What is Adventure Racing?

International Adventure Racing:

Adventure racing is a combination of two or more endurance disciplines, including navigation, cross-country running, mountain biking, paddling, climbing and related rope skills. An expedition event can span ten days or more while sprints can be completed in a matter of hours. There is typically no suspension of the clock during races, irrespective of length; elapsed competition time runs concurrently with real time, and competitors must choose if or when to rest.  More information on this can be found on Wikipedia.

UK Adventure Racing

Much of the popularity in the sport can be attributed to Phil Humphreys who created ACE Races the first two day Adventure Race series in 1998.  The two day events quickly grew in popularity and in 2002 ACE Races kicked off the one day series.  Another key event was the Hi-Tec adventure race series in 1999 and 2000.  Fast paced teams of three fought it out in front of the C4 TV cameras. The Western Isles Challenge also kicked off which evolved into the Hebridean Challenge.  As well as all this Brian Elliot created the Adrenalin Rush, a true expedition race of epic proportions in Scotland and Northern & Southern Ireland.  This was complimented with the Salomon 36 hour race Рwhich enabled Adventure Racers to enjoy the very best the UK had to offer in adventure.  The turn of the century was halcyon times for adventure racers in the UK.

In 2003 Dynamic Adventure Racing kicked off a 6 hour race targeting beginners and a 8 hour event for intermediate and elites.  This was followed by Questars whose numbers have grown and now sell out their 450 places well in advance.  In 2004 James Thurlow created Open Adventure and like Questars his events have grown in popularity and he now runs 5, 12 and 24 hour adventure races, as well as multi-day, multi stage and expedition events.

Following the success of ACE Races¬†Phil Humphreys and Gary Thompset ran the Wilderness ARC a true multi day expedition race in 2005 and 2006.¬† It was so successful that it 2007 it was selected as the Adventure Racing World Championship and the AR world descended on Scotland.¬† The best of British competed against the world, however it wasn’t until 2009 that¬†Team¬†adidas TERREX became the first British team to become Adventure Racing World Champions.

Since 2010 two new event organisers have appeared: Tri-Adventure who run 2, 3.5 and 5 hour events in Southern England and MultiSport Wales, who are based in Cardiff and run an urban adventure race that takes teams from the heart of the city to the great outdoor and back again.

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