The 4 Best Adventure Races of 2015
Over the past couple of years there has been a true renaissance within the sport of adventure racing. Following the global economic down-turn that hit back in 2008, many races had to be postponed or cancelled, and the future of the sport looked like it could be jeopardy. But now, just a few short years later, it has returned stronger than ever, with an incredible array races schedule to take place across the globe in the months ahead. 2015 will not only see popular events continue to build on past momentum, but a number of new races arrive on the scene too. It will also see the much anticipated return of a legendary race that will make waves on the AR scene too. With that in mind, here are the 4 best adventure races for the year ahead.
Expedition Africa, Swaziland (June 5–14)
South Africa is another country that is brimming with adventure opportunities, offering visitors fantastic hiking, climbing, paddling, and a number of other iconic travel experiences. It is also home to Expedition Africa, a 500 km (310 mile) race through Swaziland, an independent executive monarchy that falls within the South African borders. This race will send 40 teams out onto a demanding course that is dominated by rolling hills and rugged mountains, during a time of year that sees warm days, and surprisingly cool nights. The classic African terrain will be on display throughout the competition as well, and sharp eyed racers may even spot some of the continents most well known and exotic wildlife too.
Expedition Alaska, USA (June 28–July 4)
One of the most promising new races to arrive onto the AR scene in 2015 is Expedition Alaska, a 7-day event that will cover up to 600 km (370 miles) across Alaska’s spectacular Kenai Peninsula. Race organizers promise that in addition to the standard adventure racing disciplines of trail running, mountain biking, and kayaking, teams can expect canyoneering, coasteering, and whitewater sections too. The incredibly scenic route is expected to cross over glaciers, run along rugged coastline, and travel deep into the untamed wilds of “the last frontier, ” following parts of the original Iditarod Trail. This will be the first major adventure race ever held in Alaska, and many international teams have signed up to experience that amazing setting for themselves.
Primal Quest, USA (August 22–29)
Perhaps the most exciting development in adventure racing for 2015 is the return of Primal Quest, a race that holds a significant place in the annals of the sport’s history. After a six year hiatus, PQ returns under a new management team, which has left some racers wondering what they should expect out of an event that was once the biggest the sport had to offer. We do know that the race will take place in the Lake Tahoe area, with 40 teams squaring off on a 640+ km (400+ mile) course that will take up to 7 days to complete. The route will wander across the amazing Sierra Nevada Range, and require teams to run, peddle, paddle, and climb their way to the finish line. According to the race’s website, additional disciples will include rappelling and spelunking as well, giving us a hint of just what the course designers have in store for competitors.
AR World Championship/Pantanal, Brazil (November)
Brazil is another country that loves adventure racing, and this year it will play host to the AR World Championship/Pantanal. As the name implies, the race will take place in the Pantanal region, which is located in the extreme west of the country, near the border of Bolivia. Teams will race through one of the most biologically diverse environments on the planet in the Serra do Amolar, an area that features widely varying terrain, making it well suited for this type of competition. The 7-day event will crown one team as the world champions for 2015, and award more than $75,000 in cash prizes. While not a lot about the course is known just yet, expect it to cover more than 400 km (250 miles), and put qualifying teams to the test in ways that they didn’t know were possible.
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