The Czech Adventure Race Gets Ready To Go
Teams have been travelling from across Europe to reach the Czech Adventure Race, keen to compete in a long race again, and willing to risk more uncertainty then usual on the outcome.
For many it’s been a long drive, with border crossings a source of anxiety as Covid restrictions change almost daily. Finnish teams found they would have to quarantine if the raced in Czechia, one Russian team due to take part in the mini race gave up trying to get the race due to closed borders as did a pair from Croatia. It’s not necessarily been easier by air as a French team gave up when their flight tickets were cancelled and the decided it was too far to drive. We’ll probably only really know the race line up when the tracking goes live. (Wednesday around 3pm.)
The teams have been trying to get to a place called Parez, about 1.5 hours from Prague. The event base is a small outdoor centre by a lake, and teams can book simple huts or camp out. The venue is near the Prachov Rocks, formations of sandstone towers and pillars in an area called ‘The Bohemian Paradise’. It’s a popular visitor attraction, film set, and plays a key part in the history of climbing in Czechia, and some teams have been exploring a little ahead of today’s race briefing. Marco Ponteri described the area as ‘gorgeous’.
No doubt there will be many more gorgeous bohemian locations as the race has a history of visiting unique and historic locations. That is down to a small team of dedicated organisers who have now been staging the race for 18 years. They take on multiple roles and keep the infrastructure for the race simple as there is little to no financial support for it. They keep the entry fees low too and most teams paid 600 Euro to take part.
The main route planner and Race Director is Tomáš Vaněk. Jiří Lorenz works on the race maps, Petr Bloudek manages the finances and Dejna Jahn Odvody works on the web, social media and PR. In addition there is Mr Bols, the founder of a unique discipline to the race called ‘Bolscross’, which sadly isn’t part of this year’s race as there was nowhere suitable on the course.
The race has had to adapt this year due to Covid and restrictions at the venue. (They are not allowed to use the toilets in the venue so have bought. in portaloos, and showers are a hose outside.) They had planned a via Ferrata but the owners decided not to let the race use it, and activities in the nearby rocks are limited as too many people are already visiting the area.
No doubt they will take everything in their stride and still come up with a great course to reward the teams who have made the effort to get there.