The best adventure racers in the world have descended on Wyoming as the Adventure Racing World Series brings its world championship to the U.S. for the very first time. On Thursday of this week, the race will get underway with more than 50 coed teams of four setting out on a six-day long, 450 mile (725 km) course through some of the wildest places the American west has to offer.
The athletes are currently in Casper, WY where the are going through mandatory gear checks, attending team meetings, and plotting their strategy for the event. Once the gun sounds, it will be a nonstop race to the finish, with a combination of activities to overcome, including long treks on foot, technical mountain biking rides, and wild paddling stages. They will also have to navigate successfully between checkpoints and there will no doubt be some climbing and orienteering sections to deal with as well. In short, it will be everything we’ve come to expect from an AR world championship.
The event has been moved up from its traditional date in October or November each year to accommodate a North American location. The host race for the 2017 championship is Cowboy Tough, which has built itself a reputation for being a well organized and run race, with some challenging courses, over the past few years. The race organizers have no doubt stepped their game up even higher this year, as the top teams in the world come calling.
The favorites heading into the start of the race are no doubt Team Seagate from New Zealand, Columbia Vidaraid from Spain, and Adventure Medical Kits from the U.S. That said however, this field is stacked with great competitors from all over the planet, leaving it wide open for anyone to step up and claim the victory. Navigational errors, injuries, or poor strategy can all come back to haunt a team, and the race isn’t over until someone reaches the finish line. It should be fun to watch it all unfold starting on Thursday, August 10.
You’ll be able to keep up with the action at Cowboy Tough website. Good luck to all of my friends who will be taking part in the event.
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