Keeping our eye on the AR World Series… The Huairasinchi race, in Ecuador, has been won by Thule Adventure Team. The team consisted of Captain Martin Flinta, Per Vestling, Jacky Boisset, and Myriam Guillot.
On their website they write:
The Huairasinchi Race in the Andes of Ecuador runs on very high altitude – up to 4300m above sea level – and is often referred to as ‘the highest adventure race on the planet’.
The teams race in highly diverse environments, each with its own specific challenges, from snow-capped volcanoes to the winding river in the Amazon jungle. First they face harsh weather conditions with rain, fog, snow and cold temperatures in the mountains, and then they descend to the tropical heat and humidity of the jungle – while receiving warnings for poisonous snakes and angry bulls… In this non-stop assisted adventure race of 300km, the teams need to master mountain biking, trail running and trekking, paddling, fixed ropes and orienteering.
It was a very tough race from start to finish. During the first part, in the Andes, Thule Adventure Team was the strongest team. Afterwards they were tired but still in good shape. Mountain biking and trail running down from the highland to the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle, the competing teams enjoyed a beautiful trek looking for orientation points. However, this leg took longer than expected, and at this stage team Ecuador overtook Thule Adventure Team’s lead. For security reasons, the next two legs were cancelled by the race committee, which lead to a slight restructure. Once the race was resumed the teams were very close to each other.
The last part of the race ran through the jungle along the river, and the teams were not only following the winding paths by the river but also kayaked and swam to get ahead in the tropical heat. This was the toughest part of the race for Thule Adventure Team, but they were strong and kept going all the way. And finally, after three tough days and two long nights, Thule Adventure Team was the first team to reach the finishing line! An outstanding achievement, especially if you consider that out of the 51 teams at the start, only 33 managed to finish this adventurous race.
“We’re very happy and proud of the victory in the Huairasinchi Race”, says team captain Martin Flinta. “It was a race with tough conditions in many ways, but we showed that we are one of the best adventure racing teams in the world. Also, this is a victory that will give us direct qualification to the Adventure Racing World Championships in Australia in November.”
The extreme race conditions make Thule Adventure Team’s victory very impressive, and we look forward to 2011 as yet another great year for our team of strong and passionate athletes.
Image from their Facebook page.