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India Launches a National Adventure Race Series for 2021

Press Release / 10.03.2021See All Event Posts Follow Event
The podium for the first NthAdventure race of 2021
The podium for the first NthAdventure race of 2021 / © NthAdventure

“It’s race day!  Let’s get started and show everyone the beauty of Adventure Racing!” Those were the word of Race Director Ajita Madan as NthAdventure kick started Adventure Racing in India for 2021.

The company is proud to be part of ARWS-Asia, and is making shorter adventure races accessible in India for National as well as International athletes throughout the country.

“Post COVID, there are many aspects to be taken into consideration while hosting public events.”  Said Madan. “It takes a lot of effort, but this new normal is something which everyone needs to accept and live with. With the launch of the ARWS Regional Series’ it’s a great opportunity, as well as huge responsibility, for us to bring in the ARWS standardization, to welcome international teams, and also to equip Indian athletes for international competition.”

NthAdventure successfully hosted their 60KM & 25KM Adventure Races as part of the new National Adventure Race Series 2021 on 27 February 2021. Among the participants were novices, ultra runners, and national and international athletes from different sports.

The course was set for a Day & Night event to make sure all the teams gained experience of night navigation and included; regaining, mountain biking, hiking, trail running, abseiling, tree climbing and orienteering.

Mr. Sayeesha Kirani, Race Director for NthAdventure said, “The course was set to finish during the night, which was important as we are gearing up to launch 24-hour races and building teams for expedition level races. We wanted all the teams to experience racing in the dark before they are thrown into longer, overnight races. We are happy that our teams successfully completed the 8 hour course and experienced both day and night racing.”

Race briefing for NthAdventure Adventure Race

The course was set in the Nandi Grama region and headquartered at Satya Sport Village. The route was filled with steep climbs, muddy roads, tarmac and farmlands. The 60KM (NARS Series) race had 7 teams of two, in which some of the participants were seasoned athletes and a few who raced for the first time. Out of these 3 teams made it to finish line within the cut-off time.  Others were short-coursed, but everyone crossed the finish-line after sunset.

In the 25 km category there were a total 9 teams of two and 3 solo athletes. The main purpose of introducing the solo category was to encourage people into the sport and let everyone experience adventure racing.  However, the solo category was limited to the 25km class only, encouraging those racers to join a team and be part of National and Asia Series when moving up to longer distances.

The 60 km race had a very tough and interesting competition between top two teams. The organizers anticipated a sprint finish between the French athletes, who were racing under the team name ‘Palm Meadows MTB’ & local team called ‘Skyrunners’, who are top ultra trail runners from India and have been on NthAdventure podium many times.

The Palm Meadows MTB & Sky Runners were neck and neck for most of the race, but at the last CP a small navigation error by ‘Palm Meadows MTB’ meant they lost out to ‘Skyrunners’.

Commenting on this narrow loss they said, “The race was the first after the pandemic, as well as our first as a team, and it was more challenging than we expected. We forgot that AR is not only about physical strength, but it is also about orienteering.”  When asked about what they are going to take back after the event they said, “The lesson learnt from this race is that adventure racing is never finished before crossing the finish line together!”

The winner of 60 km course in 06 hours 3 minutes, ‘Team Skyrunners, said, “We enjoyed the Day and Night concept of racing and now realize why the course was set up this way as we experienced a little glimpse of expedition races.  We wanted to cover as much distance during the daylight as we could, considering the tough competition from the French athletes, who were trailing us from the start. We were happy to win, however we’d have been happy if we’d lost to the ‘Frenchies’, as they worked hard to surpass us at the last CP. Now we eagerly await the next editions and are happy to see the sport is growing, and yes We Love Adventure Racing!”

There were many new teams who became part of Adventure Racing for the first time and had their own experiences.  They enjoyed themselves and are now waiting to come back stronger and improve their points in the National Adventure Race Series Ranking.

Solo Racer, Michael, who came all the way from Tamil Nadu said, “I enjoyed this sport, especially being lost and navigating back onto the course. It was a great feeling reaching every checkpoint and I definitely want to come back with a team to race the next course.”

The start of the NthAdventure Adventure Race

With its vast geographical features, India is a land where many challenging and exciting courses can be developed.  Now India has opened up to adventure racing, focusing on creating more awareness and training opportunities, through the sprint and National Race Series.

NthAdventure will be hosting 5 races as part of the series, set in various parts of India, along with a National Championship, the dates and locations for which will be announced shortly.  In addition to the National Series, NthAdventure is also gearing up to host 24-hour races as part of the ARWS-ASIA Regional series, from which the top team will get a place in the ARWS Asia Championship.

Ms. Ajita said, “We really hope things get better, international travel opens up, and we get to organize as well as participate as a team in other international races. We look forward to hosting these races in some of the raw and magnificent states of India and congratulate the adventure racing community on their enthusiasm to get back to racing.

“We’d like to thank the great brands supporting us like Red Bull India, Peak Performance, and Adventure Worx, and we look forward to their continued support and having more brands on-board for future races.”

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