Am I going to get dirty? Yes
Am I going to get lost? Maybe. You won't get really lost most likely because the race takes place mainly in a Rec area and a State Park with very clear boundaries. You may have trouble finding a checkpoint but you probably won't find yourselves miles from no-where, even if this is your first adventure race.
What are the distances/disciplines? Although the course changes every year, it always centers around Turtle River State Park and Larimore Recreation Area, and this makes the distances somewhat generalizable. Assuming you don't get too lost looking for checkpoints, chasing down the mandatory points will probably require 3-4 miles of foot travel and 15-20 miles on the bike (mostly gravel/section lines). If you're going after ALL the CP's, you'll end up adding 2-3 miles to the foot travel (much of it over tougher terrain though) and adding 6-10 miles onto the biking, most of it on super fun single and double track. The full course will also require some paddling (packrafts) and completion of the 2-3 mystery challenges.
May I use a cross bike? We like choices, so yes, you may use a cross bike. We also like fairness though, so if you're using a cross bike, make sure it has a tire width of at least 32 mm. This is equivalent to a 1.25 inch mountain bike tire, so theoretically someone running 1.25 inch slicks on their MTB would have the same (or similar) rolling resistance. Yeah, there are other differences between cross bikes and mt. bikes, but there are differences between mt. bikes as well. Keep in mind that some of the riding may be more difficult on a cross bike - we're not promising that CAN use one, only that you MAY.