The Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge came to a conclusion today with a fast final stage that saw the teams biking, running, anc climbing through the desert in an all out dash to the finish line.
The sixth stage of the race was separated into three sections. A short mountain bike leg, followed by desert mountain run and ropes course, and then one more mountain bike leg. In the end, the strong kiwi team of Desert Islands was just too much for the field, and they finished first on the day, and took home the top prize overall as well.
Team NZ, also of New Zealand, finished in second place, more than seven minutes behind the champions. Third place went to the French team of Sport2000 Vibram Outdry who were an additional six minutes back, and just seconds ahead of their countrymen on Team Wilsa Helly Hansen. American team Nike crossed the finish line in fifth place overall.
By all accounts, the Adventure Challenge was another great event this year. I’ve been told by people in Abu Dhabi that the organizers of the event went all out to make the teams, fans, and media feel welcome. I think it’s safe to say that there will be another race next year.
From the stand point of a fan of the sport, it’s also great to see so many very good teams competing at the event. That bodes well for adventure racing in general. I’d love to see some of these teams come to Primal Quest Badlands next year and competing in that race as well. The experience of PQ is very different from what they’ve encountered in Abu Dhabi however, and it would be interesting to see how they would deal with navigation and a non-stop race style. With any luck, we may get the chance to find out!
Congratulations to Team Desert Islands on a well deserved win.