2024 Pocket Gopher Challenges welcomes international racers

April 8, 2024

The Pocket Gopher Challenges will take place Saturday, July 20 in Houston, Minnesota, and will feature 6-hour, 12-hour, and 30-hour editions

/ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – The Pocket Gopher Challenges adventure races welcomes two international race teams as part of their 2024 line up. Team “La Ruta Madre” from Mexico will be on the start line for the 30-hour race and team “Slow is Smooth,” a combined Canadian/American team, will be towing the line for their first ever adventure race in the 6-hour race.

“When I started the Pocket Gopher Challenges four years ago it was my dream to bring back old school adventure races that put as many decisions as possible back into the hands of race teams. I never imagined that my smaller race in Minnesota would one day host international racers,” Pocket Gopher Challenges Race Director John Harris said.

The Pocket Gopher Challenges will take place Saturday, July 20 in Houston, Minnesota, and will feature 6-hour, 12-hour, and 30-hour editions. The 30-hour race will feature a build-a-raft section, a 150-foot rappel, spelunking, and canoeing on the amazing Mississippi River.

“All of this will be intermixed with some of the best mountain biking southern Minnesota has to offer, Harris said.

The Pocket Gopher Challenges are sanctioned by the U.S. Adventure Racing Association, and for the second year, will be part of the Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS) North America Series. The winner will earn a $500 prize and points toward the USARA National Championship Series.

“I first met ARWS Heidi Muller in Brazil while racing there and it was immediately clear she has a passion for adventure racing,” Harris said. “I knew I wanted to be a part of what she was bringing to North America. ARWS came to the North America for the first time in 2023 and took adventure racing in the United States to another level. The Pocket Gopher Challenges were a part of that inaugural first year and it was during that race, talking to other racers and volunteers, that we began to strategize how we could attract international racers and show the world what adventure racing in the U.S.A. is like.”

Participants in the 30hour Pocket Gopher Challenge also earn points in the ARWS North America Series rankings, which qualify teams to earn free entry into the 2025 Adventure Racing World Championship in British Columbia, Canada.

“One of the attributes that sets ARWS and Heidi apart from any other organization is how much she genuinely cares. She is the CEO of an international company, but she still makes time to meet with you, discuss marketing and media strategies, country visas, or whatever you need. It does not matter to her if your race is a 1,000-person race or a 100-person race, she puts the same effort into making each race successful. I couldn’t have done this without her and her staff,” Harris said. “I am truly honored for the opportunity to show international race teams what middle America has to offer. I owe a large gratitude of thanks to Adventure Racing World Series and Heidi for helping to make that dream a reality.”

Harris said he hopes more racers from across the Midwest and beyond check out his race. More information can be found at HowlingAdventurer.com.

“We welcome all adventure racers from all over the world, it does not matter if this is your first race or you are highly experienced we have a race to match your skill set,” Harris said. “Race registration is limited so sign up soon.”

Contact info:

John Harris

Race Director Pocket Gopher Challenges