Over the past few years the Adventure Racing World Series has taken some of the best adventure races in the world and brought them together to create a unified set of events that works towards crowning a world champion in the sport each year. The system has brought order to AR, which in the past has generally consisted of numerous races that operated independently of one another without any type of consistency or cooperation.
While the current state of adventure racing is very different from what it was a decade ago, I’d venture to say that the sport is as healthy now as it has ever been, which much of the credit for that going to the ARWS. If you’re looking for further proof of this, one only needs to look to the recent announcement that adventure racing is coming to China this September in the form of the Xtrail Expedition Race.
For now, the Xtrail is operating as a demonstration event for the ARWS, but it is the first officially sanctioned race to be held in Asia. The event will be held in the remote Altay region of the Xinjiang province, in far northwestern China. It will feature the usual disciplines of mountain biking, kayaking, and trail running, all set in a place unlike any most of the competitors have seen before.
In order to lure teams to the event, the organizers of the Xtrail are offering a number of great incentives. Those include a reduced price entry fee of $1,000 USD per team, free transfers to/from Urumqi (arrival city) to Altay (race city), all accommodations and some food in Altay, and a $600 USD cash payment per international athlete on arrival to assist with travel expenses in China. In other words, they are serious about attacking top teams and want to make the process has simple and painless as possible.
Entry into the race is listed to just 25 international teams and 25 Chinese teams, so if you’re interested in joining in on the fun, you’ll want to sign up soon. The Xtrail will take place on September 23-28, and will cover roughly 300 km (186 miles). Need further incentive? The prize purse for the event is expected to top out at $50,000 USD.
Find out more at the ARWS website.
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