On the afternoon of Dec. 2, some 260 people will line up on Costa Rica’s southern border for the Adventure Race World Championship. Contestants will have just received the map, showing a 815-kilometer route that winds through the country.
The first team to complete the colossal itinerary will become world champions.
The race is the culmination of the Adventure Race World Series, an international circuit for endurance racers. Mixed gender teams of four will travel from coast to coast and border to border completing challenges in mountain biking, trekking, rafting, kayaking and rappelling.
The race is designed as a nonstop endurance challenge and competitors hoping to place in the top tiers of the competition will rarely rest. Race organizers expect the winning team to complete the course in six to seven days, or 140 hours.
“If you sleep, you lose time,” Race Director Antonio de la Rosa told The Tico Times. “You rest when you can, but as little as possible.”
The teams come from every continent and span 25 different countries, including nine from Costa Rica. Last year’s world champion team, Seagate from New Zealand, will be participating along with several other teams that have secured other international titles.
The event marks Costa Rica’s third world championship in adventure sports, having hosted both the surf and rafting world championships in years past.
“This reinforces Costa Rica’s position as a world leader in adventure sports,” said Ireth Rodriguéz, marketing director for the Costa Rican Tourism Institute, one of the event’s sponsors. “We hope that event organizers will see Costa Rica as a country capable of hosting these sorts of international activities.”