Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge Adventure Race Begins Wednesday

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The 2012 adventure racing season isn’t finished quite yet. On Wednesday of this week, the Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania  Challenge will get underway, pitting some of the best endurance athletes in the world against one another on five-day stage race that will cover more than 350 km (217 miles) of Australian wilderness.

Like most other adventure races, the Tasmania Challenge pits teams of two or three against one another  on a wilderness course that they will need to run, mountain bike and paddle through. Other challenges will crop up on a daily basis as well, pushing racers to their limit by testing their skills at navigation, climbing and a variety of other activities. And since this is a stage race, each of the five days will have a clearly defined start and finish line, which makes it easier for fans to follow along at home. Look for live tracking and regular updates from each stage to begin appearing on the race website on Wednesday.

The race is put on by F1 driver Mark Webber, who also happens to be a big fan of adventure racing. It is designed to be used as a fund raiser for charities in Australia and 100% of the proceeds generated from the race are given to those causes. This year the money will go to the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal, a group dedicated to helping find a cure to a rare strain of transferrable cancer that afflicts that species.

All the action gets underway on Wednesday morning local time and runs through Sunday when a champion is crowned.

Kraig Becker