Endurance: Is That Legal?

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, August 1995

Endurance: Is That Legal?
By Todd Balf (with Martin Dugard)

It's not easy being an ecoathlete. (Not that we're entirely clear on what an ecoathlete is.) Last May's Eco Challenge Adventure Race, a seven-stage competition in the high desert of Utah, took place under protest from the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, which threatened to booby-trap the course. (Update: Outside has since learned that this threat was made by individuals falsely representing themselves as SUWA members and that SUWA in fact had no connection whatsoever with the threat. We regret the error.) Though that didn't happen, for 300 miles, competitors labored through the ride-and-tie, canyoneering, trekking, climbing, and rappelling events while also lugging good old-fashioned solid waste. New Zealand's Team Southern Traverse closed in on the French Hewlett Packard team during the final nighttime trek but was duped when it's rival deliberately set off down a wrong path. After making sure the Kiwis followed, the French doused their headlamps, waited for Traverse to pass, and then backtracked to the proper trail and charged to victory.

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