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World's Best Adventure Racing Teams To Race 400km Across Reunion Island

Author : Press Release

PhotoCredit : Raid in France

Date Posted : 2018/04/25

Steep terrain is a feature of Reunion Island

For the second time in the history of the AR World Championship, Raid in France will be the organizers, staging the 2018 edition on the magnificent Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. From 4th to 16th of November, the top worldwide racing teams will plunge into this unique sporting and human adventure.

• 25 nations, 75 teams of 4 runners (including at least 1 woman)
• Between 5 and 8 days of non-stop race, day and night
• In total autonomy, immersed in the wilderness
• A succession of activities: trek, mountain biking, kayak, rafting, caving, canyoning ...

A Message From Pascal Bahuaud, Race Director

“Halfway through the scouting process on the island, we can promise teams a very ‘independent and adventurous’ 2018 route. We are preparing a physically, intellectually and technically engaged event. Racers will discover an island which is extreme in its topography and it will be difficult for them to make progress. We expect the first teams will take around 4.5 to 5 days and the last ones 8 days to complete the complex course.  In that time they will travel without any assistance and must manage their sleep as well as possible – that is the spirit of adventure racing.

A Challenging Route

Adventure races are a succession of non-stop sports disciplines: mountain biking, trekking, kayaking, packrafting, canyoning or caving. Each one has specificities but also difficulties. Treks are generally extremely testing for navigation and sometimes teams will have to secure themselves with ropes because impressive peaks will be crossed. To guarantee continual progress, many sections of rope work and abseiling will be necessary.

The mountain biking stages will see the racers conquer of some of the highest peaks of Reunion Island (we count 5 over 2500 meters in altitude on the island). They will also go through the many sugar cane plantations. Racers will be in totally immersed in the island’s identity and the route will take to its heart. The diversity of the landscapes will distinguish this high level and unique adventure.

Packrafting For Independent Adventures

Practiced on the adventure races for some years now, packrafting allows teams to navigate through rivers on inflatable rafts. Packrafts are known for their ability to adapt to any situation. In fact, racers can deflate and re-inflate their boat as many times as they want and take it on their back during the trek sections because its weight is only about 4 kg.

An Opportunity To Discover The History Of Reunion Island

During the race some historic path will be taken, which date back to the period of slavery (17th century). These were made by the feet of slaves who escaped and climbed to the heights to live free (maronnage) and the teams will be following in their footsteps.

About ARWS / created in 2001, the Adventure Racing World Series is a federation of international “long-distance” adventure races. It is the circuit that organizes and structures the World Championship as the culimination of 11 qualifiying adventure races around the world which culminate in ARWC (The Adventure Racing World Championship).

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