General GMARA Race Rules

For the safety or our racers and race staff, and to ensure a smooth event, everyone must follow all of these rules. Failing to do so, or taking any other action deemed inappropriate by the race organizers, will result in penalties or disqualification.


  • Follow course instructions at all times.
  • Consist of two or three racers, single sex or coed.
  • Have all team members be at least eighteen years of age on the date of the race, unless they have explicit permission from the race organizers.
  • Travel as a unit at all times, unless race directions specifically state otherwise.
  • Inform race officials if your team is withdrawing from the race. We need to know you are off the course so we do not continue to track you or incorrectly search for you if you are overdue. This is extremely important.
  • Render emergency assistance to another team that is in need. Teams rendering emergency aid to another team will be potentially granted a time bonus equal to time lost, receive credit for missed checkpoints, or taken care of in an appropriate manner. We’ll make it right.
  • Complete the race as instructed, passing checkpoints in the prescribed order, to finish as a ranked team.
  • Carry all mandatory equipment at all times.
  • Carry all mandatory section equipment during the appropriate section.
  • Dispose of all team garbage and waste in a proper manner.


  • Racing solo. A team of three may continue unranked if one member withdraws, but we will not permit anyone to be out there on their own.
  • Using any mode of transport other than those outlined in the race instructions.
  • The use of electronic navigation and communication devices, other than those sanctioned by race officials. (See Electronics Policy below)
  • Using maps other than those provided by the race organizers.
  • Receiving assistance, other than medical, from anyone not involved with the race.
  • Leaving gear or supplies behind during the race, unless instructed otherwise.
  • Picking up additional gear or supplies during the race, unless instructed otherwise.

GMARA Electronics Policy

With GPS/navigation technology becoming smaller, lighter, and cheaper, we’re finding it necessary to publish a clearer policy about what’s allowed in a GMARA race. We know that many of you want the data – how far did I go, how many feet did I climb, where did I go wrong – and we support that. (We love it when you share the data afterwards too!)

The short version is:

  1. You cannot access anything during a GMARA race that will tell you your exact position.
  2. If you choose to use a GPS-enabled device for post-race data analysis, you must notify us ahead of time and keep it in your pack during the race.
  3. If you are seen with a GPS-enabled device in your hand, it’s highly likely that you’ll be disqualified.

Basically, if you have a watch with GPS functions, it can’t be on your wrist during the race. Tell us you’re bringing it, put it in your pack, and keep it there. The same goes for smartphones or dedicated GPS units with any type of display.

We do encourage the following devices:

  • Altimeters – the value of these devices cannot be overstated
  • Step counters / pedometers (even those that estimate distance based on stride length)
  • Bike computers that can calculate speed and distance traveled

We do encourage teams to bring along a phone for emergencies – just keep it safely sealed and waterproofed in your pack unless needed. Other communication devices (i.e. two-way radios) are not permitted – you should be within earshot of your teammates at all times.

If you have questions about this policy, by all means get in touch. We will refine as needed, but our goal has always been the same: map & compass navigation is the core of this sport.

Important addendum about cell phone cameras:

Recently, many of you have stopped to catch a mid-race moment on your cellphone camera. We know that it’s possible to capture the adventure without affecting the race, and we support your choice to do that. We love to see the photos afterwards! However, if there’s any question about why you’ve got your phone out, you should be prepared for penalty or disqualification. Thanks for understanding!

Fine Print about Refunds and Discounts

Refund Policy:

The team registration fee must be paid when you sign up, and is nonrefundable. That payment reserves a race entry for your team. Per-racer fees should be paid within 10 days of confirmed registration. If fees are not yet paid when rates increase, a 7-day grace period will apply, after which fees will increase to match the current rate. Per-racer fees are partially refundable, as follows:

  • One third of the per-racer fee is nonrefundable.
  • The remaining 2/3 is fully refundable until four weeks before the race.
  • From four weeks out until two weeks out, if you withdraw we'll credit you 2/3 of the per-racer fee toward a GMARA race in the next year.
  • If you withdraw during the last two weeks before the race, we can only give you 1/3 of the per-racer fee as credit.
To be clear, these policies are entirely based on our real costs. Nonrefundable fees are used to cover up-front costs like reserving the location. Four weeks before the race we start paying for shirts, maps, and other items that take time to deliver. Two weeks out, we have to commit to dinners, boat rentals, things like that. GMARA has no paid employees, we use all your money to put on races - thanks for understanding.

Important side notes:
  • If you are placed on a waitlist because the race is full, and you do not get to race, we will refund 100% of your money.
  • Nonrefundable payments are almost always transferable. If someone needs to drop but can find a friend to race in their place, in nearly every case we will happily transfer any existing rates/payments to the new racer(s).

Group discounts:
GMARA is happy to provide a discount off our full price to members of the military and to first responders (fire, police, EMS). Contact us if you're in one of those groups and we'll see what we can do to thank you for your service - but please note that early registration pricing is probably the better deal.

We're also open to discounts for larger groups - if you convince the entire nordic ski team to show up, or your company sends five teams, we'll do our best to give you a break on entry fees. Let us know what you have in mind, but don't wait until the last minute.

USARA membership fees:
For every USARA sanctioned race, entry fees include $8 per person for a single-day USARA membership. If any team member has a current membership, they should bring their card to registration and we'll refund the money. If you'd like to upgrade to a yearly USARA membership ($35), you can pay us the difference at registration too. Not all GMARA races are USARA sanctioned.

Photo & Video Release

We’ll keep this simple: We take lots of pictures and occasional short videos during our races, and it would be a challenge to keep track of who’s in the pictures or how they’re shared after the fact. By participating in a GMARA event, you’re giving us permission to take photos or video of you and share them on various websites, in print, in our marketing, etc. We also offer our major sponsors limited permission to use those same images. If you have major concerns about your image being used to promote outdoor adventure, please get in touch and we’ll see if we can do anything to help.

To cover our bases, here’s the same thing in legalese:

I am about to participate in an event organized by Green Mountain Adventure Racing Ltd (GMARA), during the course of which I understand that photographs and videos may be taken that include my image, name, likeness and voice. In this connection I hereby irrevocably grant GMARA and its assigns, licensees and successors, the royalty-free right to use media captured during GMARA events, including my image, name, likeness, and voice, throughout the world, in any manner, including television, print and social media, in perpetuity for the purpose of, but not limited to, advertising, publicity, business, or any other lawful purpose whatsoever, in any media now known or hereafter developed, and I waive any right to inspect or approve such use.

I release GMARA and its assigns, licensees and successors from any and all liability that may arise in connection with the use of my image, name, likeness, or voice including, but not limited to, any claims of defamation, invasion of privacy, or infringement of moral rights, rights of publicity or copyright. GMARA is not obligated to utilize any of the rights granted in this Agreement.