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Absolute Wilderness Adventure Race

When:

Sat 26 Apr 2014, 6:00am–11:00pm
Sun 27 Apr 2014, 6:00am–1:00pm

Where: Murchison Sport, Recreation & Cultural Centre, Hampden St, Murchison, Nelson / Tasman

Restrictions: All Ages

Listed by: nathan54

Murchison has been selected as the host town for the inaugural Absolute Wilderness Adventure Race. The region is jammed packed with outdoor opportunities with Nelson Lakes and Kahurangi National Parks either side plus the Buller River and tributaries all converging in the area. The race will involve whitewater rafting, mountain biking and hiking. Navigation will also be a component, with teams having to navigate their way through the course visiting control points in numerical order. There will be two divisions, for beginner / intermediate people, the Adventure Race (ADV) with a winning time aimed at 6-hours and an Expedition Race (EXP) for the experienced teams, shooting for a 12-hour winning time. Teams are three people and can be either all-male teams or mixed gender.

Adventure Racers can be assured of a high quality event on the weekend of April 25th-27th when two-time Adventure Racing World Champion and notable Event Director Nathan Fa’avae launches the Absolute Wilderness Adventure Race.

Held in Murchison, the white water mecca of New Zealand, Fa’avae says participants can expect an authentic wilderness experience.

“Murchison has some excellent river rafting runs and is locked by two National Parks, Kahurangi and Nelson Lakes. Getting into remote areas happens fast and I’m sure the courses will take people to new places. There has never been a race in the area the teams will be going into” he says.

The event will offer two options, the Adventure (ADV) category and the Expedition (EXP).

Fa’avae explains, “The ADV section has a winning time around 6-hours. Both events will include whitewater rafting, mountain biking and hiking. There will also be navigation which will be at a basic to intermediate level for the ADV but more technical in the EXP race, where the winning time is 12-hours or more”

The race has been launched because he believes there is a gap in the market for an event like it. “Chris James has done a truly amazing job of running the Rollos 24-hour race for a decade or so. That race has successfully served a healthy adventure racing community. Chris has stepped down from running the event so I wanted to make sure there is an event people can do, to challenge themselves and develop their adventure racing skills” he says.

The ADV event is aimed at intermediate or first time adventure racers and the EXP version is targeting the experienced teams. “The talk I’m hearing in the Adventure Racing community is the races are not complex enough. People want more route options, navigation tests and to get off the beaten track. I plan to raise the bar on the EXP event. I think many of the shorter races have been technically not hard enough, I believe many people have really got some good skills these days and they’re keen to use them. I also think there needs to be a race that is a further stepping stone towards Godzone” says Fa’avae

Teams of three people can enter the race, in either male or mixed gender teams. Fa’avae has opted not to cater for female teams as he also runs the extremely popular Spring Challenge, the biggest adventure race in the world that caters only for women. “Every year at Spring Challenge we get guys asking if we can put on an event like it for men, and women asking for an event they can do with their husbands or partners, so we finally decided to give it a shot” he adds.

The inaugural race will be limited to 80-teams. “Due to the rafting logistics and the fact it’s the first event, we’d like to keep it at an easily managed size. I have a feeling we’ll fill the spots available. We’re already getting a flow of entries and we only launched the event a week ago. The beauty of the rafting component as the water discipline is provided people can mountain bike, they can be an adventure racer, as anyone can sit on a raft and float down a river and nearly everyone can walk”