Record Number Of Teams Registered For Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 2010

Since its inception in 2007, the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge has built on previous accomplishments, bringing ever-increasing numbers to its ranks further cementing its position as the world’s premier adventure race.

Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge.  Photo: Sascha Jurek/funsporting.comThe record number of teams registered for the 2010 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge confirms the international status and unique appeal of the world’s premier event.

2010 has not only confirmed this trend but also surpassed all expectations, as teams hailing from around the globe have hurried to sign on for what has become - among the adventure racing community - the most significant race on the international circuit.

Of the 48 teams certain of a place on the starting line in Abu Dhabi City, 16 have already competed in the Challenge. Some of these top-flight contenders have undergone subtle changes in the hope of adding the world’s most coveted AR prize to their list of credentials while others are returning hoping their previous experiences could give them the competitive edge.

The most successful combination to date, New Zealand’s Richard and Elina Ussher, whose teams have won the event every year, are certain to make their new-look ‘Thule Adventure Team’ a four-time favourite but, as in the past, they will be up against some serious opposition.

Marc Balaskovic heads up the French presence with Vibram Lafuma, who are aiming for another crack at the top three, while Marc Pschebizin has joined forces with Swiss team Wenger.

Expectations are understandably high for Coming Soon, an enigmatic amalgamation of nationalities featuring France’s Myriam Guillot, Jacky Boisset and Kiwis Jacob Roberts and Marcel Hagener - three of whom have never finished outside the event’s top five. Spain’s Salomon Santiveri has lured the multitalented Monica Aguilera back into the squad while local heroes, Al Moughamiroun, with Eric Jeanne at the helm, will draw on their past experience in a bid for glory.

Back again is Germany’s Abu Dhabi Triathlon Team, led by ace triathletes, Faris Al-Sultan and Werner Leitner, while a handful of Russian teams can look to Artem Rostovtsev and Chasing Daylight to lead the way. The overall figures are impressive, 48 teams representing at least 20 different nations with two thirds of them coming to the Challenge for the first time.

Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge.  Photo: Sascha Jurek/funsporting.comThis is further proof of the event’s established international profile and enduring importance. Some countries with strong adventure racing roots, like USA, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Poland, all have three teams in this wide-ranging field while UK and France are upping the ante with four teams each.

Inspired by the excellent performance of the Dragons last year, China is sending two teams for 2010. By far the most impressive contingent is from the UAE, with no fewer than eight teams eager to measure themselves against all comers on what is essentially home territory. Turkey, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Norway and Italy complete the list.

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