Interview with Team Columbia Vidaraid - World #1 Ranked Team
German Cuevas/AdvFeel Communication & Rob Howard / 11.02.2015
Before flying to New Zealand for Godzone International adventure racing team Columbia Vidaraid have been speaking to Advfeel Communication about their plans for 2015 and their path to becoming number 1 in the ARWS Rankings.
Columbia VidaRaid have created a name for themselves in the world of adventure racing. That's it like to be among the best teams in the world?
We have spent many years working hard to improve in this sport, investing a lot of time not only to train but also to take forward each of the challenges and dreams that we have held. To see that effort pay off is very rewarding.
What is your secret for success?
We do not think it's a question of secrets. We have many races behind us now, and all of them have helped us to learn and to get where we are. We are not the strongest physically, but this sport is not just about that and we perform well in other important skills.
Do you think 2014 has been a qualitative leap for your team? How would you summarize the year?
2013 was a great year too, in fact the results were very evenly matched to 2014. The difference is that thanks to performances over these two years, we finished 2014 as number 1 in the World Ranking. We continue to learn every day and every race. The best is yet to come.
In adventure racing there are many moments that are memorable. Which do you think has been the most intense – something you will never forget?
As you say, many times there are spectacular stages while others are torture and there are moments of great tension and great joy. It is difficult to choose one as all races have produced conflicting emotions. We could list many and write a book full of the team’s experiences.
Do you consider that within an amateur sport your professionalism, outside of the racing itself, has facilitated your success?
We could not say we train to a high professional level. Unfortunately you cannot live like this and we have to combine our jobs with workouts. Obviously, we try our best at every race. Each of us is clear that there is a commitment to the team and to be willing to make sacrifices in training and on the day. But we enjoy it; the day that we do not, we will turn to something else ...
What are your challenges for this year, inside and outside of adventure racing?
Our challenges are focused on the World Series. We are about to travel to New Zealand, entering the lion's den to compete against the World Champions on their home territory, in addition to many other good teams racing there. Then it is on to Alaska and finally we have the World Championships in Brazil, where we will try to fight again for a spot on the podium.
Have you any individual projects, apart from the challenges as a team?
Nothing special. Of course, we run different races throughout the year, everyone likes orientating, mtb, triathlon, kayaking ... but they are all part of training for better performance in racing adventure.
Are you involved in any event as collaborators or organizers?
Every year we organize events in order to promote the sport in Euskadi and we also work every year with 312 Mallorca.
And this year, Marco and Urtzi are working on a new project in Paraguay. In August they will stage the first of their races in Paraguay, the Guarani Expedition. It is a future project, with the goal of being a world class race.
What advice would you give to racers who want to start in the sport of adventure racing?
Enjoy it and have fun practicing. It is a complete sport that takes place in the best possible setting - nature. Start slowly in popular races where you will learn a lot and create the possibility to make the leap to longer races in the future.
Each year you are working hard to cover the budget. What sponsorship support do you have this year?
Perhaps this is the hardest task of all, and that's saying something an extreme sport like this one!
We are very thankful for the help of Columbia Sportswear, Specialized, Nutrisport, Skins, Spiuk, Nordenmark Adventure, OutThere USA, Seland, Darn Tough Vermont, Light & Motion, Rollerblade®, Crankbrothers and Epic paddles, but even this is not enough to cover the entire budget for one year; so we spend the season waiting on the results we get to see if we can cover our costs.
Thanks to Advfeel Communication for the interview. They will have reports on how the team progress from Godzone.