Adventure Race

PLAY MHK & its races have been postponed until October 17, 2020.

Push yourself… compete solo or as part of a team… in a run, paddle and bike inaugural adventure race in Manhattan, KS. Start by running out of our Downtown, across the bridge and thru the woods, 5k, to the Fairmont Boat Ramp. Here jump into a kayak and paddle down the Kaw and up the Big Blue to the Manhattan Boat Ramp, roughly 3k away. Once there, gear up to cycle to the finish, 20k, back in Downtown Manhattan after experiencing Lungbuster Hill. This adventure race is not long, but it’s also not for the faint of heart.

There is no support on the race. You must carry all you need regarding drink and/or nutrition. This is a “leave no trace” race. You bring it, you take it home with you. You will need a bike and a helmet. We do have kayaks, paddles and life jackets or you can choose to bring your own. Life jackets ARE required!

If you want to participate as a team, it can be a team of 2 or 3 but YOU must work out the logistics of getting your teammates where they need to be for the hand off and back to the finish to celebrate. We’re happy to talk this out with you, but we are not available to offer transportation to your teammates.

You are welcome to bring support to cheer you on. There are some places on course to see you run, paddle and/or bike. Certainly, the Finish Line is a great place to hear those cow bells ringing by your very own fan club. And the after party in Downtown Manhattan will be something to talk about for the young and old. Play MHK in Downtown is a huge celebration all day of being active with something for everyone!

Cost to compete is $65 solo or $35 as part of a team. Participants get a t-shirt and finisher sticker… plus the joy of knowing you pushed yourself to compete in an adventure race!

Ready for adventure?



What if I don’t have a kayak? No worries. We have a kayak for you to borrow… paddles and a life jacket, too!

What if I don’t have a bike? This is a problem. You’ll have to borrow one from a friend as we have no bikes to borrow. Sorry.

Should I bring my road bike, gravel bike or cross bike? Great question. Most of the bike course is on pea gravel. Some of the bike course is on base rock. Some of the bike course is on the road. So… the decision is yours… but we recommend a gravel or cross bike, though we know some could do it on a road bike with good tires.

Will someone watch my kayak and bike while I run? Yes, we will have security to watch your gear. Obviously, you will need to drop it off before you start to run.

Will someone watch my kayak while I bike? Yes, we will have security to watch your gear. If you bring a kayak, you will need to pick it back up as soon as you finish or arrange to have someone pick it up for you. You will finish on your bike so that is easier than your kayak, but we promise not to leave your kayak unguarded. We know the love you have for your vessel. We love our kayaks, too!

Who is putting on this Adventure Race? There is a team of two in charge of this event, one who loves to run and the other who loves to paddle and to bike. Together they are a dynamic duo with tons of friends to draw in to help put on a fantastic race.

Who are the friends of this Adventure Race? Friends of the Manhattan Running Company will assist with the running part, Friends of the Kaw will assist with the paddle part, and Bike MHK will assist with the bike part. It truly is a great group effort.

Who is sponsoring this Adventure Race? Visit Manhattan, the Manhattan Running Company, Downtown MHK, Tuttle Creek State Park, Kansas State Recreational Services and the Pathfinder are the major sponsors of this event. We couldn’t do it without them!

What do I do the day of the Adventure Race? Check-in will occur between 8:00-9:00 am in Downtown Manhattan. Once you check in, you will need to drop off your bike at the Manhattan Boat Ramp. If you are bringing your own kayak, you will need to drop it off at the Fairmont Boat Ramp. Get back to the start before 9:45 am as we start at 10 am sharp!

Will I get a cue sheet for the course? No. We want to Be Green. We will provide you with a GPS link to the course one week before the race, but no paper cue sheets will be given.

What time should I expect to finish? We are estimating the fastest among you will take 75 minutes to run 5k, paddle 3k and bike 20k. Everyone must finish within 3 hours. Note: we reserve the right to change this 3-hour cut off time for year 2.

Will there be awards? Yes, we will award 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each of the five categories: Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Team, Women’s Team and Co-ed Team.

What about weather? Great question as this is Kansas. Things that could delay and/or cancel this event: race, lightening and water flow. We will delay the race if lightening has struck in the area. The safety of our athletes and volunteers is a priority. Water flow of the Kansas River will also determine a possible cancellation of this race. We will only be on the Kaw (Kansas River) if water flow is less than 8,000 CFS. We will certainly keep all participants as updated as possible. Note: If we cancel, you will not be refunded as these are Acts of God. Sidenote: A tornado is also an Act of God… just saying.