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Are You an Adventure Racing Junkie? Check Out the UK's Top 10 Annual Races

Are You an Adventure Racing Junkie? Check Out the UK’s Top 10 Annual Races

So, you woke up on the first of January this year and saw some of the thickest snow the UK has experienced in modern history. The first thing to cross your mind was, Damn, I hope this clears up before the adventure racing season begins. Though slightly insane, this is definitely going to be an interesting read for you. Check out my list of the top ten adventure races in the UK:

1. New Zealand: Coast to Coast

Yes, I realize I’m starting off with a race that is not even in the UK, however it has proven extremely popular amongst experienced UK adventure racing. You’ll need all your adventure racing equipment for this one as you not only run and cycle, but you will also be called upon to kayak a few miles of the race. You will cover 160 miles in 2 days as you go from one coast of New Zealand across to another not so near one.

When: 12 – 13 February 2010 (usually takes place in Feb every year)

2. Inov8 IROC

An ever popular race in the UK, this race is for multiple people to take part as an adventure racing team, or if you’re a true all-rounder, you can attempt this race on your own. The whole race consists of 6 smaller races which you will need to complete. You will be required to run, cycle, mountain bike and navigate your way at night. Each stage needs to be finished in an allotted amount of time to enable you to continue to the next race.

3. Adventure racing World Series:

Only the strongest of the strongest enter this race series. Widely considered as the premium adventure race in the UK, you will be expected to run, cycle, swim, river raft and get in touch with your animal side as you ride horses at certain points in the race. Lasting up to six days, your endurance will be tested to the max!

When: February – November 2010

4. Edinburgh – London: The Rat Race

Join in with one or two friends and take part in this adventure race which is for the slightly more playful and less extreme people out there. One could compare this race to the American TV show “The Amazing Race” which has you eating chillis, abseiling down building, running, cycling, catching busses and milking cows. You need to be prepared for ANYTHING. A fun event that will allow you the opportunity to run around cities such as Edinburgh, Sheffield and London in a short space of time.

When: June – September 2010

5. Barnmouth Wales: 3 Peaks Yacht Race

So you’re an accomplished sailor and have sales across many lakes, rivers and oceans in your time. That won’t be enough on this occasion I’m afraid. This race will see you departing in your yacht form Barnmouth in Wales and sailing the width of the UK’s west coast. En-route, you will have to leave the comfort of your boat and scale the highest peaks in Wales, England and Scotland. You will need to call on all your skills and you sail, run, row and cycle from place to place. All I can say is that you should count your blessing that this adventure race is in June and not January!

When: 19 June 2010

6. UK: Questars

A unique type of race, the Questars races basically come down to getting from point A to point B in as short amount of time as possible. You choose when you want to cycle, run or swim. You need to plan your own routes and be prepared to be on your feet for up to two days of racing. Races are spread out around the UK so be sure to check out the website and find out when the next race is near you.

When: March – September 2010

7. Surrey: Helly Hansen adventure challenge

Add this to your adventure race calendar. This race, which normally takes place on military training grounds, is a sort of obstacle course race. Teams are usually made up of three people, and you will be required to run, jump and climb your way through and amongst numerous obstacles. No navigation is needed but you will need to be running flat out for 3 – 5 hours. A great way to start, or end off your racing season.

8. North England: Open 24

A true test of fitness! There’s no time for resting, and you will be on your feet racing for the duration of 24 hours. Expect to run, cycle and kayak your way through the race. The race takes place in the middle of December so make sure you get out the thermals for this one, because you do not want to have to worry about being cold amongst the thoughts of trying to staying alive.

9. London – Paris: London to Paris Bike Race

Okay, so strictly this isn’t officially considered an adventure race, but if you’re the competitive type but are not amongst the world’s top 1% of cyclists who are able to take part in the Tour De France, then this race is the closest you’ll get to the great tour. The three day race stretches 350 miles along the road of the UK and France. All logistics are taken care of by the race organizers so you don’t need to worry about anything other than keeping up with the peloton. The race is divided into 5 categories according to skill level so you can be sure you’ll meet and race with people of the same ability as you.

When: June 24 – 27

10. Dorset/Devon: Coast Raid Series

A whole series of races make up these challenges. Certain races will have you running along the beautiful coasts of England, taking part in multi-skill challenges and if you’re brave enough, you can take part in the ultimate 140 mile race from coast to coast. Make sure you get your training in as these races are not for the faint hearted.

As you can see, there are plenty opportunities in the next twelve month for you to stretch your legs. Get the trackie bottoms out;adies, iron those sports bras and dust off those trail running shoes and get your adventure racing training going on the streets in your local vicinity as that’s about as easy as it’s going to get for you this year. Good luck!

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