Local race will be a qualifier for world adventure series

Raid the North Extreme (RTNX), an adventure race to be held in the West Kootenay in July, was recently announced as a qualifying race for the 2011 Adventure Racing World Series.

Participants in Raid the North Extreme (RTNX)

Participants in Raid the North Extreme (RTNX)

Raid the North Extreme (RTNX), an adventure race to be held in the West Kootenay in July, was recently announced as a qualifying race for the 2011 Adventure Racing World Series.

“Basically, the world series started back in 2001,” Geoff Langford, chief adventure officer for Frontier Adventure Sports & Training said. “It was actually created by a guy in New Zealand together with the Discovery Channel.”

RTNX was a qualifying race during their first year, but since the races haven’t been held annually, Langford said they had to reapply.

“There were only six or seven races back then that would qualify for a world series which was held in Switzerland that year.”

This year, Langford hopes to fill up the remaining spots with high-level athletes who are hoping to qualify for the world series, held in November in Tasmania.

“That makes us the only qualifier in North America, which is great,” he said.

To apply for qualifier status, Langford said they had to confirm everything from the quality of their website to the race itself, and of course safety and other features.

“The winning team will get a fully-paid entry to the world championships,” he said, “which I think this year is $12,000 or $13,000 to enter. The second-place team earns a guaranteed spot but it’s unpaid.”

He said although the world series’ “toughness” depend on where they’re held, Tasmania is probably one of the harder races, which involves eight days and 700 kilometres of terrain to navigate.

RTNX is slated for July 23 to 31. The teams will start in Castlegar, finish in Trail, and in between navigate more than 500 kilometres through the Selkirk, Monashee and Purcell mountain ranges by foot, canoe, kayak, mountain bike and fixed ropes.

Fifty teams will be accepted, and the race is approaching a sell-out with 47 teams already registered. Most of the teams that are signed up are from B.C. and the U.S.

For more information on the race, visit raidthenorthextreme.com.