Discover Ames

Great Ames Adventure Race

The Great Ames Adventure Race (GAAR) is an amateur athletic event designed for all ages and abilities. Challenge yourself, or challenge family, friends, and coworkers in a paddle-bike-run event that keeps bringing people back, year after year.

The 16th Annual GAAR will be held on Sunday, Sept. 17. Participants must check in by 7 a.m. Boats must be staged prior to the mandatory briefing at 7:15; the race will start at 7:30 a.m.

GAAR starts and finishes at Ada Hayden Heritage Park, 5205 Grand Avenue in north Ames. Family and friends are welcome and may join participants at the Moose Lodge for pancakes and the awards ceremony following the race.

Solo participants compete in the entire course. Solo Masters participants are aged 50 and over and have selected Solo Masters as their category to compete in. Tandem participants compete over the entire course, paddling together in a canoe or tandem kayak. They may also bike together on a tandem bike. The other segments are completed independently, and finish times for the two participants are averaged for awards and placement. Relay participants compete in successive sections of the race. Two-, three-, and four-person relay teams will compete together in one category.

The race begins with waves of six canoes and kayaks on a 2.5-mile race around the lake. Participants then exit the lake to a transition area where the 15-mile bike race and the 5K run begin.

Details and registration


Sep 17 2023


7:30 am - 1:00 pm


Ada Hayden Heritage Park
5205 Grand Ave., Ames

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