Gopher Adventure Race (GAR)


Adventure Racing has become a popular event among many collegiate institutions across the county. The concept, made popular by the television show Amazing Race, engages participants in mental and physical challenges as they maneuver through a designated course with the goal of crossing the finish line first. The Gopher Adventure Race will be a collaborative effort of the following programs and organizations:

  • Recreation, Park and Leisure Studies (RPLS) program
  • Recreation Sports Department
  • Center for Outdoor Adventure (COA)
  • Wilderness Inquiry
  • The National Park Service
  • The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
  • Various community sponsors

This joint effort will combine a University academic unit with two University student service programs and the involvement of our community partners and sponsors all on one event. Students from seven classes in the RPLS program will work collaboratively with the other departments on campus to design, promote, operate and evaluate the event. The event will be designed to promote diversity among the creators as well as the participants, to bring a “green certified” event to the U of MN and to showcase the University, various University departments, community partners and sponsors involved with the event.


Event Goals

  1. Create an event that is environmentally responsible by incorporating “green” practices in line with the FitPlanet criteria for their Pledge of Sustainability in partnership with Active Network and the Council for Responsible Sport.
  2. Provide an opportunity to promote and recruit for the RPLS major and showcase the School of Kinesiology and the College of Education to a broad audience within the University of Minnesota and our University Community.
  3. Encourage cooperation between several U of M departments campus wide along with the inclusion of our community partners.
  4. Involve a diverse population of University students as participants in the event. An emphasis will be placed on encouraging freshman involvement in this event. Registration slots will be held exclusively for freshman.
  5. Highlight numerous resources and provide an opportunity for students to discover unique “gems” the University has to offer as they travel around the campuses (East and West Banks and St. Paul) collecting clues, solving puzzles, and completing various tasks.
  6. Involve RPLS majors and instructors in an ongoing project that encourages a cohesive departmental environment. Recreation majors will be able to be involved in all facets of the event as they move through the REC classes (programming, administration, finance, marketing, leadership, inclusion, risk management, evaluation). Instructors of several courses will have the opportunity to work cooperatively to teach relevant concepts and the application of skills that will be necessary for future careers in the field of Recreation.
  7. Develop a network of sponsors that will support the efforts of this event and will bring recognition to their agency, product or services.
  8. Operate the race annually allowing for continued improvement (as suggested by evaluations designed and analyzed by the Research and Evaluation class), growth in number of participants and involvement with University units, and further development of community partnerships and sponsors.

Race Dates

The Gopher Adventure Race will take place on October 22, 2010

Academic Courses Involved

  • REC 1501 Orientation to Recreation and Leisure
  • REC 2151 Outdoor and Camp Leadership
  • REC 3281 Research and Evaluation
  • REC 3541 Recreation Programming
  • REC 3551 Administration and Finance of Leisure
  • REC 5271 Community Leisure Services for Persons with Disabilities
  • REC 5801 Legal Aspects of Sports and Recreation

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Last modified on 12/13/2012