Adventure Racing World Championships are set to get underway tomorrow in France, where 65 of the top teams, representing 30 countries, will take to the starting line for this expedition length race. Over the next eight days, those teams will battle it out on a tough 520km (323 mile) course designed to test their endurance and skill and push these endurance athletes to their absolute limits.
This year's ARWC is being hosted by the Raid In France and features a course that runs through the L'Argentiére-la-Bessé region of the Alps. The route includes more than 20,000 meters (65,616 ft) of total climbing, with more than half of the race taking place above 2000 meters (6561 ft). The coed teams of four will be put to the test as they trek, mountain bike, paddle and navigate their way across one of the more spectacular landscapes in all of Europe.
Today the teams will have a final briefing and run a short prologue ahead of the official start of the race tomorrow at 6AM local time. They'll then have up to eight days to complete the entire course, although the faster teams such as the defending champs Team Thule and the Kiwi squad of Seagate, are expected to finish in around five days.
Once the event gets underway the race will have a live leaderboard and GPS tracking of the teams. As of this writing neither of those are active just yet. When they do go online you'll be able to follow the action at www.live.raidinfrance.com.
Good luck to all of the teams and especially so to my friends who are competing this week. Race hard, be safe and have fun!