2009 Adventure Racing World Championship Update

2009 IMG 2258
The Adventure Racing World Championships continue in Portugal, with the top teams slugging it out across a challenging course that stretches more than 450 miles in length. From most accounts, athletes are performing well and are at the top of their game. If only the same thing could be said for the ARWC website and leaderboard.

On more than one occasion over the past few days, when I’ve tried to logon to the website to check standings, the site has been down altogether. And when I am able to access the site, the leaderboard tells a very different tale from the reports we’re getting at SleepMonsters.com, where we’re told that OrionHealth and Nike are pushing each other to the limit. But even that isn’t the full tale, as the unique racing system that they’ve put together has teams chasing bonus checkpoints to earn time credits, which adds a new element of confusion. It is believed that Nike has one or two more CP’s than Orion, but it is not confirmed at this point, and in the end, it could be those elements that end up deciding the race.

Now, I know that adventure racing isn’t exactly a spectator sport, but with modern tracking devices that are connected to leaderboards, there is no reason that there should be this kind of confusion. Fans want to be able to follow along at home, cheering for a favorite team, and when the leaderboard and tracking system don’t accurately reflect what is happening on the course, it takes a lot of the fun and drama out of the event. It is usually not a good thing when the first team across the finish line doesn’t end up being the one that actually wins, which is another reason this bonus checkpoint system is not necessarily a good one.

The race is scheduled to go for two more days, and I suspect we’ll see the first teams finishing tomorrow. Keep checking in with SleepMonsters for more updates, as they have a man on the ground in Portugal who is feeding back good information and doing a far better job keeping us up to date with what is really happening between the top teams.

Kraig Becker

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