MedWAR is short for Medical Wilderness Adventure Race. It is a unique event that combines wilderness medical challenges with the growing sport of adventure racing. The race was also developed as a tool for teaching and testing the knowledge, skills, and techniques of wilderness medicine, and for promoting teamwork and collegiality among competitors. MedWAR is sanctioned by North American Educational Adventure Racing (NAEAR).


Fall 2000

MedWAR was the dream child of Emergency Department physicians and medical students at Medical College of Georgia. The first race followed a five "leg" format, where participants checked in to a central headquarters after each leg. Each team followed a different order through the race legs, and the final leg was the same for each team -- a sprint to the finish.

April 2001

First MedWAR Race held at Wildwood Park near Augusta, Georgia. The race lasted long into the night, with the final team crossing the finish line in just over 10 hours (at 2am)! Twenty-two teams from 8 states (NC, KY, TN, FL, GA, SC, MI, MD) and three foreign countries (Canada, New Zealand, Australia) participated in the inaugural race.

October 2002

The Midwest MedWAR made its debut at Pinckney Recreation Area in southeast Michigan.

March 2003

MedWAR went international, with teams braving the Canadian winter in 2003 the first MedWAR North near Barrie, Ontario.

April 2003

The Southeast MedWAR race moved to the U.S. Army's Fort Gordon incorporating a mass casualty simulation involving a crashed army helicopter.

December 2003

Two articles published in Volume 14, Issue 4 of the Journal of Wilderness & Environmental Medicine. Steve Donelan’s An Introduction to the Medical Wilderness Adventure Race (MedWAR) and David Ledrick’s The Medical Wilderness Adventure Race (MedWAR): A 2-Year Perspective on a Unique Learning Experience.

Summer 2004

Adventure Sports Magazine published a small piece on MedWAR including the observation that if you're going to get hurt in an adventure race, you're in good hands in MedWAR.

October 2005

Midwest MedWAR broke the record for the largest race with 55 teams competing in the first MedWAR Race to be raced from 3-10pm, ending with a orienteering section in the dark.

March 2006

Mid­-Atlantic MedWAR begins at Fort A. P. Hill in Virginia boasting one of the most challenging orienteering courses yet.

April 2006

MedWAR champion Charles Mock sets a record, finishing top 5 in all three Spring Series races: North, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast! He won an entry into another MedWAR race of his choosing. Congrats Charlie!

October 2006

Northeast MedWAR in upstate New York is officially added to the MedWAR Race Series, expanding the race schedule to 5 races!

January 2009

Utah MedWAR holds its first race with a GPS-based navigation course.

Nov 2009

Tennessee’s inaugural MedWAR race!

Utah MedWAR published in Backpacker Magazine. Fast Responders: The Medical Wilderness Adventure Race.

June 2010

July 2011

Southeast MedWAR and Michael Caudell featured in Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine. Med Wars.

October 2016

MedWAR featured in Paul Auerbach’s 2-Volume Wilderness Medicine 7th Edition. Chapter 114, MedWAR: Medical Wilderness Adventure Race.

July 2018

Jeff Amen’s first hand account of his MedWAR experience published in the WMS’s Wilderness Medicine Magazine. MedWAR Lake Tahoe 2016 Review.