XTERRA Amazon – an event for you next year?

XTERRA are renowned for the Adventure Races they hold and rank high amongst these adrenaline charged and sleep deprived events.

They have just successfully completed their first Amazon challenge and although I’m bringing this news to you belatedly, I’m bringing it anyway because you may well want to think about joining the rush for next year’s event.

A 1.5km swim, 30km mountain bike, and 9km trail run was the challenge for this first ever event held on 5th June, 2010 outside the city of Manaus in Northern Brazil – deep in the Amazon rainforest.

That was just a very brief glimpse of what the race was all about with thanks to xterrabrazil. No-one got eaten by a Jaguar I hasten to add! However, reports on this first ever event are loud in their applause at the well run and hugely enjoyable challenge.

The race was held at a Brazilian Army base called CIGS: the Center for Instruction in Jungle Warfare. Bikes and packet pickup were held at the Manaus headquarters of CIGS. The bikes were entrusted to the tender care of the army who took them out to the race site. Nobody saw the course, swim, transition – nothing until the day of the race.

At 4 a.m. on the morning of the 5th, the army, with the help of 6 spider boats (the boats they use to chase down drug smugglers), transported all the contestants to the start of the race – about an hour up the Rio Negro.

The swim was in the river. I wonder how many swimmers were remembering all those gory movies they’d watched in their youth about piranhas?!

The bike course was a long dirt road that resembled a full roller coaster – very steep climbs and descents with cut offs into the jungle that would loop back onto the road. Of course it rained – as tends to happen in a rainforest, and so the course was gloriously slippery and inside the jungle it became a positive morass of mud.

All this in temperatures around the 32 C / 90 F mark with very high humidity thrown in.

There was so much mud by the end of the jungle stage that competitors had to stop and drag handfuls of the stuff off their bikes and out of the brakes and frames.

There was, by necessity, a cut-off time for bikers as night comes early 250 kms south of the equator. Everything was loaded back onto the boats and returned to Manaus for the 9km run on the Ponte Negro.

This section of the event was supported by thousands of colourful spectators.

XTERRA Amazon was run by X3M, the producers of the XTERRA Brazil Series, and ably assisted by the army. As one competitor put it:

“A fabulous race, wonderful organization by Bernardo Fonseca’s X3m group, unbelievable logistical work by the Brazil Army and the city of Manaus. Truly a once-in-a lifetime experience that must be seriously considered by anyone who ever wondered what that part of the world is like. The race is on Sunday, there are loads of tours to take you up the Amazon where the Rio Negro collides and the Meeting of the Waters (one river is brown the other black) happens. Swimming with pink fresh water dolphins, wildlife galore and food that is diverse and tasty. Put this one on the list.”

With their reputation for holding Grade A events, XTERRA have now entered the market for quality fitness equipment for your home and this fold-away treadmill might be exactly what you need:

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