The third annual Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge gets underway tomorrow, with 39 coed teams of four setting off on a six day stage race event that will see them running, mountain biking, paddling, and orienteering their way through, in , and around the Middle Eastern country that has been a great host to this event over the past few years.
Teams began arriving in Abu Dhabi yesterday, and are going through orientation for the event today, before the race actually begins tomorrow. Unlike a number of other adventure races, including Primal Quest, this adventure race is run in stages, with all teams beginning and ending at the same point each day. That means they don’t go non-stop, through the night, and without sleep. The teams with the least accumulated time across all six stages will be the ones that stand on the podium at the end of the race.
The field is, once again, quite deep for this year’s race, with competitors from all over the planet showing up to challenge one another. Top teams such as Salomon/Crested Butte, Vibram – Sport2000, and Lundhags Adventure will no doubt be pushing the pace, but there are plenty of good racers in the field, and the stage format allows for some surprises, and keeps things competitive.
Over the past couple of years, this race has earned itself a great reputation as a fun and challenging event that closes out the adventure racing calendar for the year. While I’m personally not a big fan of the stage format, it does give the race a bit of a unique edge, and I can guarantee you that it won’t be plagued with the same issues at the issues as the AR World Championships a few weeks back. We’ll be able to track the teams, and there will be no question as to who is leading and where all the other teams stand. In fact, this event is practically a model for how adventure races should be run, and the competitors generally rave about how fun and interesting it is.
I’ll post updates over the next few days.
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