Big Blue Adventure FAQ


Yes, many of our events are set up for a maximum number of participants and therefore do sell out. Register early to save your spot and to pay a lower registration fee. Fees are increased on a tiered basis as the event date nears.

Triathlon and Duathlon events
•    Relay Team, each team member competes in one stage. For example one teammate swims, one teammate bikes, etc.
•    3 and 2 person relay teams
•    Adventure Racing
•    Most of our AR events offer many team sizes. For example you could race as a solo, 2-person, 3-person, or 4-person team. Additionally there are often options to set up your team as a all-male, all-female, or coed
•    Running
•    There is an option a select events to race and be scored as a team. For example you would run and receive an individual time. Your time would be combined with, for example, 5 other times of your teammates and the total elapsed time would be the time used to rank your team against other teams. Also, if you have more than five team members we score the fastest five times and the other times drop out.

Yes, in some of our events there are cut-off times. For example the Half Distance Triathlons have cut-off times. Visit each events schedule page for additional information. Click here for the event calendar.

Occasionally depending on the demand. However, usually the events offers age group, athena, clydesdale and relays divisions only. There is no prize money.

We don’t have onsite wetsuit rentals.  We recommend you contact Synergy Wetsuits.  They provide wetsuit rentals at great rates.   Click here for Synergy’s website!

USA Triathlon is the governing body of the sport of triathlon in the United States. Their website is  They sanction and insure our Triathlon events.

The conditions on Lake Tahoe change throughout the seasons.   We have found the following link, from UC Davis (who does research in the area) to be a good resource with up-to-date water temperature.  One note to consider however, is their temperatures may be a bit colder than what a swimmer would feel on the surface. Click here!

The conditions on Lake Tahoe change throughout the seasons.  We have found the following link, from UC Davis (who does research in the area) to be a good resource with up-to-date water temperature. One note to consider however, is their temperatures may be a bit colder than what a swimmer would feel on the surface. Typically the water temperature is:
•    XTERRA Tahoe City, 64
•    Donner Lake Triathlon, 69
•    Lake Tahoe Triathlon, 69
•    XTERRA Lake Tahoe, 69
•    Lake Tahoe Open Water Swim,68
•    Truckee Open Water Swim, 68

An XTERRA is an off-road triathlon. Basically, think of a traditional triathlon, but replace road riding with mountain biking, and replace road running with trail running. XTERRA is owned and produced by TEAM Unlimited.   XTERRA’s are relatively new, having first started in Maui in 1996 as Aquaterra, to be later renamed as XTERRA. Nissan Motor Corporation later named one of their sport utility vehicles after the race series and was the primary sponsor for a number of years. The company’s parted ways in 2006.

The XTERRA USA Championship season begins on September 1st through August 31 of the following year.

How old you would be as of 12/31 in the year racing? That is your XTERRA Age and your USA Triathlon Age.


Yes and no.  It depends on the race, so shoot us an email ahead of time to make sure its OK.   Contact Us.

Yes, in some of our events there are cut-off times. For example the endurance events such as longer than 50K. Visit each events schedule page for additional information. Click here for the event calendar.

Yes we encourage those who are interested in walking or hiking. This option is available for all events 1/2 marathon distance and under.

Other Event FAQ

There is a large amount of information and debate on the subject of altitude affecting athletic performance.  Here are some helpful links regarding various techniques and discussion on the impact of elevation. Running Times Magazine

Refunds are not available any reason, including cancellation, inclement weather or athlete injury. We also strictly do not allow athlete-to-athlete transfers, for any reason. Cancellation Policy: If the event is NOT sold out, a discount code for 75% of your race registration fee will be offered until 14 days prior to the race date. No discounts codes will be given within 14 days prior to the race date. Discount codes can be used to register for another Big Blue Adventure, LLC event and will be valid through the following event year (2017 discounts valid until 12/31/2018) Changes to your registration: We allow you to make changes to your registration up until 7 days prior to the event such as announcer information, T-shirt size, etc. Changes to your class: We allow you to make changes to your class up until 7 days prior to the event. For example moving from 5K to 10K or Half distance, etc.

Yes. Please do not wait until the final week prior to the event.

This depends on the event. At several events we offer participation for kids ages 4 and up including running, triathlon, and paddling. Check out each events main information pages for the age groups offered.

A Big Blue Adventure Sprint race is a perfect race to do as newbie. These races are designed for beginners. The navigation level is targeted to beginner level navigation skills. We also provide kayaks, making logistics a bit easier for a newbie. The races last generally around 2-3 hrs and are always a fun adventure. See our race calendar for the next sprint race.

Big Blue Adventure holds a championship, accumulating points for those that have raced in the Big Blue Adventure Races throughout the season.  See our championship page for more information and rankings.

Adventure Racing

The first thing to realize about adventure racing is that it is a team sport. It is different from other team sports in the fact that there aren’t any positions, such as short stop, or offensive tackle. Everyone on the team needs to have all the skills required for the event. Team members can be specialists in a sport as long as they have, or train for all the rest of the skills. Adventure racing can be defined as a continuous motion, single to multi-day, multi-sport, mixed team event. The goal of the competition is to be the first team to get all members across the finish line together. The course may take competitors through urban landscapes or remote wilderness where they must travel without outside assistance. Skill required may include fixed rope climbing/ascending/rappelling/traverse, road and mountain biking, whitewater and flat water paddling, day and night navigation, swimming and special team challenges. Each team must use strategy to determine the best route, equipment, food and pace to maintain to win. Races range in length of 2 hours to two weeks. Sprint races usually last 2 hours to 5 hours. Single day races last 12 to 24 hours. Multi-day races last 2 to 3 days and expedition races last from 4 days to two weeks. Each race will require multiple disciplines with the goal of having no one aspect of the sport giving any one team an advantage. The winners must do well in each component of the race. One of the fastest growing sports in the country, adventure racing has penetrated mainstream America through grueling made for TV competitions like the Eco-Challenge and Global Extremes. The problem is, the average person doesn’t have the time or the money to invest in that level of competition. In response to an increasing demand for “one” day adventure races, the Tahoe Big Blue originated in the fall of 2002. Utilizing the best playground in North America (Lake Tahoe, CA) the Tahoe Big Blue pitted teams of two, three, four and solos in a 5-11 hour adventure race. Competitors kayaked, mountain biked, trekked, and navigated ropes courses throughout the Sierra mountain range. The outcome was unanimous—competitors wanted more races. For more specific questions feel free to email us

Rogaining is the sport of long distance cross-country navigation. It is closely related to orienteering and many people enjoy both sports.
•    It can be any lenght and is usually 6, 8, 12 or 24 hours
•    It is a team sport
•    It has checkpoints (controls) assigned point values reflecting the distance from other checkpoints and the technical difficulty (terrain, navigation) of visiting them requires each team to plan the order in which to visit checkpoints, so route choice is a very important element.
•    ROGAINE is also a backronym for “Rugged Outdoor Group Activity Involving Navigation and Endurance”. The word however predates this definition; it was originally coined as the first few letters of the founders’ names (Rod, Gail and Neil).   History: Rogaining can trace its roots back to 1947 when the first of many events with some of the features of rogaines was organized by the Melbourne University Mountaineering Club. These events led to the birth of the sport of rogaining in April, 1976, in Melbourne, Australia. The sport was named, rules were adopted and the world’s first rogaining association was formed (the Victorian Rogaining Association). Growth of the association and the sport occurred rapidly over the next decade. Back to the top of Adventure Racing Information

The roots of adventure racing are not exactly known, and many still debate where the first adventure race occurred. Some point to the two-day Karrimor International Mountain Marathon, first held in 1968, which required two-person teams to traverse mountainous terrain while carrying all the supplies required to support themselves through the double-length marathon run. In 1980, the Alpine Ironman was held in New Zealand. Later that year, the Alpine Ironman’s creator, Robin Judkins launched the better-known Coast to Coastrace, which involved most of the elements of modern adventure racing: trail running, cycling and paddling. Independently, a North American race, the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic debuted in 1982 and involved six days of unsupported wilderness racing over a 150 mile course.?In 1989, the modern era of adventure racing had clearly arrived with Gerald Fusil‘s launch of the Raid Gauloises in New Zealand. The race included all the modern elements of adventure racing, including mixed-gender teams competing in a multi-day 400+ mile race. Building on Fusil’s concept, the inauguralSouthern Traverse was held in 1991.?In the early-90’s, Mark Burnett read an L.A. Timesarticle about Raid Gauloises and was inspired to promote the race as a major televised sporting event. After purchasing the rights from Gerald Fusil, Burnett launched the first “Eco-Challenge” race in 1995. Burnett promoted his event with Emmy-award winning films. The Eco-Challenge was last held in 2002. With the Eco-Challenge also came the name “adventure race”, a phrase coined by journalist and author Martin Dugard, to describe the class of races embodied by the Raid and Eco-Challenge.?In 2002, the first major expedition length race to be held exclusively in the United States was launched.Primal Quest has become the premier U.S. expedition race, being held each year since its launch. In 2004, the death of veteran racer Nigel Aylott over-shadowed the race, and raised debates about the nature ofPrimal Quest and adventure racing.?In 2004, professional geologist Stjepan Pavicic organized the first Patagonian Expedition Race at the bottom tip of the American continent, in the Chilean Tierra del Fuego. Truly demanding routes through rough terrain of often more than 600 km soon made it be known as the “the last wild race”.

We offer several different ways for you to learn about adventure racing.  Start by looking at our three race pages that goes more in depth into each of the three different length races, the Sprint, the 12hr and the 24hr.  We also offer plenty of clinics!?Below are some recommended sites that are also good resources for adventure racing:
•    Bay Area Adventure Racing Babes and Dudes
•    California Adventure Racing Association
•    Sleepmonsters
•    Back to the top of Adventure Racing Information?I don’t know any other racers.  Where can I find others to train and race with??Our website has a Teammate finder that can help.?There are also many local Northern California groups dedicated to promoting Adventure Racing and helping people get involved. The best way to connect with a team is to contact one of these groups.
•    California Adventure Racing Association (CARA)
•    Bay Area Adventure Racing Babes and Dudes (BAARBD)
•    Back to the top of Adventure Racing Information?I’m still not sure if this sport is for me, is there a way I can come watch a race??Sure there is a way!  Adventure racers get to pick their own courses, so there is not a set course where you could watch the racers.  But a great way to learn more about the race is to come out and volunteer at one of the races.  You’ll get a chance to see the race up close and learn lots! Click on this link to contact our Volunteer Coordinator.? Back to the top of Adventure Racing Information

Transitions differ for each event, but generally each race will have one main transition area that is watched by either staff or volunteers.  You come back to this transition at different times during an event.  In some cases you will need to leave a transition area with bike and trekking gear (something you will learn when you get the maps).  Then at a later point in the race you will drop your bikes (also generally at a staffed area) and go on trekking, and return to your bikes later.?Kayak’s generally have their own area– you and your team arrive at the kayak area, and come back to drop the kayaks off at the same location once done with that portion of the race.?Part of Adventure Racing is not being entirely sure how the race will flow until you get the maps, or until you’re in the midst of the event.  Its this uncertainity that adds to the adventure and strategy of the sport.