This year’s Adventure Racing European Championships, hosted by The Beast of Ballyhoura race, will be the biggest expedition adventure race in the world this year.
Race organisers Causeway Coast Adventure Racing have 50 teams of four registered for the race, and not just from around Europe, as there are 2 South African entries as well. The entry list includes teams from 15 nations in all, making the race one the most international adventure races anywhere in the world.
The sport of Adventure Racing challenges mixed teams of 4 to complete a course including trekking, navigation, paddling and mountain biking over several days of non-stop competition. It is up to the teams if they want to sleep or not, but the race clock keeps running. All of the team members must also complete the full course together for the team to record a finish, making it one of the most demanding of all team sports.
The course for this year’s Championship race will be run over 72 hours (approx 450km), starting on July 30th and teams will gather before the race at Limerick University campus. They will not know the course until after they arrive, the finish has been the only thing released to teams. This year the finish will be in the small village of Kilfinnane deep in the heart of Ballyhoura Country. Keeping courses secret is common in adventure racing, and teams will only be given their maps and course details just before the start.
The entry includes the most experienced Irish and UK teams, including Team Adidas TERREX (UK), who won the European title in Turkey last year. There are strong Swedish entries, included SWECO, who are 10th in the AR World Series rankings and entries from Czech, Spain, Holland, France, Denmark, Estonia, Switzerland and even 2 from South Africa.
The race will be attended by international journalists and photographers and you will be able to keep up to date with news of the teams and follow their progress at http://beastofballyhoura.com/live where you will be able to see the race route, team profiles and follow the teams as they are all carrying GPS trackers which will update their positions at regular intervals.
In addition to the prestigious title the winners will receive the entry fee for the AR World Championships in Brazil later this year.
The race is organised by non-profit organisation Causeway Coast Adventure Racing who promote adventure racing in Ireland and is supported and led by Ballyhoura Failte the tourism promotion organisation for Ballyhoura Country covering North Cork and South East Limerick.
Other sponsors and funders include Cork County Council, Limerick City & County Council and Waterford County Council, with a new sponsor this year in the form of Hyundai.