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Shenandoah Tenderfoot

Adventure Race

April 15, 2018
Click here for race info!


The Shenandoah Tenderfoot adventure race (AR) is our original beginner AR, simple enough to enjoy but challenging enough to be considered an adventure race. The Shenandoah Tenderfoot AR is basically an off-road, all-terrain, high-octane scavenger hunt with paddling on the Shenandoah River and biking and trekking in beautiful Shenandoah River State Park. It's perfect for families and for beginner adventure racers--you can choose how far and how hard you race. And after this event, you're sure to be hooked!


The morning of the race, we'll give you a map with checkpoints and a list of "Rules of Travel." This gives you clues to checkpoints and tells you how you'll get to them--by trekking, paddling, or mountain biking. Teams will have 3 hours to find as many checkpoints as possible. The highest point accumulation in the shortest amount of time will determine ranking. Once the teams have found all of the required checkpoints, they sprint back to cross the finish line.

We offer two "types" of Tenderfoot categories: Family and Adventure Class. The family team (with 2- or 3-person teams) must have at least one member younger than age 16 and participates in a shorter, easier version of the Adventure Class course. (It's still an achievement for teams but not meltdown inducing.) The Adventure Class (soloist or 2- or 3-person teams) offers a longer, more challenging course with a lot of optional opportunities to really have an adventure and hone those navigation and trail skills. (Note: We have found that if the youngest team member is 13 or older, Adventure Class is a better choice, offering more of a challenge.)

See Who Is Racing

Who's your competition? Click here to find out.


Race-Day Packet Pickup/Pre-Race Brief/ Race Start/Finish Sponsored by Downriver Canoe Company
Downriver Canoe Company 884 Indian Hollow Road, Bentonville, VA 22610   The start and finish area is actually located just outside Shenandoah River State Park, but you cannot access the start and finish area through the normal park entrance. The start and finish line area is accessed off Indian Hollow Road. If you are staying in the park or visiting the park and accessing it through the main entrance, you are responsible for park entrance fees.


​The Tenderfoot is designed for beginner adventure racers and for families. Those who register as a Family will face a shorter/easier course than those who register in the Adventure Class category. If you have only one participant on your team who is aged 13 or older, you may want to consider tackling the Adventure Class rather than register in the Family category.

  • Two-person teams (Female, Male, or Co-ed Adventure Class)

  • Three-person teams (Female, Male, or Co-ed Adventure Class)

  • Family Teams (2 person, 3 Person) To qualify as a family team at least one team member must be younger than 16 years old and one team member must be older than 18 years old.


6-20 miles (depending on route choice)


Registration fee is per team member.


2- and 3-Person Teams (Adventure Class, adults, non-family)

  • Super Early Registration is $60 until 12/31

  • Early Registration is $70 until 1/31

  • Regular Registration is $80 2/28

  • Late Registration is $90 until registration closes at midnight April 10, 2018 or sells out


  • Super Early Registration is $70 until 12/31

  • Early Registration is $80 until 1/31

  • Regular Registration is $90 until 2/28

  • Late Registration is $100 until registration closes at midnight April 10, 2018 or sells out 

Family, 2- and 3-person teams (At least one team member must be between the ages of 8 and 15, and at least one team member must be age 18 or older.) 

  • Super Early Registration is $45 until 12/31

  • Early Registration is $55 until 1/31

  • Regular Registration is $65 until 2/28

  • Late Registration is $75 until registration closes at midnight April 10, 2018 or sells out


An additional $8 race day fee is required by USARA and can be paid on race day or during online registration. USARA fees are not required for participants 15 and younger.


From Northern Virginia, take I-66 West to exit 13 (Linden). Turn left off the ramp. Go one block to a stoplight where you'll take a right onto Rt. 55 West. At the fifth stoplight, turn left onto 340 South. Drive eight miles and take a right onto Indian Hollow Road (Rt 613) after passing through Bentonville. Downriver is at the bottom of the hill on the right before you cross the river.


Downriver Canoe Company (884 Indian Hollow Road, Bentonville, VA 22610)

Sunday, April 15, 8:00 am-9:00 am: Packet pickup and transition set-up at at the race start area (Downriver Canoe Company)

Sunday April 15, 9:30 am: Pre-race brief (Mandatory for all team captains) at the race start area

Sunday April 15, 10:00 am: Race starts 

Sunday April 15, 1:00 pm: Family class race finishes 

Sunday April 15, 2:00 pm: Adventure class race finishes 

Sunday April 15, 12:00 pm-2:30 pm: Post-race food and award ceremony


The heart of a great event is its volunteers. If you have a passion for helping out and are interested in volunteering, we'd love to have you join the fun!  We have options for individuals, groups and families.  Donations to charities  are available.  Looking to complete service hours?  We can help you out with that too. Click here to sign up as a volunteer.

Packet Pickup

Early packet pickup (optional): Saturday, April 14, 5:00 pm-7:00 pm at Downriver Canoe Company (884 Indian Hollow Road, Bentonville, VA 22610)

Race-day packet pickup and transition setup: Sunday, April 15, 8:00 am-9:30 am at Downriver Canoe Company (884 Indian Hollow Road, Bentonville, VA 22610)


During packet pickup the team captain must be present, all forms must be completed for every team member, and fees must be paid for USARA membership if necessary. If you do not have all the forms for all team members, we will not give you your race packet until we have them in hand. During packet pickup you will receive T-shirts, sponsor giveaways, maps, rules of travel, ePunch, and race numbers. USARA fees of $8 for a one-day race membership, $35 for yearly membership, or proof of USARA membership are required and can be paid at packet pickup. Participants younger than age 16 do not need to pay for the USARA membership but they still need to complete the USARA waiver.


Supplied Gear

Canoes, paddles, PFDs, race maps, race passport, ePunch, rules of travel.


Mandatory Gear

Mandatory gear will not be checked during check-in. Random checks on gear will be performed during the race. Penalty points will be assessed for any missing items. These items are not all inclusive of items you will need to complete the race. You will be out in the elements for up to 3 hours. Bring other equipment as appropriate to get through the event.At all times during the race each racer must have in their possession the following equipment unless otherwise stated in the rules of travel:

  • Pack to carry gear
  • Enough food for replenishment
  • Hydraton system (Hydraton pack, water bottle, etc. with capacity to carry at least 2 liters)
  • Closed-toe shoes must be worn during the entre race (no bare feet or open-toe sandals)

While biking each racer additionally must have:

  • Mountain bike (mandatory for Strong) or any bike that has two (or three) wheels for the Family Adventure. The terrain will not be paved so just make sure your bike can go on hard packed dirt trails and gravel roads.
  • Helmet (CPSC, ANSI, or SNELL certfied)

While paddling each racer additionally must have:

  • PFD Class III (provided by Adventure Enablers)

Per team:

  • ePunch (Provided by Adventure Enablers)
  • Race maps (Provided by Adventure Enablers)
  • Rules of Travel (Provided by Adventure Enablers)
  • General Race Rules (Provided by Advneture Enablers)
  • Fully charged cell phone in water tight bag. Ideally bring a smart phone so you can take pictures on the course
  • Dry bag or method of keeping equipment (cell phone) dry in the event of bad weather and during the canoe section
  • Bike tool kit and at least one spare bike tube

Bike Section

Road and cyclo-cross bikes are not permitted. Racers must use the same bike throughout the entire race. In the event of mechanical failures, replacement parts can be used but they must be provided by the team, other racers, or an event official. No outside assistance is allowed. Bikes will not be checked for mechanical worthiness, but we recommend your bike be in good working order.

Paddle Section

Boats will be provided. Two-person and three-person teams will get one canoe. Four-person teams will get two canoes. Soloists will get a kayak. Canoes will come with single-blade paddles. Kayaks will come with double-blade paddles. PFDs will also be supplied. No outside canoes or kayaks are permitted. Outside paddles and PFDs are permitted. Canoes, paddles, and PFDs will be located at the canoe put in. You will not need to carry paddles or PFDs. If you bring your own PFD and paddle you will not need to transport them. You will not need to portage the canoe for any great distance. Personal PFDs must be class III (non-inflatable).


Teams will be provided with maps to complete the course. Checkpoints will be pre-plotted. Additional maps can be used at the discretion of the racers.

Lodging & Things To Do

Looking for things to do or a place to eat while you or your fans are in town? Check out our Activities Guide to our hometown!  



AirBnBs are always fun, and there are so many beautiful options. 

Skyline Ranch Resort: 751 Mountain Road, Front Royal, VA 22630. Visit the website or call 540-635-4169 ext.1

Shenandoah River State Park (Cabins, Camping, RVs), 350 Daughter of Stars Dr. Bentonville, VA 22610, (540) 622-6840  

Motel 6 - 141 West 15th Street, Front Royal, VA 22630, 540-635-2191, $59.99 plus tax for a room with one or two beds

Hampton Inn - 9800 Winchester Road, Front Royal, Virginia, 22630, (540) 635-1882

Quality Inn -  10 S Commerce Ave Front Royal, VA 22630, (540) 635-3161 Mention "Adventure Enablers" and get a double occupancy room rate for $72 per night.

Super8 - 111 South Street, Front Royal, VA 22630, (540) 636-4888 

Rainbow View and Valley Vista Cabins: Cabins in Linden with hot tubs and mountain views. The owners are offering a $25 per night discount when you mention you are participating in an Adventure Enablers event.


Camping and RVs:

Low Water Bridge Campground (RV hookups and tent camping), 192 Panhandle Rd, Bentonville, VA 22610 (just across the river from the start/finish line), (540) 635-7277

Shenandoah River State Park (cabins, camping, RVs), 350 Daughter of Stars Drive Bentonville, VA 22610, (540) 622-6840

Skyline Ranch Resort, 751 Mountain Road, Front Royal, VA 22630, (540) 635-4169, $40 for RV site


Updates and pictures of the race will be posted online primarily on our Facebook site and also on Instagram and on Twitter. Results will be posted here once available, very soon after the race ends.

Prizes & Awards

We're mixing things up a bit. Prizes will go to the top-10 finishers overall, regardless of category! (Points for ARC and USARA will still be valid for division.)

Post-Race Food

Fork'd Food Truck (from The Apple House) will be on site race weekend for your post-race grub!

Click here to view Bushnell Photography's photos from the 2017 Tenderfoot.


All racers will be required to purchase a race-day USARA membership for $8.00, already have a valid USARA membership, or purchase a 1-year membership ($35). Please bring exact change or check. Under 16 year olds do not need to pay for the USARA membership but they still need to complete the USARA waiver.

Cancellation and Transfer Policies

Click here for information.


We have posted an extensive list of Frequently Asked Questions on the Adventure Enablers web site. Please check this page if you have any questions regarding the race. If you don’t find the answer or need clarification, feel free to email

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What exactly is an adventure race? Watch this quick video to find out!

VA State Parks Adventure Series
Mountain Khakis
Downriver Canoe Company
Family Bike
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