Murchison will be overrun by lycra and mountainbikes this weekend when the inaugural Absolute Wilderness Adventure Race hits town.
The one-day multisport race has attracted 66 teams and 198 competitors who will raft, trek and mountainbike around the Murchison district and one of the organisers, world champion adventure racer Nathan Fa’avae says the athletes are in for a treat. Forty three-person teams have entered the adventure race estimated to take around six hours while 26 have entered the expedition race which will take the fastest teams about 11 hours.
“Murchison is a stunning area and it lends itself to adventure sport,” Nathan says. “It’s got two national parks nearby and it’s got the option of rafting on the river instead of kayaking – it ticked all the boxes.
“I think people in the adventure race will be surprised by how much stunning scenery there is around Murchison while the expedition racers are going to get up really high so, if it’s a nice day, they’ll be blown away by the views.”
Nathan says the race will also go through private land giving competitors a unique perspective of the area.
“It can be difficult designing a course without being able to go through some private land to link it together. We were very lucky to find some community-minded land owners who helped us out.”
Nathan says the race has attracted some “world class racers” and expects the pace at the front of the race to be super fast. Nathan’s world champion Seagate team-mates Sophie Hart and Trevor Voyce are lining up in separate teams, while former Coast to Coast champions Richard and Elina Ussher will be racing with Stuart Lynch in team Subway.
“I worked it out that the winning time for the expedition race would be around 10 hours 45 minutes but I wouldn’t like to try and predict a winner.”
The course will be revealed to teams at the race briefing on Friday night and racing will start on at 7am on Saturday.