FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Source to City is a multi-sport adventure event involving trekking, running, kayaking and road cycling and running. It is a 4 day challenge with significant levels of logistical support, plus additional logistical support options available at additional cost. For more on what is included, click here.
Sure is. It starts at lake Tear of the Clouds high in the Adirondacks, which is the official highest watershed of the Hudson. The route then passes all the way down to mike marker 0 for the river, which is at Battery Park, Manhattan, New York City.
Quite a bit! This route is one-of-a-kind and is the only multi-sport traverse of the Hudson that has been attempted in this manner. It’s all connected with first-class event support. It is all achievable by anyone with a basic fitness and a sense of adventure (and a sense of humour!) in a long-weekend. The kayaking leg particularly is very special: The Hudson Highlands are stunning, rich with history along its banks and the paddling is very pleasant indeed. The logistic options we have come up with hopefully make it very achievable for those travelling from afar. Our rental options will also suit those who don’t own, (or don’t wish to bring) chunky boats and bikes with them. The contrast from the wilderness start to the finish within the world-famous skyline of New York City is also pretty special, we think you’ll agree…
The route is 300 miles all up. That breaks down as a 22 mile mountain trek, followed by various stages of biking, a 21 mile kayak leg  and a 13 mile run to finish into New York City. The exact final route distance is subject to change and might be a little above or below these figures. The route will be shared in full in advance of the Challenge commencing. For an overview map of the route with stage info, click here.
Yes. 4 days. 3 nights accommodation provided.
Either. Mixed or single sex. You choose. You can go it alone or do it as a pair. For the kayak, pairs can use single or double kayaks. We have rental options for both, or supply your own boat/s in whichever configuration suits you.

No. It’s a challenge. Sure, someone will be faster than everyone else and as such, there is nothing wrong with you gunning it as hard as you can; or just cruise. It’s designed to be a seriously tough, yet achievable objective. It’s also designed to be fun and for you to see the entire Hudson watershed, transforming from mountain stream to mighty river of the World. In that respect, you should definitely allow yourself time to kick back and enjoy the views at some point, right?

There are cut-offs on the bike and the run stages, although they are very generous and are not there to make you fail. We want everyone to finish and the cut-offs are generous. If you do end up lagging behind and you really cannot make it in time, (or if you are injured) we will pick you up in an event sweeper vehicle and transport you to the overnight locations. You can re-start the next ay if you wish. There is none of this ‘if you miss a cut-off you’re out’ kind of stuff on this event.

For the kayak, it’s a little different as tide may be the reason that you cannot finish. If the tide turns and you run out of time to run downriver with it on the ‘ebb,’ then you may simply not be able to paddle hard enough to go against it. The tide in this section of the Hudson is not strong, but it does make a difference on tired arms and legs! In this instance, that’s your cut off right there.  We will be able to tow slower boats if required but the cut-off will be applied 13 miles in at Beacon. So if you are too slow to there, there will be options to get warm and dry and transit by road onto the overnight location. Don’t worry though – there will be ample time to complete the leg however for a paddler with reasonable fitness.

We will be able to come and get you at key shore-based off the river if a.) You  have problems and wish to withdraw or b.) are going too slowly and we need to cut you off because the tide is turning and it will prove impossible for you to finish

The latter is unlikely as we will of course have seen you paddle pre-event at the skills check and ultimately, we will only let you commence the event if we are satisfied with your ability to complete the leg. However, if this does occur, we will cut you off, bring you ashore and then transport you to the end of the stage at Cold Spring. Your boat will follow, although we will not guarantee the arrival time of the boat as it will be collected en masse with other boats and transported together by one of our road support vessels.

No. There’s enough time available to walk either of them and we have designed it that way. If you walk the final half marathon into the city, don’t worry – there will still be time for beers at the end, too!
It’s a big outing and you’ll need good conditioning and a solid dose of fitness, plus an appreciation of the task at hand as far as the kayak stage goes, too. See more on the skills required here. But this event has been designed for anyone to have a go at – not just seasoned adventure athletes. That is the Rat Race way. We have provided some commentary on the nature of the challenge and the ‘ratings’ we apply to it (Skill rating and Endurance rating) here. In terms of training, this is a personal thing, but a general training plan will be released shortly, which should act as an overall guide to help you prepare and get the most out of this epic adventure.

Well, it’s varied and each day has its own particular characteristic. The route map and day descriptions can be found here. Here is a rough summary:

Day 1: Mountain trek or fast-pack on well-made trails with significant vertical ascent/ descent. Road bike on good roads for 30 miles.
Day 2: Bike is on smoot-surfaced sealed roads for 120 miles
Day 3: Bike over 45 miles of good scenic roads – with a few hilly bits. Kayak on Hudson River between Poughkeepsie and Cold Spring for 21 miles.
Day 4: Initial bike leg on good roads, through a few towns with stoplights but in general, pretty quiet. Followed by stunning urban run leg in city parks and on sidewalks; all on paved surfaces.

For a description of the route and a general overview of the map, click here.

No. Whilst the route is long, it is pretty easy to find your way along. In the mountains, there are signposts, you will be issued written guidance and we will also have staff at some key junctions. On the bike, we will also have staff at key junctions, plus you will have a route guidance document. We will also make GPX files available to download into personal GPS devices. The final run has a few wiggles to get you under the GW bridge and onto the riverside route in the city, but we will issue you with a very easy-to-follow route guidance sheet for this – it really is pretty simple. Other than that, just keep the river on your right! Throughout the event, we will have aid stations and staff present to help you on your way, plus on the bike and run stages, we are only ever a phone call away if you need more assistance.

The kayak will have a shore-based pit stop which will be pretty hard to miss and other than that, keep paddling until we tell you to step! We will issue guidance with with features and distances noted so that you can recognise these when they are approaching. These sites will be relatively obvious and will be such things as large bridges over the river and obvious shore-side landmarks. Aside from that, point the boat downriver and you will get there!

Extremely unlikely on the bike and urban run stages. But if you do get lost we have a suite of options in place to get you back on track. You will all have a satellite tracking device that we can use to see where you are and we have comms to speak to our sweeper staff, vehicles and event control. Our crew can then attend to your position.

It is possible to get lost in the High Peak wilderness area if you are not paying attention the trail markers, to our guidance notes and/ or to our staff instructions. You should be vigilant to routings at all times and not simply ‘follow the crowd’ – they could be hikers out for a day in the mountains! The trail network we are using is well defined however and if you follow the signs, the instructions and the staff we have out there with you, you’ll have no problems at all.

Impossible to get lost on the kayak! But we will still issue you with some notes and images to ensure you know where you are on the route and to know when to come ashore for food, beverages and for finishing!

Same as above really. We have highly trained paramedics on the event along the road route; and in safety boats for the water. We have maintenance and support vehicles moving with the flow all the way down the route. So if you need assistance we will be there. In the mountains, whilst assistance will of course take longer of course, we do have qualified mountain safety staff on hand and we have the ability to mount rescue operations if required. We hope it will not come to that, of course. We will also issue mandatory kit lists, which will ask that you carry minimum standards of clothing, such that if you do get injured, you have warm clothing to wrap up with while you wait for assistance.

The Event is headquartered at Lake Placid, which is the hub for Start-line activities. It is up to you to make arrangements on your own lodgings pre-event at lake Placid and post-event in the NYC area; but on the overnights whilst you are on the event, (that’s nights 1, 2 and 3) we will be accommodating you in comfortable lodge or hotel/ motel-style lodgings. See more on accommodation here. More detail will be released nearer to the event itself.

Check out what we provide on kit/equipment HERE and what is included as far as food/ accommodation/ transport is concerned HERE.
Party! Your bikes will need to be collected from the final bike – run transition of course, which will be across the river in Jersey. They will be secure overnight in case you wish to leave it there until the morning and concentrate on some serious downtown beers at the end of the road instead. We will be laying on a post-event celebration meal and after that, see where the Big Apple takes you…!
September in Upstate new York and in the city can be very pleasant. Still, it can cloud over pretty quick, especially in the mountains and it can get wet and windy on the exposed mountain tops, so clothing is important. Same for the bike. It is a nice time of year to be outside though so we hope the weather will really add to the quality of the experience! If it does get a bit stormy though, your clothing and out support will ensure you can still get the job done.

There is a list on the Kit/ Equipment page of what is provided for you by the event and what we require you to provide. A full kit list will be provided in due course.

Not much. In general, you need a road bike and cycling clothing that is sturdy and reliable. Think bulletproof not bling bling.

You will need running clothing that is comfortable, has good wicking properties and some wet weather clothing for if it turns grim. Of course some good sturdy sneakers are essential for the urban run.

For the mountain section, we will issue a mandatory kit list that includes waterproofs with taped seams, medical kit and other items to ensure you have everything you need in case you get into trouble. You will also need to carry a mandatory amount of food and water.

For the kayak, there is the option to use your own boat (including buoyancy aid and paddle) or to use ours. You do not need a kayak to take part in this event. Check out more on kit and equipment here.

No. We have rentals on providing kayak, buoyancy aid and paddle. You can use your own boat if you have one, however. That can be a double or single. Your call. It will need to be a closed cockpit boat and not a sit-on-top. We will ask to see all paddlers perform a skills test at Lake Placid before we ‘sign you off’ for the event. Check here for more info on the paddling level required.

Depends on what you are benching it against. As kayaking goes in general, it is very very inviting and accessible. BUT we are attempting a long leg here, which means you will get fatigued over time. There is also the tide to consider; take too long and the tide will turn and make it harder still. There is not much tide on this section of the river but boy, it can get tough if you are tired!

With winds from certain directions, the river can get a bit choppy in places but for the most part, the paddling will be enjoyable and beautiful too. For us, the kayak leg is the essence of this adventure and a truly unique and very special opportunity for all concerned to take to the Hudson itself. Make sure you are up to the task and then simply suck it up and drink it all in! (Not the river itself).

No. This is a supported format, which means that we transport gear for you from location to location. There will be mandatory gear you need to take with you on each stage however. Notably you will need to carry a daypack for all foot stages, which will have food, water, emergency gear and spare clothing in it, so you will have to carry something. But by no means all of your kit. We will do the hard yards on your overnight supplies by carrying a bag for you from location to location. This is a large logistical operation and is part of the value offered in this very special trip. We will also transport transition bags to the various locations required also, so you have the right gear to change into after each separate discipline.

For the bike legs, you will be required to wear a daypack and you will be able to carry what you need on your person and in small saddle or bar bags on your bike. You can re-supply at our aid stations whilst on the bike and the run.

For the mountain stage, you will be ‘self-supported’ for the duration of the stage, which means you will have a daypack with spare clothing, lots of water and all of the food you will need for the entire stage.

Pit stops whilst on the bike legs feature food and drinks at our mobile aid stations. We call these Pit Stops. Although please see the notes on these in the food section of this website. These are not full ‘sit-down meals’ – more-so grab n’ go snacks and hydration supplies. We will also have a Pit Stop n the city run stage and you will be able to access your own snacks and supplies, plus some of ours at all of the transitions too.

For the overnights and for breakfasts each day, there will be food available to purchase. For the finish, we are supplying a finishers’ celebration meal, so that one’s on us.

Absolutely. We welcome supporters and they will have a great time. We can provide extra beds at supporter rates in the overnight hotels and can provide vouchers for them to attend the post-event celebration meal in Manhattan. Check out the supporters’ page for more info.

Yep for sure. This is a unique and very special part of our Rat Race spectator interaction set-up. Our bespoke and unique satellite tracking system is one-part safety system and on-part giant online-viewing gallery. Your supporters can see you on the map at all times and follow your progress from the comfort of their couch.

The best. Rat Race is renowned for our commitment to the very highest standards of safety management. Our suite of cover includes water safety and rescue staff trained for the river environment. Same for the mountains. It’s a comprehensive set-up. You’re in good hands.

We offer airport transfers from JFK to get you to the Start area at Lake Placid (plus collection from New York City area), plus other options to make it as easy as possible for you to access the Challenge and have a great weekend upstate. For the full low-down on this, together with a description of all of the options available, click here.

Of course. You’re more than welcome to fundraise for any cause close to your heart.

Yes you can. We welcome support from across the State, the Country and the Globe. If you do decide you want to come and work with us on this very special event alongside our professional event crew, we will make sure we look after you. Plus you will be rewarded with an unbelievable experience in a phenomenal part of the United States, of course. Click here to see the lowdown on volunteering at Rat Race events across the World.