Adventure Racing News
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2009 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challange attracts veterans and rookies
posted Friday, August 28, 2009 by Yak @ 9:20 AM - 0 comments

By combining an accessible stage format with a convivial race culture and exposure to local traditions, the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge affirms its universal appeal by, once again, drawing widespread interest from teams around the globe.

From overall course design, rules and regulations to logistical support and cultural context, all aspects of The Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge are carefully fine-tuned to bring out the best in every competing team. The stage-race format allows athletes to give 100% during the day's racing while benefiting from the restorative qualities of an evening bivouac. Optional routes, included in the longer, more challenging stages, allow teams to maximise their physical effort by racing at their own rhythm, incurring a time penalty rather than dropping out altogether through exhaustion. If a team wanders off-course enough to require direct intervention from the organization, penalties are incurred but provision has been made to avoid exclusion from the race altogether. Winning is for one; participating is for all.

Although teams are free to bring their own equipment, the organisation provides top quality MTBs, and state of the art sea-kayaks to every team. All the logistics involved in transporting teams and gear between stages and serving hot meals in the transitional bivouacs is also covered by the organisation, eliminating the need for support crews.

Last year, this innovative and unique set of credentials attracted an exceptional field comprising 36 teams from no fewer than 19 different nations, establishing The Challenge as the world's most cosmopolitan adventure race ever - a record well within sight this year as pros, seasoned amateurs and neophytes already flock to register for the 2009 event. Many "early adopters" are completely new to the race with the likes of ARCTIC EXPLORERS (GB), DOLPHIN TEAM XTREME (NL) and KINESIUM (FRA) joining ranks with returnees SALOMON CRESTED BUTTE (USA) and SPELEO SALOMON (POL) to name just few. A common refrain among newcomers is echoed by Dave SAVVAS, captain of expat Australians SOUTHERN CROSS: "The format is unique and this really inspired us to get a team together for this year. The combination of events, especially the desert trek, is exciting and will definitely test us as a team. The environment is also unique and, whilst we are living in the UAE, there is no better way to really get a true appreciation of the environment"

There are few arenas in the AR world that inspire both rookies and established champions - the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge is one of them.

Live race coverage and information at www.abudhabi-adventure.com

Guided tour of Primal Quest
posted Friday, August 14, 2009 by Yak @ 10:37 AM - 0 comments

Follow Checkpoint Zero on Twitter for links to the best Primal Quest coverage from around the web.

Primal Quest Badlands Expedition Race Presented by SPOT Starts Today
posted by Yak @ 9:20 AM - 1 comments

SPOT LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Globalstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: GSAT) today announces the start of the 2009 Primal Quest Badlands Presented by SPOT adventure race. For the second consecutive year, teams are equipped with SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger providing online race tracking and public viewing at www.ecoprimalquest.com starting today through August 23, 2009.

Beginning this morning, hundreds of co-ed adventure racers from around the world will navigate, trek, mountain bike, swim, climb, rappel, and paddle 600 miles through the remote wilderness of South Dakota's Badlands and Black Hills. SPOT custom race software and leaderboard technology allows fans to follow the action live through real-time updates on SPOT enhanced Google Maps and MyTopo Maps.

Due to the remoteness of the race the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger provides competitors and race staff with logistical support and emergency communications independent of cellular networks to assist with on-course safety.

"With this year's course being the longest in Primal Quest history, SPOT provides reliable satellite-based communications allowing us to follow and find any athlete or race worker anywhere on the course, 24 hours a day," said Don Mann, Primal Quest Director. "In my view, SPOT has changed the dynamics of adventure racing and Primal Quest is safer and better due to our partnership with SPOT.

"Primal Quest, referred to as, "The World's Most Challenging Human Endurance Competition," is a 10-day, 600 miles (965+KM) co-ed team adventure race; the largest human-powered, multi-discipline, multi-day event of its kind in the world. Since its inception in 2002, the race has attracted world-class athletes and established itself as the leading event of its kind. The SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger meets the extraordinary demands of the Primal Quest teams, as they require a rugged, easy to use tracking product – and a way to update their location reliably.

To learn more about the 2009 Primal Quest Presented by SPOT, visit www.ecoprimalquest.com. Additional team profile information and individual team tracking history is available at www.SPOTadventures.com.

MyTopo says "Primal Quest maps are ready"
posted Thursday, August 13, 2009 by Yak @ 3:52 PM - 0 comments

MyTopo is proud to announce that it is has completed the printing of more than 1000 waterproof topographic maps covering most of southwestern South Dakota for use by the highly-trained athletes competing in this year's Primal Quest Adventure Race, billed as the "World's Most Challenging Human Endurance Race". In addition to the race maps, MyTopo has printed map sets for use by the search and rescue personnel, the race management team, and media covering the race, which begins August 14 in The Badlands of South Dakota.

The maps must be detailed and durable enough to be the teams' sole navigation aide during ten days of grueling human-powered racing through every type of weather and geographic obstacle. MyTopo custom-centers and scales the data to put the entire 600 mile course onto as few map sheets as possible. The maps are printed on the company's proprietary waterproof, tear-resistant paper, with UV-fade resistant inks, which results in a nearly indestructible map.

According to Kevin Toohill, MyTopo CEO, this year the teams will carry 15 maps each. "That sounds like a lot of maps, but if the teams had to rely on the traditional USGS 7.5 minute quad sheets, they would be carrying at least 45 maps to cover the entire area."

"MyTopo maps are the gold standard among adventure racers. They match the toughness of an elite adventure racer," said Don Mann, director of Primal Quest, a former Navy Seal, and one of the most respected and renowned leaders in the sport of adventure racing.

New this year, MyTopo provided its award-winning Terrain Navigator Pro mapping software to the Primal Quest course designers. "The software provided a platform for the course designers to use to plot out the course logistics and share mapping data with Federal and State land managers, law enforcement, and race management to ensure a challenging, but safe experience for the racers. One of the most helpful features was being able to simultaneously work with topographic and aerial data," said Greg Vogel, Primal Quest's Technology Director, who believes this year's course offers unique challenges.

The race's online spectators will be able to view the same detailed topographic data the racers are relying on by clicking on the MyTopo tab on the Primal Quest Badlands Presented by SPOT leader board. The tracking data transmitted by the SPOT devices worn by the racers will be viewable real-time on fully detailed topographic maps, making it more exciting to follow the teams as they traverse The Badlands.

"MyTopo is proud to have been a part of its fourth Primal Quest race, and wishes all involved great success for a safe and exciting ten days, " said Toohill.

MyTopo supports the adventure racing community via its popular adventure race director discount program, which allows race organizers to purchase maps at a fifty percent discount, providing a 10% discount on all individual training maps ordered via the Primal Quest website (www.ecoprimalquest.com) providing discounts to members of the US Adventure Racing Association, and providing maps for the USARA Championship race each year. MyTopo is a private company based in Billings, MT, providing navigation-ready mapping services, data and software. For more information about MyTopo, please visit www.mytopo.com or call 877-587-9004.