A Tour of The Castles and Caves of Bohemia at The Wenger Czech Adventure Race
Competitors at The Wenger Czech Adventure Race have now been given a map of the whole course, and details for the checkpoints and are busy studying ahead of tonight's race briefing.
In fact there are two races, the expedition race and a shorter (mini) race which uses some parts of the longer race course. The course schematics neatly summarize the routes, which are on a variation of the ‘cloverleaf plan’, which means there are just two transition areas for 9 stages in the long race and only one for 5 stages on the mini.
The races begin with an orienteering map and a route which promises 650m of climbing in just 15km, so it will make full use of the nearby hills and will take the runners into the stunning surrounding sandstone rock formations.
Next up on the long course is a 65km ride with checkpoints on the remarkable Zebin Hill, 3 castle ruins and a lookout tower, with the transition at the 14th Century Vranov Castle to finish the stage. During the stage one of the team has a caving descent and ascent to complete at Kozlov Castle.
The following 35km paddle is down the fast flowing Jizera River which has a characteristic brown colour due to its origin in peat bogs. Stage 4 is a 50km trek (1000m elevation) with checkpoints at 3 more castles (they have a lot in Bohemia), Vezicky pond where the cliffs rise up out of the water, and a cemetery and memorial for Czech climbers who trained in the area, and died on various expeditions. Towards the end of the trek there are visits to two more sandstone rock formations, the last called ‘The Czech Dolomites’.
Stage 5 is a 45km ride back to towards the start/finish area and includes a climbing stage at Frydstejn Castle on another set of rock outcrops, as well as a checkpoint on a 26m high lookout tower atop a 896m hill, which offers views of the whole area and much of the course. There’s another gothic castle too at Navarov and from there there’s an out and back 20km trek. (This is where the race hoped to use a via ferrata.)
Stage 7 takes teams back to the finish 75km away, with checkpoints at another castle and two lookout towers. The second of these is at a ski jump and there is rope ascent and descent on the 28m high tower. This stage ends by the finish line, but the race still has two more stages to come, a further 5km of orienteering on a detailed map, then a 120km ride to finish with. It won’t surprise the teams the checkpoints on the final stage include a castle and a viewpoint, and there’s a stop at the Vysker church too, which looks amazing.
Checkpoint 67 it at Trotsky Castle which stands on top of a rock outcrop surrounded by forest and from there teams ride directly to the finish line. In total the full course is 425km (with the mini at 170km), and teams set off tomorrow morning at 9am local time for their tour of Bohemia’s castles and caves, rocks and rivers, hills, lakes and lookout towers.
[Go to the website and the Live button on the menu to find the tracking for both courses.]