Expedição Terra de Gigantes

  • Brazil (BRA)
  • Off-Road Running
  • Off-Road Cycling
  • Paddling
  • Navigation
  • Open Water Swimming

Navigation was the key at Expedição Terra de Gigantes

Wladimir Togumi - Adventuremag.com.br / 01.06.2022See All Event Posts Follow Event
Racing at Expedição Terra de Gigantes
Racing at Expedição Terra de Gigantes / © Wladimir Togumi - Adventuremag.com.br

The Expedição Terra de Gigantes 2022 was marked by twists until the last kilometres, with favorite teams getting lost and the leadership alternating at all times. The race covered 500Km and took place between May 21-28.

The city of Maricá, in the State of Rio de Janeiro, was chosen as the race headquarters.  More specifically teams gathered at the Joaquín Piñero Public Farm, where check-in and equipment delivery took place.

Lunch was offered on site, an opportunity to relax (as far as possible) and catch up with distant friends who only meet on expedition races.

The start took place at sunset at Farol da Ponta Negra, from where there was a privileged view of the city and the lakes through which the teams would paddle at the beginning of the race.

The race distances were:

- 1 Km – Trekking/Natação

- 36 Km – Canoeing

- 22 Km – Rogaine

- 29.5 Km – Trekking / Técnicas Verticais

- 129 Km – MTB

- 45 Km – Trekking

- 47 Km – Canoeing

- 30.5 Km – Trekking

- 100 Km – MTB

At the start the teams “fell” down the hill and in a few minutes they reached the transition to get into the kayaks. Most chose to cross the channel and get their feet wet right at the beginning of the race, but there were those who preferred to take a longer turn on a nearby bridge and stay dry for a longer period.

The teams spent the freezing night paddling through the city's giant lagoons, past fishermen and people enjoying late Sunday as they approached more urbanized areas to find the checkpoints.

The kayaks were heavy, full of food, clothes and equipment, but even so most of them chose a portage to PC4, located next to an avenue and that would save a good kilometers of paddling. But... they would have to carry all that weight.

Vai Lola team didn't realize there was a control near them and carried the kayaks for almost 4 kilometers when they were spotted by the organization on the streets of the city!

The following day started in a spectacular way, with a reddish sky that the first teams could appreciate from the top of Pedra de Itaocaia. Meanwhile the last teams were finishing the rogaine through the dunes of Barra de Maricá.

At this point the race was close between Uruguay Ultra Sport, BOA, Terra de Santa Cruz and Malacara.  Ahead the teams would have 129 km of mountain biking to the village of Correntezas, the second base of the race.

A navigation error by the Uruguayans allowed BOA to gain ground, but the Uruguayans returned to the correct path and managed to maintain second place.

It was in this section that one of the members of Malacara was not feeling well and the team stopped at the SAMU (a emergency service) in the city of Japuíba, where they stayed for more than 10 hours. If he didn't improve it could mean being out of the race just 26 hours after the start.

With no other option, the other athletes decided that the best thing to do was to rest and then move on doing the best they could. And so it was and the next morning the team arrived in Correntezas.

In this transition area, teams returned after 2 loops. First, they did a trek along the top of the mountain, passing through the Nova Friburgo region and overlooking the 3 Picos State Park.

Then they left paddling towards the Juturnaíba dam and returned by trekking to the transition, to then leave for the final MTB back to Maricá.

This final 'half' of the race was marked by twists and turns. Unfortunately the tracking on the first loop didn't work and as soon as the teams passed to the other side of the mountain the updates stopped. It was anyone's guess where they were. The signal came back as they were descending back.

Uruguay Ultra Sports ended up losing second place on that trek, with a sequence of navigation errors. The team went the wrong way, went back, went forward and made another mistake, went back...

With Uruguay way behind, the lead fight was between BOA and Terra de Santa Cruz. Both were very close in the search for the PC's inside the dam, but BOA get lost, tired and cold and decided to sleep a few hours and at that time, Terra de Santa Cruz took the lead.

From the design of the route, it seemed that nothing else would take away the victory of Terra de Santa Cruz. Ahead was the last section of the race, a mountain bike of 100 kilometers to the finish and a certain advantage in relation to the BOA.  Yet, only 2 PCs before the end, they were passed.

Next what seemed like a victory for the BOA, became questionable. The first team was expected to cross the finish line on Wednesday night, but finding the last PC was difficult and in the night, the difficulty increased even more.

While BOA was figuring out every trail in the area, Terra de Santa Cruz approached and had the chance to take the lead and win the race. But they also got lost, with both teams crossing paths in the middle of the night!

There was a moment when Terra de Santa Cruz was closer to finding the last PC, but BOA did a better job, and with a difference of just 1h 30 in just over 3 and a half days of competition, they were crowned champions of the ‘Land of Giants Expedition 2022’.

The final positions were;

1st BOA – @brasilia.outdoor.adventure

2nd Terra de Santa Cruz – @terra_corridodeaventura

3rd Malacara – @malacararace

4th Uruguay Ultra Sports – @uruguayultrasports

5th Xango Krass Team – @xangokrass

See All Stories On This Race

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