What is the Death March?

The Death March is a bicycle race for teams of two to be the first to reach designated cemeteries in and around the Hoosier National Forest. The ride begins and ends at the Midwest Trail Ride Horseman's Camp (MTR) in Norman, IN.  Teams will be required to reach five mandatory check-points, three of which are known in advance, published by March 1.  The other two mandatory locations will be drawn from the list of optional check-points and announced at the Start/Finish line.  Teams can use any route and can visit check-points in any order.  Teams will be able to earn bonus time by visiting additional check-points along the way.  Click here for the Death March Google Map. 


~ What does my entry fee get me?

Death March participants get access to free primitive onsite tent camping at the Midwest Trail Ride Horseman's Camp, changing rooms and hot showers (weather permitting) for after the ride, two stationary sag supports with food, water and some mechanical assistance, FREE commemorative t-shirt, a hot meal after the ride, one-day Hoosier National Forest pass for each team member and more!  Participants 21 and over will also enjoy a beer tasting from Upland Brewing Company after the ride. 

Additional event t-shirts are available for $15.00.  




 ~ Where does the race begin/end?
The Death March begins and ends at the Midwest Trail Ride and Horseman's Camp located at 1264 Hunter's Creek Rd., Norman, IN.  
Click here for driving directions.  Ample parking is available.

~ What will the start be like?

Teams will have a mass start for the Death March and will line up for a mandatory rider meeting that begins promptly at 9:15 a.m.  The clock will begin at 9:30 a.m., shortly after the announcement of the two additional mandatory check-points. Don't be surprised to find teams immediately splitting into three or four different directions at the start!

~ What will the course be like?

Teams should expect to encounter a combination of gravel road, rugged back-country mountain bike trail, unmaintained county roads and some pavement interspersed. Typically the minimum distance needed to reach the required checkpoints is 40-50 miles. However, this depends heavily on which two are drawn on race morning! To reach all the checkpoints, an estimated 60-80 miles of riding is needed.  

~ What type of bike can be used?
Riders have the option of using any bike they choose.  Most use cyclocross or mountain bikes.  The entire ride must be done on the same bike. 

~ Who can be on a team?

Teams consist of two riders.  Riders can be of any age or gender.  No individuals.  Teams must start and finish together in order for results to be included in overall placings.  For the Parent/Youth Division, the youth must be 15 years of age or younger and must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

~ Will Parent/Youth teams be required to hit all mandatory check-points?
**UPDATED for 2016** No.  Parent/Youth division is designed to help encourage the kiddos to be part of the fun!  There are NO MANDATORIES and NO TIME BONUSES. Teams will be ranked by the number of checkpoints reached, then by the fastest time. However, there will be a maximum of ten checkpoints. (You may ride to more than ten, but they will not enhance your ranking).

~ Can teams ride together?

Absolutely.  We don't care if you ride with a group or ride on your own.  Just stick with your teammate and make sure you reach the check points together.


Team entry includes hot meal after the ride, "rolling" support vehicles, access to onsite changing rooms and showers (weather permitting), and one-day Hoosier National Forest bridal pass for each team member.  

~ Will there be SAG support?  What should I carry with me?
A stationary sag will be available at the Hickory Grove Cemetery and Hickory Ridge Fire Tower; however, each rider should be well prepared to deal with the physical and mechanical problems that may arise.  Participants should plan to carry with them any/all items they may need for the day.  Each rider is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to always have the following items available to them:


  * Course maps

  * At least 70 ounces of water
  * Hand pump or at least two C02 cartridges and an inflation device
  * Tire levers
  * Patch kit (glueless patch kits are easier to use in the woods)
  * Chain tool (and the knowledge to use it)
  * Full set of metric Allen wrenches (1.5, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm)
  * Standard and Phillips screwdrivers
  * Torx T25 wrench if you have disc brake rotors
  * Compass (and the knowledge to use it)
  * Rag

  * Chain lube

  * Spare chain links

  * Spare derailleur hanger for your make and model of bike
  * Food or energy supplements
  * Small first aid kit
  * Emergency light source (LED lamps are tiny, lightweight and long lasting)
  * Identification (driver's license, state ID, etc.)


Other items that are darn good to have:

  * Pocket knife of "Leatherman" tool
  * Duct Tape (carefully wrap 2-3 feet around an ink pen or Allen wrench)
  * Several strong nylon zip ties
  * SRAM power links for quicker chain fixes
  * An old spoke cut in half and bent on each end to hold your chain together while fixing it
  * A safety whistle to blow if you get in trouble.  Cell reception is iffy at best.  A safety whistle is your best backup in case of emergency.  
~ When will winners be announced?
Winning teams will be announced 30 minutes after the top three team in all categories have returned to the start/finish area.  Results will be posted on event website within 24hours.  Prizes will be awarded to top three finishing Men's, Women's, Co-ed,Tandem and Parent/Youth teams.  A $300 cash prize ($200 for Parent/Youth) and free entry to the 2018 event will be awarded to the first place team in all five divisions.  Note: A minimum of five (5) teams must be entered in a division for 1st Place cash payout. 

~ Where can I get a map of the area?

Teams are responsible for providing their own maps and/or GPS.  A National Geographic map of the Hoosier National Forest (map # 770) can be purchased on-line.  Maps can also be purchased at Midwest Trail Ride, Indy Cycle Specialist in Indianapolis, Rusted Moon Outfitters in Broad Ripple and JL Waters in Bloomington.  Click here for the Death March Google Map.

If you have a question that is not answered in the FAQ's, send an email to