Thule wins Adventure Race Worlds

Thule won it all in Tasmania, to nobody’s surprise.

It took more than five days of racing and, despite the extremely tough course being largely dominated by Team Seagate, the Swedes pipped rival teams at the post, thanks to a four-hour penalty time that Seagate had to serve out.

Team Silva took second place with Seagate coming in third after serving out what must have been a very long four hours.

79 teams from all corners of the world began the adventure race with six of those teams forced out. The remaining teams continue to race through Tasmania’s rugged wilderness and wet weather across a 700km course. …

Outer Edge

Mimi must be the #1 woman in AR 2011. Congratulations.

Thule Adventure Team — Martin Flinta, Per Vestling, Jacky Boisset and Myriametjacky Myriam.

In fact, 4 Swedish based teams finished top 6.

world’s lightest 4-person tent

Myriam Guillot and Jacky Boisset from France are Adventure Racers. Here’s their home made, minimalist 4-person tent used for emergency shelter from weather and bugs.

Click PLAY or see it on YouTube.

They just might need this protection at the World Championships in Tasmania, starting Oct. 31st, 2011.

It weighs less than 1Kg (2lb 2oz). Jacky plans to further reduce weight by switching from aluminum poles to carbon fibre.

For information, contact Jacky via myriametjacky.com

Expedition Idaho Race wrap-up

by site editor Rick McCharles

Race Director Dave Adlard impressed one and all with his passion and tireless effort to make the inaugural ExpID a success.

Check out his wrap-up post for results and highlights – Expedition Idaho: The FINAL Update!.

The top teams transported themselves over 500mi of rugged north Idaho and Montana. Here’s a vastly simplified map of the route.

Mostly on foot, mountain bike and paddle, Dave added dozens of other challenges. Personally I liked “build a raft” and “light a fire” (without matches).

It’s hard on the body. My friends took significant damage moving constantly for 6 days.

Andy Tucker
Jeni McNeal

… but talk about a life altering experience. Expedition Adventure Racing makes Ironman look trivial.

Winners Thule from Europe just might be the team to beat at Worlds in Tasmania.

I was responsible for the race blog and social media:

» Team Photos | Photos | Videos | Twitter

Though I’m personally not a fan of Twitter, it was our best mode of communication during this race. Multiple people logged in to our account to update from the mountains by mobile phone.

The SPOT devices were almost more trouble than they were worth, working semi-reasonably perhaps 30% of the time. Multiple points of failure: human error, SPOT failure, battery failure, weather interference. The satellite network is unreliable too, it seems.

The one time we really needed SPOT to work, it didn’t. The team needed to climb to elevation to use a mobile phone to call 911 for air evacuation after a bike fall.

My $9.50 Trakfone was far more reliable in the wild than SPOT.

Here’s my favourite photo from the week, nighttime navigation – Team Bones.

Expedition Idaho Race

by site editor Rick McCharles

This week I’m volunteering at Dave Adlard’s NEW Adventure Race.

Over 6 days, co-ed teams of 4 will undertake a 500 – 700 km expedition over some of the most beautiful, epic and challenging terrain on Earth in a unique format!

Racers will use map, compass and their own wits and skills to navigate their way over an unmarked route by mountain biking, rafting, paddling, trekking, orienteering, trail running, using fixed ropes, and maybe a few other surprises through the wild panhandle of northern Idaho.

Our goal is to provide racers with an ultimate racing experience that harkens back to the original spirit of “the Raid,” where racers must problem solve, route find and persevere over a true, unmarked wilderness expedition course that will challenge them to their limits, while providing them with a life-altering experience they will never forget! …

Expedition Idaho Race

Here’s a cute INTRO video edited by AR Dave Russell.

Race director Dave Adlard threw the racers a bone after the short prologue. In a surprise move, they were directed with their bikes onto the gondola at the base of a very large climb. After bagging 3 CP’s in the ski area, they rode back roads about 30 miles to the start of the trek that will take them thru the night into Montana and a 300′ rappel.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Official Race Reports:

UPDATE – The Start!
UPDATE 2
UPDATE 3 – NIGHT #1

If you’re thinking those racers must be INSANE, … you’re correct.

Expedition Idaho 2011

I’m right now at an organizational meeting for volunteers. I’ll be manning some of the remote locations. Aug. 14-21, 2011.

… This is an expedition where the journey is at least as important as the race, and where all who commit to the challenge emerge as champions.

Over 6 days, co-ed teams of 4 will undertake a 500 – 700 km expedition over some of the most beautiful, epic and challenging terrain on Earth in a unique format!

Racers will use map, compass and their own wits and skills to navigate their way over an unmarked route by mountain biking, rafting, paddling, trekking, orienteering, trail running, using fixed ropes, and maybe a few other surprises through the wild panhandle of northern Idaho. …

details on the home page

We are trying to avoid the problems of last week’s Raid The North Extreme:

… As if the terrain were not challenging enough on its own, the race logistics broke down early in this event, and they never fully recovered. It was disappointing, and it honestly (unfortunately) destroyed the competitive side of this event. With bags of essential gear regularly missing at transition areas, checkpoints often unmanned and unmarked (we searched for hours for some!), the race forced our team and many others to bond together and switch from “racing mode” to full on survival mode more than once. …

We won’t race this flawed event again. But we learned many lessons in the remote B.C. wilderness, and we’re ready, we think, for even bigger challenges ahead. …

Jason MAGNESS of GearJunkie/YogaSlackersFinished: RTNX Post-Race Report

my new Out There AS-1 backpack

$189 is the cost of the best all-around adventure pack on the market right now.

I got mine yesterday from Mike Kloser himself. He packed it for me. Adjusted it for me. … And then made me chase him around the mountains of north Idaho for 12hrs continuous to test it.

The pack did great. I’m a wee bit exhausted.

AS-1 REVIEW by Nathan Fa’avae

I have spent in excess of 1000-days in the mountains and back country with a pack on my back, either racing, working or just pure adventure.

The AS-1 is by far the most comfortable and functional and pack I have used, a true testament to technology and innovation.

A major requirement I have is any pack I’m going to carry especially through an epic expedition race, needs to be lightweight yet still robust, the AS-1 meets both those needs.

My favourite aspect of the AS-1 is the 5-course menu of features, exceptionally convenient, multiple and productive functionality.

The AS-1 pack performs at the highest level, right where I aim to be when competing.

I used the AS-1 pack at the 2010 Adventure Racing World Championships, after 104-hours with the pack on my back, after it carried my gear, food and liquid for over 500-miles, I couldn’t fault it.

Out There USA

There are too many features to list. Watch the video on the site if you might be interested in getting one for yourself.

For pure hiking I’ll stick with my minimalist Granite Gear inflatable frame pack, but for any trip requiring “toys”, I’ll be using the AS-1.

Black Diamond Z Pole Ultra Distance

I’ve long disparaged ‘hiking canes‘, … despite evidence to the contrary. Most of the best hikers in the world use them for longer trips.

Yet I’m ready (finally) to try a pair. Here’s why my Adventure Racing team is testing them:

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Backpacker calls them the “best carbon poles we’ve ever tested“, awarding them the Editors’ Choice 2011 award.

$150 at REI. $136.00 CAD at MEC.

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