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Wenger Czech Adventure Race 2017


Multisport.fi Win a Shortened Czech Adventure Race

Author : Jan Smolik
PhotoCredit : Czech Adventure Race

The Finnish team Multisport.fi won the Wenger Czech Adventure Race 2017. They managed to get through the course in 68 hours which was much longer than anyone expected.

The terrain and orientation on the course caused the teams to move more slowly than usual. There were no particularly high mountains, just a lot of hills. The heat of the first day and the heavy rain that affected the rest of the race also slowed the teams.  So instead of finishing on Friday evening the first team reached the finish line on Saturday morning.

After the first skating section teams continued on foot towards the second skating section. The trek was supposed to be interrupted by climbing, but due to heavy rain the organizers decided to cancel this discipline. However some very interesting places were visited on this trek. There was a stone city in Sloup with sandstone towers popular by rock climbers.  Some of them have castle like features sculpted out of the stone.  Then there were sandstone caves. Some of them natural, but some also artificial created as a tunnel to supply a local mill with water.  Interestingly enough two of the most famous Czech movie fairy tales were shot along the course of this trek. It is just scenic.

After that, the second skating section followed. It was flat, but at one point it was necessary to remove the skates and walk to the top of a hill on a gravel road. The Finns had forgotten their shoes and they had to walk barefoot. One of them said it was a pleasant massage however the other said his feet still did not like it. There was also a canyoning stage.  

It was another artificially created tunnel which used to supply a mill with water. Ploučnice river (the same river teams paddled on) flows through this tunnel.  Usually it is quite fine to visit, but at night and in heavy rain some teams were reluctant and even afraid to enter. However it proved to be a safe and interesting visit.

After the skating teams returned on foot back to TA2. They crossed an area popular with romantic poets of the 19th century (namely castle Bezdez). Progress was slow.  The organizers in the TA tried to push points on the map of the tracker to help teams finish earlier, but it did not work. Some relatively short routes between checkpoints were either uphill, or on bad roads, or in deep drifts of sand or something similar.

Finally at 8:30 p.m. the Finnish team arrived at the race center. They went to sleep and after two hours they managed to persuade the organizers to let them go to onto the short course which was supposed to be for teams leaving after Saturday 1 a.m. as it was unlikely that any other team would make the cut.

The following ‘Bols cross’ was very hard. This year this trademark discipline started with rope abseil and rope descent (which took about 45 minutes as it was a relay) and then teams went up and down between sandstone rocks squeezing in narrow canyons jumping from rock to rock. It took another hour to finish the stage.

After that, they continued on a shortened trek. Even that was not really short and the winners arrived at the finish line just before six a. m.

While the winners had a huge lead before the last biking section and it was clear they could loose only due to a big mistake or an injury, the next two teams raced head to head. Slovenian-Croatian PR Salomon and Czech EPO/Sport nás baví left TA2 very close to each other. However on the final biking section PR Salomon managed to take a solid lead. Eventually they managed to get second place leaving the Czechs with third.

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