Part of the reason I was in Ecuador over the past week and a half was to cover the start of the Adventure Racing World Championship, which began in the Andean highlands, descended through the rainforest, and eventually ended on the Pacific Coast. While I was there, I witnessed the start of the race, during which 50 coed teams of four set off on a grand adventure that would cover more than 710 km (441 miles) on foot, mountain bike, and kayak. The race was an exciting one to say the least, and in the end there were some familiar names standing on the podium.
The top team at this year’s ARWC was Team Seagate from New Zealand, who were the odds on favorite to win the event before it even started. They managed to complete the entire route in just 4.5 days, which is an impressive feat in and of itself. This was a course designed to test the participants at every turn, and having witnessed some of the route myself, the race certainly lived up to its billing of being a tough one.
Second place went to Team Columbia Vidaraid of Spain, who put in impressive performance throughout the race as well, finishing four hours and 15 minutes behind the winners. Team Movistar of Ecuador claimed third place overall, proving that the home field advantage can play a factor. This talented team was near the top of the leaderboard almost the entire way, and they managed to finish in a little over five days.
I want to thank the entire staff at the Huairasinchi Explorer – the host of this year’s AR World Championships – for putting on such a great event. It was a joy to be back in the middle of a major adventure race once again, and it was great to catch-up with old friends, and make new ones too.
Also, congratulations to Team Seagate for running a great race. They were certainly the class of the field, and remain the best AR team in the world.
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