If you follow the adventure racing scene at all you probably already know that the legendary Eco-Challenge race will return next year with realty television producer Mark Burnett back at the helm and Bear Grylls severing as the point man. The return of this high-profile event was officially announced a few months back, although since then there has been few updates. We do know that Burnett and Grylls have partnered with Amazon to deliver a 10 episode television show that follows the teams throughout the competition, but we don’t know when and where the race will take place yet. Still, as the days roll by we are starting to get a bit more information and apparently teams will soon be able to submit their information in order to join the race.
While at Outdoor Retailer last week I received an email that contained the trailer video for Eco-Challenge 2019 that you’ll find below. That email also indicated that teams could now submit their information on the Eco-Challenge website, although I don’t actually see a place where they can do that just yet. The site looks pretty much the same as it did when the revival was announced back in the summer, including a form to receive more information as it is revealed. That form allows readers to indicate if they want to compete or not, but as of this writing I don’t see any place for teams to submit their data.
It is possible that the email that was sent out last week was a bit premature and that website update is coming soon. We are expecting to learn the dates and location of the race at any time, as Burnett and Grylls have said that those two pieces of information will be revealed before the end of the year. With the clock ticking on that deadline, we should expect to learn a lot more soon.
What makes the return of Eco-Challenge so exciting is that this was the race that got many of us interested in adventure racing in the first place. Starting in the mid-1990s and running to the early 2000s, Eco was the biggest and baddest race in the planet. It built an audience in no small part thanks to Mark Burnett’s awesome television specials that captured the essence of the sport so well. It didn’t hurt that the race took place in destinations like Fiji, Morocco, and Argentina as well, creating a lush and dramatic backdrop to the competition that was unfolding before our eyes. Later, Burnett went on to create Survivor and became one of the biggest names in Hollywood. Now, he’s returning to his roots somewhat by bringing Eco-Challenge back. How it fares in the modern age remains to be seen, and adventure racing has changed a lot since the last race took place. That said, there is still a lot of excitement amongst the AR community as we wait to learn more.
To get updates on all things Eco-Challenge, visit the race’s official website and fill out the form.