If you’re a fan of adventure racing then you can’t help but be excited about the return of Eco-Challenge in 2019. The venerable race was the first point of entry into the sport for many of us, giving a glimpse of an event that was legendarily difficult and took place in locations that were remote, wild, and demanding. When Eco-Challenge went away, the sport lost its Super Bowl, for lack of a better term, and although it has evolved nicely since those days, the return of this iconic race could usher in a new era for AR.
Up until last week, we didn’t know a lot about what was happen with Eco. We knew that television producer Mark Burnett was behind the revival and that he was bringing Bear Grylls along for the ride. We also knew that the race would be filmed and aired on the Amazon Prime streaming service, which could expose it to one of the largest audiences to ever watch an adventure race before. Other than that, there were still some gaps to be filled in, including the location and dates of the race. Now, those questions have been answered.
The new Eco-Challenge is set to take place in Fiji, which hosted the race back in 2002, the last year it was held. It is scheduled to run from September 5-25, 2019, with probably somewhere around ten of those days dedicated to racing. The other days will be spent prepping for the race, with team check-ins, mandatory gear inspections, briefings, and so on.
Speaking of teams, anyone looking to take part in Eco-Challenge Fiji (Round 2) can now sign up for the event. Team registration has officially launched, with a $5000 entry fee, which I believe is less expensive than what most of us thought it would be. That’s likely due to the fact that Amazon is helping to produce the race for television and Mark Burnett wields a lot of clout in television circles these days. Certainly much more than he did 16 years ago when the last Eco took place and the first Survivor was set to air.
In celebration of these announcements, the video below was released too, introducing the modern Eco-Challenge to the world. Check it ou!