Monday, May 23, 2011
Part II: Alpine Expedition Race: Switzerland
The first edition of The APEX Race, (Alpine Expedition Race) will take place in the heart of the Swiss Alps between May 24-29th Host venue is the beautiful and city of Interlaken, also know as the “Adventure Capital of Europe”. The APEX Race will challenge the world’s top endurance athletes and international adventure racing teams with a four-day, non-stop expedition race through the most scenic terrain in the world: the extreme Bernese Oberland. APEX is part of the international Adventure Racing World Series of expedition adventure races.
The Alpine Expedition Race is a non-stop expedition adventure race. The competing teams must find and visit a number of checkpoints in a predefined order along a designed course. During the course teams will have to utilize a number of different disciplines. The Apex Race is the longest non-stop endurance event in Switzerland.
The APEX Race facts:
Host Venue: Interlaken, Switzerland
Dates: May 24-29th 2011
Type: 4 day non-stop adventure race
Series: Adventure Racing World Series
Competitors: Teams of four, no support-crew allowed
Divisions: Premier division, only co-ed teams. Open division, all other teams
Elevation gain: 10’000 meters
Disciplines: Running, trekking, mountainbiking, paddling, rafting (together with guide), canyoning, paragliding (together with pilot)
During the race, the organization will stage team equipment at designated transition areas. There will be no optional checkpoints and no bonus checkpoints but the race course will include some important cut-offs times where slower teams will be re-routed to ensure they can reach the finish line by Sunday 29th.
The course will contain some demanding travel on snow up to 3000 meters altitude (weather permitting) and teams must be prepared for the possibility of cold alpine weather.
While the course is a mystery until just before start, the disciplines and approximate leg lengths have been revealed as:
LIVE coverage of the race, 24/7 will be available at http://www.theapexrace.com/Live/
While this of course is not one of the secret maps used in the race, this is the approximate area where they will be racing.
This is a REAL, traditional adventure race. No "optional CheckPoints". No "Rogaine Format" that allows teams to skip checkpoints. Teams lining up at the start will know they need to execute flawlessly in order to meet the cutoffs and finish the full course...let alone compete. You wanted to do the APEX? Then DO the Apex. Those who make it to the finish line will have EARNED IT.
Any race in Europe is guaranteed to have a strong, fast field. This adventure race, part of the Adventure Racing World Series, is no exception. The incredibly steep mountainous terrain around Interlaken will favor proven professional teams who can handle the elements, have 7-10+ years of experience in "big time" expeditions, know how to handle pressure, and can navigate flawlessly.
My pick for the winner? nuun-SportMulti
Big surprise, huh?
While I am jealous I am not racing with my teammates at this one, I can tell you that this combination has the perfect combination of fitness, skill, and experience. Oh yeah...and they have Mari Chandler. We still don't have a copy of her birth certificate, and I still think she might be an alien-human hybrid or a terminator from the future.
Joining Mari at Apex will be team veterans Ryan VanGorder, Matt Hayes, and uber-strong-special-guest-stuntman (and occasional teammate of mine) Kyle Peter. These guys have more experience and wins under their belt than almost any team in the world, and they are hungry to prove themselves on the world stage again.
It was nearly 10 years ago that I raced in Switzerland at the Discovery Channel Adventure Racing World Championship. Time flies!
I wouldn't bet against these guys!