adjusted if fewer teams compete.

Entry Fee

All prices are per person.


  • ​Super early registration is $800.00 per team member until December 31, 2017

  • Early registration is $900.00 per team member until March 31, 2018

  • NOW OPEN TO SOLOISTS: $1000 May 15-June 1, 2018

  • Regular registration is $1000.00 per team member and $1100.00 for soloists until June 30, 2018 

  • Late registration is $1100.00 per team member & $1200 for soloists until registration closes at midnight August 15, 2018

Accommodations and evening meals on the night before race start--9/12--and last day of the race--9/16--are included with the race registration fee.

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Click here to register.

Teams can put a $800 (that's one team member) nonrefundable deposit down to hold a spot. The remainder of entry fees must be made by March 31, 2018 or the deposit will be forfeited.


AR World Championship Qualifier

The Shenandoah Tough is an AR World series qualifier. 

The AR World Series unites in competition the worlds best endurance athletes at premiere Qualifier events around the globe. The racing calendar culminates annually at the AR World Championship, where these teams compete for the title of World Champion. Each year a new location is chosen to host the AR World Championship. Entry to the AR World Championship has been updated for 2018 and into the future and is as follows:


Winners of each AR World Series Qualifier receive a guaranteed spot and free entry to that year’s AR World Championship.*


Half of the remaining available entries are opened annually in February to teams with an AR World Ranking for a discounted price. If more teams register for these entries than there are spots available, then the teams with the highest rankings are chosen to fill these spots.**


The remaining entries are opened annually in late February as Wild Card spots to any team on first in basis. If a team missed out on a WORLD RANKING TEAM ENTRY they may try for these spots. Any WORLD RANKING TEAM ENTRY that was not filled will become available as a WILD CARD ENTRY.


*Qualifier wining entries may not be passed down to another team if the winning team does not race at the ARWC. If a Qualifier winner has already paid an entry fee through the WORLD RANKING TEAM ENTRY or WILD CARD ENTRY they they will be refunded this fee. Qualifier winners must race the AR World Championship with a minimum of two members of the team who won entry. In the situation that a winning team of a Qualifier already holds a free entry (e.g., from winning a different Qualifier race prior) then the free entry is passed to the next eligible team.

**A team's AR World Ranking is based on their ranking on the day entries are opened. Teams chosen for a WORLD RANKING TEAM ENTRY have 5 days to make full payment of entry fees to the organiser. If they fail to do so, they forfeit this spot and it is passed to another team. Teams who forfeit or miss out on a WORLD RANKING TEAM ENTRY and then obtain a WILD CARD must pay the full Wild Card entry fee.



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