Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Adventure Racers = ROCK STARS in China

...and in Ecuador, Brazil, New Zealand...but that's for another post.

Adventure Racing's presence in China goes back to the 1990s with the Mild Seven Outdoor Quest, which is now called the Wulong Quest. The top teams from New Zealand, Europe and the USA have made the journey nearly every year to compete for one of Adventure Racing's largest prize purses in some of the most epic landscapes imaginable.

During my visit to Hong Kong a couple months ago, I spent a few days paddling surfskis in Deepwater Bay, traversing Lamma Island by foot and enjoying the hospitality of ex-pat Ryan Blair, co-owner of the largest adventure race/outdoor event promotions company in SE Asia, Asia Pacific Adventure. During my stay, Ryan opened my eyes to how big the adventure racing and multisport scene is in Asia, how sponsors-many large American companies who do NOT sponsor AR in the USA-have been onboard in Asia for years.

For years I have noticed the popularity of AR/Multisport in Asia, specifically the Mild Seven and Wulong Quest. During a recent trip to Thailand I turned on my hotel room TV in Bangkok and actually saw ESPN Asia covering adventure racing on their broadcast (footage of Tecnu/DART's Kyle Peter and Mari Chandler!) like it was the freaking NBA! It's nice to know that somewhere in the world, our awesome sport is appreciated and even celebrated. It just gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

Check out the following footage and you will see how adventure racers get the "rock star treatment" in Asia.

Team AXA Sports Club at the 2011 Wu Long Mountain Quest, China (long vers.) from scott cole on Vimeo.

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