The bone-breaking ecstasy of the Eco-Challenge

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of October 5-12, 19995

Skiing Colorado in January
Rafting Virginia's wild and woolly whitewater
Baja's great outdoors--no tours, no crowds
The bone-breaking ecstasy of the Eco-Challenge
Around-the-world airplane tickets
Everest Base Camp: glorious or garbage?

The bone-breaking ecstasy of the Eco-Challenge
Q: I would like information on the multiday, team competition that is called the Eco-Challenge: when, where, who can be on a team, etc. Thanks!
Julie Swain
Kenosha, WI
[email protected]

A: After successfully wrapping up the 50-team First Annual Eco-Challenge this past spring in Utah, plans are already under way for next year's event. This bone-breaking, anguish-inducing 24-hour-a-day race will be held in mid-to late August, 1996, in British Columbia. Although details for the Second Annual Eco-Challenge are still being finalized, most of the logistics--such as course location and route--will remain top secret until race day. What we do know now is this: Registration for 1996 is open to 60 seven-person teams (five of the seven members are competitors and two are assistants who plot the team's routes). As a participant, you'll canoe, mountain bike, whitewater raft, traverse glaciers, hike, mountaineer, and paraglide over 300 some-odd miles to the finish line. Although all this secrecy may sound rather elaborate, the rules are simple: Teams must stay together during the entire course, and the first complete team to cross the finish line wins. The entrance fee is a mere $10,000 per team, including insurance, internal transfers, and all equipment except mountain bikes and climbing gear. Consider this an incentive to win: The first-place team gets free registration for next year's race plus an as yet undisclosed grand prize. Once you and your team arrive at the race registration site, you'll be given a course briefing and then a short skills test--but don't worry, anyone with minimal competency in each of the featured events may participate. You'll then spend Saturday afternoon helping out with the environmental service project before the madness and mystery of this grueling, seven-day race begins on Sunday morning. For more information, call the Eco-Challenge at 818-505-7848.

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