As I’ve mentioned before, 2011 is looking like a very healthy year for adventure racing, with a number of great events on the schedule. One of the top races for the year will undoubtedly be the Raid the North Extreme, which will take place from July 23rd – 31st in the West Kootenays of Canada’s British Columbia. The 500km (310 mile) race will feature plenty of trekking, mountain biking, and paddling, along with fixed ropes, navigation, and a few other surprises I’m sure.
Last week, while I was away in Yellowstone, RTNX race directors released their mandatory gear list for the event, giving teams a glimpse at what they can expect during the race. Now, revealing the required gear that a team must have with them is standard operating procedure for any race, and is often not all that note worthy. However, what is interesting in this case is that the list is a rather slim one, with a lot less gear than most other expedition length races in such a remote place. I have it on good authority that the race organizers debated to great length, and thought long and hard about the topic of gear, before releasing this list. The result is a throwback to the old days of adventure racing where things were simpler and teams went out into the wild with the minimum amount of equipment necessary to keep them safe while still moving at speed. It seems that the RTNX is really looking to get back to the roots of the sport with a fantastic setting and a no-nonsense approach to the race.
Even more encouraging is that it seems to be working. A quick look at the RTNX Teams page and you’ll see that nearly 40 teams have already signed up for the race. That’s a very healthy number for an event that is still more than seven months away and bodes well for the success of other races throughout 2011.
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