Ultra-Endurance Bikepack Racing Returns with the Arkansaw High Country Race – Departing Fayetteville, Arkansas October 31st

Fayetteville is set to host the annual Arkansaw High Country Race Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. The race is a self-supported, multiday ultra-endurance bikepacking event that totals more than 1,000 miles of gravel and paved routes. Bikepacking builds off the interests of backpacking, combining cycling through rugged terrain while carrying the gear necessary for minimalist camping.

arkansas high country race 2020
Jay Petervary crossing the Lake Fayettville Dam

Originally scheduled for June, the event starts and finishes at Fayetteville’s Historic Downtown Square. The race follows the perimeter of the Arkansas High Country Route, originally published in 2019 by the Adventure Cycling Association and the Arkansas Parks and Recreation Foundation.

arkansas high country race 2020
Rural Madison County

Cyclists traverse the Ozark Mountains to the Buffalo National River Corridor, and into the Arkansas River Valley. From the River Valley riders dip through the Ouachita Mountains before climbing back through the Ozarks to the finish line in Fayetteville.

arkansas high country race 2020
Madison County Wildlife Management Area

“We’re excited to welcome ultra-endurance cyclists from across the country to Fayetteville this fall,” said Brannon Pack, cycling coordinator for Experience Fayetteville. “The Arkansaw High Country Race route showcases some of the best gravel and backcountry cycling available in the state. Our designation of ‘host city’ for the race shows that authentic bikepacking adventures are accessible from Fayetteville.”

arkansas high country race 2020
Heading towards White Rock Recreation Area

The Arkansaw High Country Race is scheduled to officially start at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 31 outside the Graduate Fayetteville, located at 70 N. East Ave. where photo opportunities will be available. Fans are encouraged to follow the race and individual racer dots live at trackleaders.com

For more information on the race, record holders, and full event details, visit https://www.experiencefayetteville.com/experience/events/item/390-arkansaw-high-country-race

Points of Interest

Since its inception, several notable athletes have attempted individual time trials (ITT) of the race route – resulting in a series of new course records. Red Bull athlete Rebecca Rusch was the first to ride the complete race route. During miserably wet and cold weather, Rusch finished in 8 days, 3 hours and 33 minutes and holds the Fastest Known Time (FKT) for a solo woman attempt.

arkansas high country race 2020
Jay Petervary on the final gravel before Fayetteville & the finish

During sweltering summer heat, ultra-endurance athlete Jay Petervary set a new FKT for a solo male at 5 days, 12 hours, and 6 minutes. Petervary battled some of Arkansas’ hottest and humid temperatures during his attempt.

Professional road cyclists turned bikepackers, and husband and wife Arkansans, Ernie and Scotti Lechuga set out to best their own pairs (two-person) record of 5 days, 18 hours, and 24 minutes. Their attempt this past September resulted in a new pairs record of 4 days, 22 hours, and 6 minutes – becoming the first athletes known to complete the racecourse in under 5 days.

For race information, contact Race Director Chuck Campbell at (501) 725-1377 or [email protected]. For local information, contact Brannon Pack at (479) 521-5776 or [email protected]


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