NIAR Nordic Islands Adventure Race

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The Big Guns Get Ready to Fire at NIAR – Place Your Bets!

Rob Howard / 03.06.2021See All Event Posts Follow Event
Team SAFAT on the way to winning the last NIAR
Team SAFAT on the way to winning the last NIAR / © Honka Zak

Four of the top 10 teams in the ARWS rankings are preparing to race at the Nordic Islands Adventure Race, something which rarely happens at a World Series race.  In terms of elite teams it may be the best contested ARWS race ever ... so there is a competition to savour coming up, and it’s a ‘must dot-watch’.

The question is will World #1 ranked team ‘400 Team Naturex’ secure their top spot with another win, or will the Swedish Armed Forces Team maintain their winning record at NIAR, where they have claimed the win every time so far.   Or will team Estonian ACE/La Sportiva step up after two previous second places to finally beat SAFAT, who they say ‘are unbeatable on home soil’.  But then again who would bet against the Orbital Adventure Team (formerly AR Sweden, formerly Haglofs/Silva ... ).  They include some of the most experienced and successful Swedish adventure racers ever and are joined this time by Kristin Larsson, a Swimrun World Champion and Stockholm resident.

It’s time to place your bets, cheer for your favourite team, and bookmark the tracking page.

You could also shout out for the other two teams of course, as sadly travel restrictions have meant there are only 6 teams taking part on the ARWS course.  It is a good bet that Teams FAR and JAKOB will have to work hard to keep up, so give them your support and encouragement!

The teams will begin in Stockholm on Saturday as the race is a mix of urban and wilderness racing and Race Director Staffan Bjorklund said, “We choose to come back to Stockholm because there is still much to explore and show here.  We believe that bringing the races into the city will help teams with their sponsorships and make the sport more accessible.  Our goal is to create a fair, tough, unique and different race from anything racers are used to.”

The 586km course will include 264km of riding, 121km of trekking and 183km of kayaking, including a 68km kayak stage through the thousands of islands of the Stockholm archipelago and a 210km ride to finish. There is no packrafting in this race, which is unusual these days.

There will be a greater variety of checkpoints and challenges in the first 24 hours, where the teams from both the 24hr and ARWS courses will all be racing together.  The ARWS teams can even win the 24hr race title ... if they are prepared to race at a competitive speed in the early stages of a long race, but that seems unlikely.

Bjorklund stated, “The Nordic Islands Adventure Race long course teams must trek/run, bike, kayak, swim 200 meters, complete a secret stage, coasteer, navigate and complete rope stages to reach the finish line. We will show the “Best of the Best” of what Stockholm and the archipelago has to offer.”

The race starts at 11.00am on Saturday and you can see all the details and the full roster of racers at https://niar.io/.  The live tracking link (using the FollowMe system) will be shown at the race start.

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