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Discussion: Eco-Challenge

in: Adventure Racing; General

Jun 7, 2018 7:34 PM # 
Bash:
It might be coming back!
https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/bear-grylls-mark-...
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Jun 7, 2018 7:49 PM # 
Bash:
They've got info on their website. You can sign up to receive an application. They're thinking the race will be in late 2019.
https://www.ecochallenge.com/
Jun 7, 2018 8:00 PM # 
JayXC:
Interesting timing.
Jun 7, 2018 10:30 PM # 
abiperk:
Curious to hear your thoughts on the interesting-ness, JayXC.
Jun 8, 2018 12:03 AM # 
JayXC:
Either they were clueless as to the potential conflict with PQ and or Worlds or they weren’t and did it on purpose to keep those with experience away.
Jun 8, 2018 12:24 AM # 
abiperk:
I wondered about that, too -- though broots pointed out that it says that they hope to start production in late 2019, but not specifically that the race would take place then. I'll be curious to learn morning as it unfolds.
Jun 8, 2018 3:07 AM # 
Bash:
From another article: "Once a television partner is secured, the project anticipates shooting in late 2019." Clearly, there are still some details to nail down so the timing could change. That said, they will be looking for teams with interesting TV stories to race alongside teams with experience so I doubt they care much about conflicts.
Jun 8, 2018 3:22 PM # 
jbrown:
Glad to see a thread has already started on this topic. Similar to abiperk, I'd assume pre-production, logistical planning (determining transport and access for the video crew), etc. could consume some time. Interested to see when they release the applications to the email list the are gathering.
Jun 8, 2018 8:08 PM # 
StrongMachine:
Sounds legit though!

Burnett and Grylls jointly commented: “Eco-Challenge is not a reality series, it’s a real expedition with a stopwatch. It’s extremely difficult and you will suffer. If you don’t want to suffer, don’t apply.”

Grylls added: “Eco-Challenge is the ultimate global survival-adventure race, against the elements, against the clock, and against some of the greatest extreme athletes the world has ever seen. I am so proud to have partnered with MGM Television and the legendary Mark Burnett to bring this incredible adventure series to the world. This is raw human endeavor at its most powerful.”

Source: http://worldscreen.com/tvusa/mark-burnett-bear-gry...
Jun 9, 2018 10:25 PM # 
legendaryrandy:
I don't think they will take teams. I think they will pick athletes and make teams out of them. They are looking at individuals to apply. Plus think of the drama when 4 people try to be a team. Disclaimer. This thought comes completely fact free.
Jun 10, 2018 12:46 PM # 
silkychrome:
my theory is the same as Randy’s!
Jun 11, 2018 9:50 PM # 
silkychrome:
i wanted to make a list of the networks that Mark/Bear have worked with before:

Mark Burnett:
ESPN - Eco-Challenge 1995
The Discovery Channel - Eco-Challenge 1996-1999
USA Network - Eco-Challenge 2000-2002
FOX - The Casino 2004
NBC/ESPN/Versus/Epix - The Contender 2005
Amne$ia
Pirate Master
The Apprentice
Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad
Bully Beatdown
ABC - Expedition Impossible 2011
The Bible
Spin Off
A.D. The Bible Continues
MTV - MTV Movie Awards 2007, 2008
ABC and CNBC - Shark Tank (directed an episode in 2018)
Jun 12, 2018 12:45 AM # 
silkychrome:
also:
Survivor season 36, Fiji (Mamanuca Islands), just aired final episode on TV
Survivor 37, filmed in Fiji, will air Fall 2018
Survivor 38, currently filming in Fiji, will air Spring 2019
Survivor 39, probably the last one?!?!?

and if production does actually get started for Eco-Challenge in late 2019, it would probably be somewhere warm-ish.
Sep 30, 2018 6:27 PM # 
silkychrome:
website was updated with TV partner : MGM Television

*edit 5min later* oh wait that is not a new development. oh well. if they are doing something in 2019 i would except some news soonish!
Oct 2, 2018 7:10 PM # 
Robsmith:
Here is the latest via some random website, so it must be true.
https://deadline.com/2018/10/mark-burnett-bear-gry...
Oct 2, 2018 7:50 PM # 
Bash:
That random link was shared in the Eco-Challenge reunion Facebook group by one of the exec producers, Lisa Hennessy, so it’s probably not fake news even though it looks suspect. :)
Oct 3, 2018 3:39 AM # 
Bash:
Sign up to compete or volunteer.
It sounds like they are making up the teams.
https://www.ecochallenge.com/
Oct 8, 2018 9:47 PM # 
Bash:
From Lisa Hennessy on Facebook today:

Hello friends - if you are interested in competing, volunteering or working on the race/TV production please sign up on www.EcoChallenge.com.

We will be sending newsletters out to the community with updated information.

COMPETITOR REGISTRATION WILL OPEN MID TO LATE NOVEMBER SO START FIGURING OUT WHO YOUR TEAMMATES WILL BE FOR THE COMEBACK RACE! IT WILL BE TEAMS OF 4. MIXED GENDER.
MORE INFORMATION TO COME VIA WWW.ECOCHALLENGE.COM.

Race will take place fall of next year. We will start crewing up in the Spring/Summer.
_______________________________

So it sounds like you *can* enter a team even though the current entry form only accepts individuals. Randy says they're hoping to announce their location in mid-November.
Nov 2, 2018 2:17 AM # 
StrongMachine:
Perhaps a preview from Mark Burnett on what is to come?

"I want the next race to have more of an Indiana Jones feel to it, more
problem-solving, navigating and high adventure...."

https://www.si.com/vault/2001/11/12/313839/you-sno...
Nov 17, 2018 4:30 PM # 
StrongMachine:
More coverage on the re-boot:

https://www.menshealth.com/entertainment/a25171085...

One question that hasn't really been asked too much is: how is this going to change AR? Will there be another boom? How can the sport - and particularly RDs - prepare and maximize the exposure?
Nov 26, 2018 10:00 PM # 
awentz:
The EcoChallenge Facebook page mentioned today that the 2019 race would be over 400 miles long! No other details were posted though.
Nov 28, 2018 4:09 PM # 
Bash:
Received today:
_____________________

Thank you for your interest in Eco-Challenge.

The Eco-Challenge community is truly a special one. We want to give a special shout out to all of you who have participated in past Eco-Challenges. For those of you who are new to Eco-Challenge, we welcome you to the family.

Below is a quick update on the next Eco-Challenge:

Eco-Challenge 2019 is planned to take place in September, 2019.

Our plan is to announce the host country in early December. At the time we announce the 2019 host country, we plan to also open team registration. We recommend you registering your team on the day it opens.

Teams must consist of 4 co-ed members with a 1-person assistant crew (5 people total) racing under 1 country flag (which means 3 out of 4 competitors must be citizens or continuous legal residents for a period of 5 years in the country you wish to race under; the assistance crew member may be any nationality). Please start getting your teams formed now. If you do not have your full team by the time we open registration, you will still be able to register and add other members later.

If you are interested in volunteering, we will provide specific information about that in the future.

Please make sure to follow Eco-Challenge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for real time updates.

Below is a link to the most recent Eco-Challenge trailer. Please feel free to share with your friends on social media.

We will send out another more detailed newsletter and alert you on social media the week before team registration officially opens.

Many thanks!

The Eco-Challenge Team
Nov 28, 2018 4:10 PM # 
Bash:
Nov 28, 2018 6:17 PM # 
JayXC:
Nothing in my inbox.
Nov 28, 2018 6:23 PM # 
Bash:
Hmm, I've seen this in a few Facebook posts already. Maybe the "U" surnames will get their messages later? ;) Or maybe it's in spam?
Nov 28, 2018 7:08 PM # 
abiperk:
I didn't get anything today either. Went and signed up a second time on the site, just in case it didn't go through the first time.
Nov 28, 2018 7:29 PM # 
StrongMachine:
I received mine at 11:06 a.m.

Replying to a question I asked on Facebook under the SleepMonsters post on the topic, Eco Challenge said they will be announcing location and registration cost in December.
Nov 28, 2018 7:34 PM # 
Bash:
I received mine at 11:06 a.m. as well - to two different email IDs since I signed up for both the racer and volunteer email lists, and they wouldn't allow the same ID to be used twice.
Nov 28, 2018 10:55 PM # 
afsheen:
Got mine.
Nov 28, 2018 11:30 PM # 
Hammer:
So if the trailer is any indicator expects lots of ropes and horses and camels ;-)
Nov 29, 2018 1:17 AM # 
bugeater:
likewise...didn''t get anything.
Nov 29, 2018 3:51 AM # 
legendaryrandy:
Check your Promotion tabs. Or spam. Sometimes Gmail looks at these mass emails and decides they are spam.
Nov 29, 2018 3:51 AM # 
mayer22:
I got mine at the same time and know others that did as well.
Nov 29, 2018 3:01 PM # 
broots:
I did not get it...but thankfully I have all of you to tell me what I'm missing. As it's not in the cards for me/us schedule wise, I'm not bothered, BUT abiperk and I are excited for the following three things to unfold:

1) financial structure. Any changed to the model with major money there for tv? Any chance teams are funded? (i'm guessing no, but will they have to pay 10-12,500$ again?)

2) Where is it?????

3) Most interesting to me: I know SO many of us want to and are going to apply. That said, unlike most XPDs when most/all teams that want to race get to race, I'm curious to see how this goes. My gut is there are going to be a fair number of disappointed applicants from the AR world. I'm guessing, but I'm assuming they will purposefully take teams from the following categories:

1) Elite international teams: The Seagates and Columbias of the world.
2) Accomplished teams that boast big race experience and success but maybe aren't Seagate, series champions, etc. (these two categories of teams will give them the competition aspect)
3) savvy veteran teams who won't be competing for accolades but who will be good teams to follow
4) Teams with great human interest stories (Alex Flynn coming back to AR for more? A family of four? Newly engaged? who knows!)
5) Celebrities? Rey (they had Anakin already...)? Survivor champion(s) (seems like a no-brainer)? More playboy bunnies? Ex-Presidents?
6) Teams with impressive competition histories, just not in AR: Ironman, triathlon...rugby...
7) They ALWAYS had at least one navy seal/military team. Got to have them.
8) Total rookies who have a chance...
9) Total rookies who DON'T have a chance (these last two categories may be the single most important ones for them to draw from for the success of the program with the mass public)...and we should want lots of #8 if we want this to translate into growth in the sport at large. (which might be the SINGLE most interesting thing to me: will this trickle down to all of us at the regional level in a measurable way? Will RDs land more sponsor money? Will RDs have to cap race entry?)
10) The grizzled veterans who haven't raced in a decade or more: Mike Kloser (I know, he just raced, but I mean he races on a team that is trying to gun for a top finish despite their time away), Ian Adamson, etc.
11) Teams that break the gender norms of the sport (and more?). Very plausible these teams are found in the above 10 categories, but maybe not.

So, let's say ten categories. Let's assume they will have a field between 50 and 100 teams for logistical purposes. Really, going past 100 just sounds too big. But let's go there. This would mean ten teams per category.

Certain categories will be more represented than others. If I'm betting, I would say the categories with the most teams will be #1(maybe#2 with it) (call them the pros), #8/9 (the bread and butter story telling/entertainment/rooting teams), and #4. Let's say they take 50+% of the field from these groups.

This would leave maybe 5-10 slots for each of the other groups.

And a lot of experienced adventure racers who have to then wait another 5-6 months for Amazon to release it!

And FINALLY...will we be able to dot watch????? I can see this going both ways: get more interest up, BUT do they try to keep the actual race results and happenings under wraps for the sake of tv?!
Nov 29, 2018 3:42 PM # 
JayXC:
I was thinking along the same lines actually. A course which challenges the top teams will have a significant number of DNFs from your groups 4-11 making it much easier to manage from a logistics standpoint, especially if it’s a long race.
Nov 29, 2018 4:55 PM # 
Bash:
Interesting - great analysis. I don't believe we will have dots to watch. In talking with past participants, I've heard about suspected and confirmed meddling with the race, e.g. moving a popular team forward to keep them in the story. I guess it could be legitimate if they are short coursed on the leaderboard but those technicalities may not come up on TV. The sad truth is, the general public wants to see a few Nathan Fa'avaes on the show but they're not that interested in AR as a competitive sport. In addition to top teams, they'll want to follow a team of cancer survivors, a team with a movie star, a team of popular athletes from other sports, a team of rookies and a team that argues all the time. So the producers have to figure out a way to keep those people in the story as long as possible. So I'd guess the dots will be kept private.
Nov 29, 2018 5:56 PM # 
broots:
Yeah, it's funny. For all the hoopla and reverence the AR community shows for the "golden age" of AR (and I have done this too), most of us didn't really participate. When I do come across folks who did or who were more plugged in then, the stories are often not that kind.

The primary issue I have heard:
My understanding is that there were two races within the race: there was the race for the money. The top teams raced a race and finished it as designed under their own power. So, we all got to know Ian A, John Howard, Kloser, Robyn Benincase, Rebecca Rush, etc. as they were always battling it our for the podium and as these superhumans.
And then there was everybody else. Some of those teams had a true race experience, but others were there for tv and hence were allowed extra help, time, assistance, vehicles, etc. I don't recall the last time a RD bombed in on a helicopter to give ME tips...

Grant Killian made this point as well, not about Eco but the Eco mania that came with it: in the wake of the race, the big iconic local series like HiTec, Balance Bar, etc. emerged. And while they were huge and very successful economically, they were not what most of us think of or love as AR. Long lines of people in lines, following each other to CPs with minimal, basic nav that didn't even matter because there were so many people following each other. Etc. A bit of "careful what you wish for"...

Don't get me wrong, I am SUPER excited about this as a racer and RD. I am genuinely bummed I can't even consider applying for it. I am salivating over the opportunity to draw more people out to our races at Rootstock to share the sport with more people. But I'm also not 100% sure it's a simple win for us, and I hope that it doesn't change adventure racing.

Abiperk sent this along to me:
http://www.rogueadventure.com/the-return-of-eco-ch...

It's a thoughtful, in depth rumination about this. Hits on some of the issues we are discussing but also raises others. One of the interesting side notes is, how does this affect the global AR scene? Eco didn't compete against many other big races back in the day. Now, someone is going to pay a price.

PQ has discovered this reality in a real, hard way, I think. When there are 10-15 major races to choose from and you are asking teams to shell out 10,000 + expenses (+support crew for Eco), will people do it when they can pay half that (or a FIFTH) for a well run, beautiful event somewhere else?

I suspect with Eco, the answer will be yes. At least more so than what we have seen with PQ. BUT, it will be interesting to see. I know ARWS/ARWC has its issues and its detractors, but the fact is, they are usually good races and sometimes great. They likely will be BETTER events for beginners and even many seasoned but less elite teams, and I suspect there will be more genuine care for the racers' experience and integrity for the event top to bottom. Yes, they have their controversies and RD based issues, but what race doesn't? They likely won't have some of that same behind-the-scenes drama that Eco will almost assuredly add to the mix.

Will teams choose ITERA over Eco? Is Croatia doomed? Will they go to ARWC instead?

Honestly, as I said, I think most teams wanting to do Eco won't get in. So, I suspect ARWS will be OK. Might lose a few teams from ARWC. But maybe there has been communication between the two? There is plenty of time between Eco and ARWC for top teams to do both. My main concern is that our sport (at least in the US, but I know ARWS has faced issues like this too) tends to get rather divisive and polarized about HOW to run ARs. I just hope this ends up being a truly positive development that genuinely helps the sport at all levels across the globe rather than being another wedge that divides racers, RDs, and organizations.

I guess we will have a clearer picture in the next couple of weeks when we get the details!
Nov 29, 2018 7:50 PM # 
legendaryrandy:
My 1cents worth. I think this is mostly hoping on my part but, I think there will be dot watching and social media during the race. I don't see anyway to embargo the race until its on TV. You can do that with a show like Survivor with big money, a small cast and veteran crew. Not with a bunch of adventure racers that want to brag. Also ratings aren't a thing with digital shows, no one will ever know how may people watch the finished show, some algorithm might. My guess is that the social media is more important than the finished project.
I don't know why Mark Burnett is bringing it back, (its fun?), but I think Amazon is interested because it brings a BIG time producer to it's platform.

Or everyone goes in to lock down and we don't hear anything until it airs.

FYI. I have reached out to some of the production folks to be on the podcast when they can talk about the race. How can they pass up talking to 10s of people all ready in the choir.
Nov 29, 2018 7:56 PM # 
broots:
Tell them they'll have two loyal listeners in Philly, legendary.

And I agree: "I don't know why Mark Burnett is bringing it back".

I've wondered the same thing, and I really have no idea. As much as I want to think it will bring sponsor money back in for all, I'm dubious there is data suggesting this will be a huge money maker now vs. then...I don't know this, but I got the sense that in the 2000s, a couple of things happened: economic downturn. Belts got tighter. But maybe also a realization that there wasn't great return for throwing all this money at the race or most/any of the teams.

Are we in a different place now vs. then? Is the landscape much better for AR now on tv or on the ground? Dubious about that.

I have wondered if MB would come back simply because it's where he started and maybe it is a passion of his. There are always more millions to make for a guy like him, but maybe he has enough in the bank that he feels ready to take on this passion project again?

That's where my money lies: this is for the love of the game rather than a clear expectation of fortune and glory for MB or Amazon...
Nov 29, 2018 8:14 PM # 
afsheen:
Is this Mark Burnett's baby? Or is it really Bear Grylls', and he asked for another name brand (Burnett) to get more interest from people? Grylls runs survival camps and events, and so maybe this new Eco is him trying to restart an event series but with his spin and Burnett's blessing.
Nov 29, 2018 9:10 PM # 
Bash:
Lots of great questions and not many answers at this point.

Like Broots, I'd like to believe MB is coming back because Eco was an early passion of his but who knows? He's worth almost half a billion dollars in his late 50s so he can do what he wants; he doesn't need every show to be wildly profitable. With his wife, he has also produced a TV miniseries called The Bible, inspired by their Christian faith. MB has a close friend in the White House so working on a new show will be a nice distraction from cringing at his friend's outrageous tweets.

For everyone's sake, I just hope that once the event details are announced, things move quickly. If potential volunteers and racers are kept hanging too long, it will hurt other events in addition to complicating people's travel/training plans. Most applicants won't get in but maybe they'll look for another exped race in the same timeframe after pulling an interested team together.
Nov 29, 2018 9:53 PM # 
Bash:
I recently found this article from 2000 about the five Canadian teams who were going to EcoChallenge Borneo. It's cool to see that out of 20 racers from across the country, two of them have raced Wilderness Traverse a number of times including 2018. In fact, Scott Ford was on the winning team this year, eighteen years (and four kids) after racing Eco. Great job!
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/eco-challen...
Dec 12, 2018 4:13 PM # 
Dirtgirl:
Email today:
Hello Eco-Challenge Community!

Our plan is to announce our host country AND open registration for teams on December 13, 2018. We recommend that interested parties register their team as soon as registration opens.

In anticipation of registration day, here is some important information to allow for adequate preparation.

Eco-Challenge 2019 is scheduled to take place in September 2019. The course is expected to be approximately 400 miles in length and take between 10 - 14 days to finish.

How are the teams made up?

Each race team will be made up of 4 competitors and must have at least 1 member of the opposite sex. Each team must have 1 assistant crew member that can be of any gender.

There will be one team captain per team.

Each team must race under a single national flag. This means that at least three out of four competitors must be citizens (or continuous legal residents for a period of 5 years) of the country which your team intends to race for. The assistant crew member may be any nationality.

Are assistant crews required?

Yes. One assistant crew member is required for each team (and no more than one assistant crew member per team is permitted).

What is the role of the assistant crew member?

During the race, the assistant crew member is responsible for driving their own assistant crew vehicle between designated transition areas. They must make their own camp and prepare their own meals.

The assistant crew member will provide all customary support services to their team, such as supplying competitors with fresh clothing, food, water and other supplies. The crew member must be prepared to maintain and organize all team equipment including mountain bikes and climbing gear.

When does registration open and how long will it be open for?

Our plan is to open Team Registration on December 13, 2018 at 12:00PM Pacific Standard Time and it will close on January 18, 2019 at 18:00 Pacific Standard Time.

Eco-Challenge Registration Process

Choose a team captain. The team captain will complete and submit the Competitor Registration Form (including information for the other three competitors and the assistant crew member) and agree to the Terms of Registration on behalf of the team. If all team members or the assistant crew member are not known at the time of registration, please still register. Team members can be added later.

Make a team video. After submitting the Competitor Registration Form, each team will need to make a 5 to 10-minute long video as part of the registration process. A team’s registration submission will not be complete until we receive this video. More information on the video and what should be included will be provided during registration.

Please note that all competitors and the assistant crew member must be at least 18 years old (or the legal age of adulthood where you live, if older than 18) by September 1, 2019. The assistant crew member must hold a valid driver’s license and be capable and confident when driving on rough road surfaces.

Registration is NOT first-come / first served. Once registration has closed, we will select the teams that will be invited to participate.

Team Sponsorship

Information on sponsorship rules will be provided in early 2019.


More information will be provided on registration day and we encourage you to follow Eco-Challenge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for real time updates.

If you are interested in volunteering, we will provide specific information about that in the future.

Below is a link to the most recent Eco-Challenge trailer. Please feel free to share with your friends on social media.

We can’t wait for you to find out our 2019 host country!

Many thanks!

The Eco-Challenge Team
Dec 13, 2018 6:37 PM # 
Work4justice:
Looks like it's Fiji!
https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2018/12/13/...
Dec 13, 2018 6:45 PM # 
Dirtgirl:
The website has also been updated:
https://www.ecochallenge.com/index.php
Dec 13, 2018 6:56 PM # 
Bash:
Fiji was always a good guess. Not only was the most recent Eco-Challenge held there but it looks like Survivor may stay there permanently for various reasons including financial incentives.
https://survivingtribal.com/2017/09/14/survivor-st...
Dec 13, 2018 7:02 PM # 
Bash:
Here is Michael Sero's assessment on the AR Cooperative FB group:

Eco-Challenge 2019
Entry $5,000.00
Plane Tickets avg price from Chicago 1250 x 5 + $6,250.
Car Rental for team for race since supported race est. $2,500.00 need a van to move bikes etc..
Food, Hotels, etc.... let's say $2,500.00
So far $13,750. Let's just budget this to 20,000 to be safe.
400 miles 10 to 15 days to finish. Seems like a real slow course to me.
In Prime Season of Adventure racing in USA.
As much as I'd like to see this happen, I don't see many of the top teams/racers in the USA/Canada going to this. Most have full-time jobs and can't take almost a month off. [Note: Dates are listed as Sept. 5-25.] I'd be interested in hearing other's thoughts on this.
There is a $100,000 first place prize........
Dec 13, 2018 7:02 PM # 
silkychrome:
$5,000 per team entry fee.

on the application you need to provide:
occcupation & employer
social media account names (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
military experience, if any
previous AR & other race experience, if any
Dec 13, 2018 7:06 PM # 
silkychrome:
just for fun, compare to other reality TV experiences which, to my knowledge, don't charge the participants anything. some of the travel/hotels are even covered as well.

let's just say a former Survivor castaway was considering trying AR. buy why would they when Eco-Challenge costs $5k/person and they got into Survivor for free?
Dec 13, 2018 7:12 PM # 
abiperk:
@silkychrome, I've thought about that, too. I've been assuming that there will be some comped/sponsored slots available for those sorts of "special interest" teams (Survivor alums, playboy bunnies, whatever...).
Dec 13, 2018 7:42 PM # 
Bash:
According to Sleepmonsters, the entry fee was $14,500 in 2002 so there is some concession to the fact that the folks at Eco-Challenge are a lot richer now, lol!
Dec 13, 2018 8:35 PM # 
Bash:
Not coincidentally, ARWS issued a press release promoting their 2019 schedule.
https://arworldseries.com/ar-world-series-offers-w...
Dec 13, 2018 9:36 PM # 
Bash:
Entry fee includes:

Hotel accommodations: 2 rooms per team; 3 nights before and 3 nights after.

Limited repatriation insurance for 5 team members.

Certain medical assistance during race.

Invitation (for 5 team members) to the Opening Party.

Invitation (for 5 team members) to the Closing Party.

GEAR: Race maps (hard copy/paper maps for compass navigation), GPS tracking device, race passport, emergency radio (or similar device).

Transfer to/from Nadi airport to hotel.
Dec 13, 2018 9:37 PM # 
Bash:
Entry fee does not include:

Flights to and from location (Eco-Challenge is working on an airline deal and will keep teams updated along the way).

All race equipment and gear unless otherwise noted.

Accommodations outside of what is already provided. Teams who finish early or withdraw must either camp at the finish line or procure their own hotel accommodations until the provided accommodations begin.

Assistance crew vehicle rental and all related items (e.g., insurance, fuel).

Meals / food.

Bikes & bike boxes.

Gear boxes.

Team uniform.
Dec 13, 2018 10:08 PM # 
broots:
As XPDs go, it's actually a much better deal than I expected...minus the support crew/rental car bit.

5000 is a fair rate for an expedition race these deals. yes, higher than some, but more affordable than others (PQ...cough, cough...), and you're getting a truly unique race experience. That whole argument of bang for the buck: FOURTEEN days of the arguably (maybe not even arguably) the best supported race ever put on in AR in regards to resources and crew. It may not necessarily be a RACE that will make everyone happy, mind you, but still. 5-6 nights of lodging, likely an "old school" race experience...the value of the final film is arguably priceless.

Wish it was during the summer so we could throw our hat in, though...for me... I'd rather race somewhere other than Fiji. As I recall, a lot of people were rather ill for a rather long time after the last one in Fiji. I will be watching from my couch!! Tropics just are not my first choice.

I really hope this is more than a one off, and I hope they don't just settle into a annual Fijan race. Hope they rotate around. Please schedule some in the summers for teachers (I know MB and Bear are reading this;))

Finally: I tend to disagree that we won't see many North American teams going for it. Honestly they may not get IN (see my speculation as to who they will choose and why above; with a 50 team limit, this means even fewer slots for people we all know), but I think if teams can work the schedule, they will try.

And finally...100,000....Good luck ARWS. Thankfully, it's not THAT close to ARWC, so I suspect some top teams will be up for both...or at least the three that win the money:)
Dec 13, 2018 10:29 PM # 
Bash:
On the bright side, I think Eco-Challenge Borneo was harder on racers than Fiji.
https://www.nytimes.com/2000/09/14/sports/extreme-...
Dec 13, 2018 11:05 PM # 
Bash:
Rob Howard's take on it.
https://www.sleepmonsters.com/news.php?article_id=...
Dec 14, 2018 1:17 AM # 
abiperk:
Oh, those leeches...
Dec 14, 2018 1:43 AM # 
broots:
My new #1 dream for this as I sit here all giddy, reading and hearing about all my friends hoping to go and just wishing I could watch all of it unfold...

I would LOVE it if MB made an episode about the process. The scouting, the drafting of teams, the race design, the behind the scenes for the crew. In some ways more than the race itself, I find myself just wanting to be a fly on the wall, watching as MB and his team make decisions about who gets to race, what they think and want the course to do to the teams. I think it would be amazing as a racer to see that side of RDing for a race this unique and heralded.

If anyone has a connection, tell them they should make that episode. Please.
Dec 14, 2018 2:44 AM # 
StrongMachine:
@RandyErickson, use your media clout to talk to Ian Adamson (seems to be involved) and Nathan Fa'avae (must be involved, right?) to get all the details!
Dec 14, 2018 2:57 AM # 
legendaryrandy:
Ian, yes. Nathan,no. But I think he could be talked into racing
Dec 14, 2018 3:13 AM # 
StrongMachine:
I would think $100,000 does a lot of talking on its own.
Dec 14, 2018 5:02 PM # 
Bash:
Copying my comment from a FB discussion on the same topic:

Producers will get $250,000 from entry fees, which will not cover much of their cost. Amongst other things, the entry fee covers 6 nights X 2 hotel rooms per team. airport transportation, GPS tracking and probably a banquet or two. I suppose they know racers will pay it but I think it's a token entry fee intended to ensure teams show up. If a team has spent $5,000, most people will ensure they have time off work, they'll look for replacements if someone gets injured, etc.

As a registrar for many events over the years, I've seen that teams with free entries are more likely to just drop out if something comes up compared to teams who paid for their entry.
Dec 14, 2018 5:18 PM # 
abiperk:
Broots and I had this exact conversation yesterday. I think MB did his research to find out what the relative cost of expedition racing is right now, and he set the Eco price based on that -- not because he needs the money for production, but to weed out the the applicants who won't take it seriously.
Dec 15, 2018 3:54 PM # 
abiperk:
Anyone else thinking Kloser and Lance Armstrong will be putting together a team?

https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/lanc...
Dec 15, 2018 5:13 PM # 
Bash:
Interesting thought!
Dec 15, 2018 11:53 PM # 
Joe:
I would love to be support crew for that team.
Dec 16, 2018 3:35 AM # 
Bash:
Lance is used to getting his flat tires changed *really* quickly so you'd better start practising now.
Dec 16, 2018 4:38 PM # 
StrongMachine:
Also, you may want to practice your IV needle insertion techniques :)
Dec 18, 2018 4:12 AM # 
Dirtgirl:
Here’s a fun party game: put together a fantasy team for EcoChallenge that would be chosen (I.e., would make good reality TV).
Dec 20, 2018 3:43 AM # 
legendaryrandy:
Mike Kloser, Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR) Bret Favre, Lindsey Vonn. With Oprah for support
Dec 27, 2018 3:03 AM # 
Joe:
I would crew for them, and any other team if needed.
Jan 3, 2019 3:26 PM # 
Bash:
So who’s been working on their video?
Jan 4, 2019 3:29 AM # 
legendaryrandy:
I've helped 5-6 teams with content.
Jan 4, 2019 4:25 PM # 
StrongMachine:
I don't know if this is special or not, but I got a personal email from the casting director after I submitted our team's entry. The woman was very nice (she is a Maine native and liked that we were from Maine as well), and asked us to try to send our video in by January 4.
Jan 10, 2019 10:35 PM # 
Bash:
On Facebook today: "Adventure Enablers is throwing our hat into the 2019 Eco Challenge ring with an outstanding team of fun, fast, and experienced adventure racers: Mark Lattanzi (team captain), Sarah Goldman, Jesse Spangler, Walker Higgins, and Mark Harris (support crew). The team has a lot to offer Eco Challenge, with backgrounds in teaching adventure, enabling adventure, treating adventure, and continually seeking adventure. The application and “Audition” video is in. Now it's just waiting with fingers crossed. Regardless, the team is booking tickets for either 20 days of racing or 20 days on the beach! (At least that's what Walker claims!) Who else has applied?"
Jan 12, 2019 1:28 AM # 
broots:
Good discussion under the post Bash copied above.

Mark Sky just commented that he has "heard" that 400 teams already have applied. I had run #s in my head (and in the comments on FB) and come up with 150-200 as conservative...400...I'm not sure what to make of that number (and if it's accurate the final count may exceed 500, maybe considerably more than that).

On one level it doesn't surprise me. I have no idea how many teams applied back in the first iteration. But with the boom in reality TV and extreme challenges I wonder if the planet is even more likely to go for such a thing now in 2019, even if we simultaneously see drops in people in the outdoors and more difficulty accessing land....Then again...400 teams is a lot for a race of this duration and difficulty!!!

If this is true, two new long term thoughts:
1) This bodes well, I think for this gaining more traction and being more than a one off.

2) As was true in the first run: The race built on itself year to year: certain teams and personalities were givens. You knew that Ian Adamson, or John Howard, Or Jane Hall, or Robyn Benincasa, or David Kelly and Terri Schneider would be at the start line. Likewise, I suspect that those lucky to get in will have an advantage in 2020 or whenever: some teams will make a good impression. They will either do so by being competitive or persevering, teams that people admire and fawn over, or they will be good stories who might flame out but who make good tv and who will be welcomed back for entertainment (or inspiration). What this means is that the pool of open slots for 2020 will be even more competitive as some spaces will de facto be claimed already by the teams that catch the producers eye in Fiji.
Jan 16, 2019 6:25 AM # 
StrongMachine:
Just submitted our team's video entry and heard back from Mindy, the Competitor Relations (CompRel) lead. She says the number of team entries have been "pretty insane."
Jan 16, 2019 2:05 PM # 
Bash:
If you search “EcoChallenge 2019” on YouTube, you can see some audition videos.

I see that Team Canada includes past EcoChallengers Jim Mandelli, Kurt Gibson, Tracyn Thayer and Alan Bishop.
Jan 17, 2019 12:33 AM # 
StrongMachine:
One of my favorite videos I've seen so far:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HBhI1yxhWY
Jan 19, 2019 2:22 AM # 
silkychrome:
email from Eco. roster announced early February. that’s quite soon!

“Hello Eco-Challenge Community!

Team registration is now closed.

Thank you to all of the teams who have registered! We are busy processing your submissions and are very excited to receive them.

Race directors should be selecting teams by the start of February so we will be in touch with Team Captains with more information including Sponsorship information.

Once again, we thank you for registering and we will be in touch soon with more information.

Many thanks!


The Eco-Challenge Team”
Jan 31, 2019 4:54 PM # 
StrongMachine:
More press, but no new information:

https://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/1080685...

https://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/1080697...
Feb 7, 2019 5:21 PM # 
silkychrome:
who else is checking this thread every day to see if teams who applied have heard back!??! it's not "early Feb" for too much longer!!
Feb 13, 2019 5:06 AM # 
Bash:
Feb. 13 now - definitely *mid*-February.
Feb 16, 2019 5:03 AM # 
Bash:
A Facebook friend announced tonight that his team wasn't selected. Who else got news?
Feb 16, 2019 4:42 PM # 
silkychrome:
my observation on the teams not selected (i plan to update this as more post)
—Mark L (Walter H, Sarah G, Jesse S, crew Mark H)
—Dave A (Jesse T, Ron E, Lena B, crew Julie A)
—Ryan O
—NYARA
—GOALS

seems like AR experience is not an advantage.
Feb 16, 2019 5:03 PM # 
abiperk:
Sounds like NYARA and GOALS were not selected either.
Feb 16, 2019 5:30 PM # 
StrongMachine:
I think it's the teams you're not hearing from that probably got in. My guess is the Eco folks are probably looking for a couple of Top 10 in the world-type U.S. teams for a patriotic boost. Bones and Yogaslackers are both pretty prominent social media posters but nothing from them yet...
Feb 16, 2019 9:41 PM # 
Work4justice:
Strong machine is a poster too... ;)

Wonder if jacskon5 will care to comment!
Feb 16, 2019 10:29 PM # 
Bash:
Assuming that successful teams were notified at the same time, it wouldn't be surprising if there's a confidentiality requirement like most reality TV shows. Otherwise, *somebody* would have posted here by now!
Feb 16, 2019 10:46 PM # 
afsheen:
Maybe we can ask th groups this question: “if you were selected, would you be able to tell us that you were selected?” And then see who responds.
Feb 16, 2019 10:56 PM # 
kateness:
I think Bash must be right. Hopefully they will post a team list at some point before September...
Feb 16, 2019 10:57 PM # 
abiperk:
I’ll respond as someone who didn’t submit a video, so no one has to out themselves :) my understanding is that there’s some sort of brief gag rule until a formal press release comes out.
Feb 16, 2019 11:12 PM # 
legendaryrandy:
Abiperk is right. Teams are under a gag rule for several weeks. Doesn't mean they aren't so excited they have to tell some one
Feb 16, 2019 11:20 PM # 
afsheen:
Oooh. Legendary Randy knows!!
Feb 20, 2019 2:47 AM # 
jbrown:
Liam St Pierre mentioned: "Australia's two strongest teams (winners of the last two years in the national series) got an entry".

Sadly our entry didn't get the nod either. They have started a wait list and there is a small chance that a team originally overlooked may still get in.
Mar 5, 2019 4:04 PM # 
StrongMachine:
In case you missed it, Nathan Fa'avae posted a picture of a promising-looking envelope from Eco-Challenge on Facebook, and Silver Eensaar of Estonia ACE responded by publishing this pretty brilliant video:
https://cdn-b-east.streamable.com/video/mp4/2l2om....
Mar 5, 2019 4:08 PM # 
kateness:
Can't see Silver's response photo - comes up as an error?
Mar 28, 2019 12:36 AM # 
jbrown:
Albeit Nathan posted the picture of the envelope on FB, he didn't exactly declare he was in :) Yes, the gag order is in effect until the Eco crew announces it publicly (and accepted teams confirm their entry) but there is a strong AR representation in the mix - which is a good thing for our sport as we get perhaps our most visible publicity in a long time.
May 13, 2019 5:15 PM # 
silkychrome:
this just in, of course Eco won't take just any volunteers, you have to apply as well!

********
Hello Eco-Challenge Community!

We have an Eco-Challenge volunteer update. Volunteer applications will be opening soon.

Volunteers will be needed in Fiji on location from September 5 to September 22, 2019. We will be sending out another email when applications are open with more details. In the meantime, keep following our social media pages for all things Eco-Challenge.

As always, we encourage you to follow Eco-Challenge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for real time updates.


The Eco-Challenge Team
May 28, 2019 11:23 AM # 
silkychrome:
here’s a potential racer, James Lawrence aka “Iron Cowboy”, known for completing 50 ironman distance tris in 50 states in 50 days. not sure on teammates.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bx_G1xMjiIC/?igshid=3h...
May 28, 2019 12:14 PM # 
abiperk:
"Announcement coming soon" :)

Another one: https://www.argeorgia.com/the-team
May 28, 2019 1:45 PM # 
Bash:
I understood that teams were given very strict instructions in mid-February to keep their participation secret until after the "announcement coming soon". Does anyone know whether there was a time limit on that NDA or whether teams have been given permission to reveal their news?
May 28, 2019 5:20 PM # 
silkychrome:
i don't believe there has been permission granted but hints are being dropped, vacation time for work is being requested, tickets booked, etc.
May 28, 2019 5:55 PM # 
Bash:
Eco-Challenge would have to expect that after such a long delay. I was just a little surprised to see "Eco-Challenge Team" on the team page that Abiperk posted. From what I've been told, the orders were very strict so that seemed bold.
May 28, 2019 8:28 PM # 
StrongMachine:
I so wish I could say more here...but there is a gag rule in effect. They said it would be a couple of weeks from when acceptances were first sent out, but it has now been four months. Very frustrating...
Aug 1, 2019 8:38 PM # 
StrongMachine:
At long last!

https://www.thewrap.com/eco-challenge-reboot-teams...
Aug 1, 2019 11:58 PM # 
StrongMachine:
More info here:
https://www.realityblurred.com/realitytv/2019/08/a...
Aug 2, 2019 1:04 AM # 
Bash:
Congratulations! :)
Aug 2, 2019 2:32 AM # 
arthurd:
I love this team description:

Team New Zealand (New Zealand)
Team New Zealand is a group of friends looking forward to adventuring through Fiji.

Team members?

Nathan Fa’avae (TC), Sophie Hart, Stuart Lynch, Chris Forne, Mark Rayward (TAC)
Aug 2, 2019 2:25 PM # 
StrongMachine:
Thanks Bash. We're going into it with the hope that we don't appear on TV until episode 10, crossing the line with 1 hour to spare before the cutoff.

No drama, steady forward progress. The good news is we have 11 days to go the same distance we traveled in Norway in 7 days. But the bad news is it will be hotter, buggier, wetter, and junglier. Also, our bodies and minds were breaking down after 7 days...I really don't want to think about what Day 11 will be like.

Fortunately, we enticed the very experienced Michael Garrison to race with us, and our TAC (crew person), John McInnes, has served as crew in several Raid the Norths and Primal Quests, so that will be a help.

If anyone has any questions about the show, I can try to help answer them, now that the gag rule appears to be lifted. Bash, I know you were curious about tracking, and Eco confirmed there will be no live-tracking of the race.
Aug 2, 2019 2:45 PM # 
Work4justice:
That stinks about the live tracking not being available! Looking forward to watching the series though. And who will speculate on the top ten teams?
Aug 2, 2019 7:03 PM # 
Sony:
Aug 3, 2019 3:59 PM # 
afsheen:
I wonder what the average age of all the racers are. Even if I were strong and fast enough, and dedicated enough, I could never take off that much time to race from my position. I wonder if many of the “more experienced” racers are semi-retired or retired (at least a couple are whom I know).
Aug 3, 2019 4:13 PM # 
JayXC:
Everyone I know on the list works full-time.
Aug 4, 2019 1:00 PM # 
Browner:
With live tracking, dot watchers can be woven into the TV series. We put a lot of emotional energy into hitting refresh every 15 minutes, screaming at the screen and contributing random commentary on group chat boards. Seriously, this could even be AttackPoint's big comeback!
Aug 5, 2019 5:34 AM # 
FB:
Don’t think there’s dot watching for this one. :(
Aug 7, 2019 2:25 AM # 
Bash:
I'm sure *someone* will be watching dots but it won't be the general public. :(
Aug 7, 2019 7:42 PM # 
StrongMachine:
Happy to transmit as much information as possible from Fiji...has anyone gone through and identified any other APers going?
Aug 8, 2019 9:13 AM # 
Stijn:
Shebeen is going through as the TAC for Cyanosis - maybe he can be our man on the inside... :)
Aug 8, 2019 9:14 AM # 
Stijn:
And then there's obviously nmulder as the navigator for Cyanosis.
Aug 22, 2019 1:39 PM # 
StrongMachine:
Update came out last night that included the race rules. Biggest piece of news is that there will be a sleep card requiring five different three-hour sleeps. Plus, all teams must spend 90 minutes in each TA. Teams can use up to two three-hour sleeps at CPs (all CPs are manned).
Aug 22, 2019 7:48 PM # 
FB:
Interesting. TA (efficiency) is a discipline that some teams gain great advantage from (not usually my team). This could play a significant role for the handful of teams that will be racing at the front. The sleeping card is just another item to fit into your strategy... no big deal IMHO
Aug 26, 2019 6:19 PM # 
mayer22:
Agreed that mandating teams spend time in TA is a game-changer for those competing to win. I imagine the rule was designed to ensure that the film crew would have access to the teams for a certain amount of time. Given that some teams can get in and out in 20 min, 90 min seems a bit excessive. What is Nathan going to talk about for 70 min at every TA?
Aug 27, 2019 12:49 AM # 
StrongMachine:
Bear Grylls begins the marketing push:
"Next up, I’m off to film our new series, Eco-Challenge for Amazon. It’s the largest scale reality show ever made. The ultimate global survival-adventure race, against the elements, against the clock, and against some of the greatest extreme athletes on the planet. We’re amped to see this show come together! The show will premiere on Amazon Prime Video in 2020!"

https://parade.com/914966/brittany_galla/bear-gryl...
Aug 28, 2019 12:25 AM # 
StrongMachine:
Mark Sky and Lars Bukkheve from Team Atlas have arrived in Fiji early to do a bit of scouting, similar to what Lars did in advance of the PER last year. According to several videos posted on the Eco-Challenge competitor Facebook page (sounds cooler than it is), they report very thick brush, lots of mosquitoes, and steep terrain. No surprises there!
Aug 28, 2019 6:40 PM # 
silkychrome:
when do you leave SM ?
Aug 29, 2019 2:12 AM # 
StrongMachine:
Most people arrive in Fiji Sept. 5 (free hotel stay at the Pullman Nadi starts then) , but we get in the next day, Sept. 6. If you can believe it, that means we leave the morning of Sept. 4 (though I know you are familiar with this process after traveling to NZ earlier this year!).
Sep 4, 2019 2:02 AM # 
StrongMachine:
Many teams have arrived in Fiji already or are en route! Kateness and I leave tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. from Boston and arrive Friday morning (!) at 5 a.m. I will give you what updates we are able to once we arrive.
Sep 4, 2019 9:28 AM # 
Bash:
Safe travels and have a fantastic time!
Sep 6, 2019 4:43 AM # 
StrongMachine:
Here at the Pullman Resort in Nadi, Fiji, just minutes from the airport. The resort is brand-new and is centered around four pools and the beach. The country flags of the various teams are displayed proudly on the balconies of the rooms around the central courtyard. It definitely feels like a very international race, with Spanish, French, Dutch, Fijian, Estonian, many variations of English and numerous other languages heard throughout the hotel. Since we arrived at around 6:30 a.m. from the airport, the hotel lobby has been a wild, pretty surreal scene with teams in uniforms everywhere, gear and bikes in all corners of the hotel, and seemingly more staff and volunteers than racers. No Mark Burnett or Bear Grylls sightings yet. Some teams had gear and skills checks today but Strong Machine doesn't have any responsibilities until September 8 - in two days' time. So, naturally, we went swimming and ate lunch by the pool! And did some food shopping and bike-building. All our gear is here and it seems like Fiji Airways came through for most, if not all teams. Feeling a nap coming on so I'm going to go find somewhere to lie down - the big question is, by the pool or in the room?
Sep 6, 2019 12:55 PM # 
Bash:
Haha, thanks for the update! :)
Sep 7, 2019 12:31 AM # 
Work4justice:
Not sure if you all read that Urtzi from Vidaraid still doesn’t have his gear. Yesterday he posted the airline hasn’t been helpful, locals are trying to help but there is not date of arrival yet for his gear. Que lastima!!!!
Sep 7, 2019 4:48 AM # 
kateness:
Yeah sounds like another team may have a bike he can use. The whole Vidaraid team had their gear lost in transit but most of it has been recovered now.

Teams have been posting all over the Eco FB group with gear requests. Seems many people have forgotten items or brought gear that didn’t meet the very stringent Eco requirements.
Sep 7, 2019 7:27 AM # 
StrongMachine:
Yeah, Mike Kloser just asked me for a hydration pack :)
Sep 7, 2019 10:51 AM # 
StrongMachine:
Today's update - things are in full swing here in Eco-land. Mark Burnett showed up this weekend and Bear was spotted in the lobby this afternoon. Got a chance to chat with MB and one of the course creators, Kevin, and they both heavily hinted they want a long run for Eco. Quote "You don't spend this much for a one-time thing."

Still no details about the course, except for it sounds like we'll be starting with either a paddle or a sail and then moving on to a long trek, estimated to take 1-2.5 days combined.
Sep 7, 2019 12:27 PM # 
Bash:
I heard this morning that Bob's bike has arrived (Team Canada Adventure).
Sep 7, 2019 6:20 PM # 
abiperk:
Thanks for the updates, SM!
Sep 8, 2019 8:55 AM # 
GD44:
Great updates. Keep them coming.
Sep 8, 2019 9:54 AM # 
kateness:
Well this is our last hour with phones/electronics. Race briefing was relatively uninformative. There are 5 segments to the race but no maps given until right before that segment. So planning has been tough with no schematic. Impressed by the seriousness of the race directing crew. Legit racers and outdoors-people, big emphasis on safety. Arguably the safest race ever run with several helicopters and an airplane flying over Fiji for the duration of the race to transmit radio signals! Encouraged by the minimal focus on the TV aspect, though clearly that’s why we are all here. The more sinister side of me feels they may be deemphasizing the TV part so people kinda forget about it and like... themselves. A crazy mix of completely inexperienced teams and the most dominant people in the sport.

Signing out for now. #TeamStrongMachine
Sep 8, 2019 10:30 AM # 
Work4justice:
Thanks for this update, curious about when the actual start is! *EDIT* just saw another post that it’s 9/10 in the morning.
Sep 8, 2019 10:35 AM # 
Bash:
Thanks for that. All the best!
Sep 8, 2019 5:54 PM # 
Work4justice:
Anyone know how the sleeps will be logged? Is it an on your honor system by chance?
Sep 8, 2019 6:30 PM # 
abiperk:
My understanding is that they have to log the sleep at a staffed TA or CP for it to count.
Sep 9, 2019 12:19 AM # 
Work4justice:
Makes sense. I really don’t sleep well at TAs, but a staffed CP might work for some.

Just gotta day, the race hasn’t started and I’m already bummed to not dot watch! At least I’ll be able to follow Brenda at Croatia.
Sep 9, 2019 4:21 PM # 
Bash:
Sleepmonsters sounded a little bummed this morning on Facebook.
__________________________________________________
Eco-Challenge begins today ... or maybe its started already ... who knows as there is a complete news shut-out on everything surrounding the race.

It's no surprise to us at SleepMonsters but for anyone who was still anticipating following the race here is the official and disappointing news from Series Publicity at Amazon Studios.

"This race will be quite different as a lot of the details and results of the race will be held for premiere on Amazon Prime Video in 2020"

"Once the race begins, there will be no official details shared on social or with press."

We are busy covering races which are open and inclusive and part of the wider global AR family having just wrapped up reporting on the Yeti Adventure Challenge Silkeborg and Expedition Africa Rodrigues.

The live coverage from Rodrigues by the Kinetic Events Africa team was amazing and a stark contrast to what is going on with Eco-Challenge.

Next up this week are Raid international Gaspésie, Adventure Race Croatia and PC12 Adventure Race.

We may return to a feature on Eco-Challenge and the pro's and cons of a race being bought for reality TV in today's media environment, but the priority are the races going on currently and there is nothing to say about Eco-Challenge as its happening anyway! (Nor will teams be allowed to say anything afterwards.)

For now here are some opening ceremony photos from the Fijian Govt. and you can see some (very dodgy but lively) footage of the launch at Nabitu. It certainly looks like everyone is having a good time before the race :-)

https://www.facebook.com/thefijitimes/videos/77875...

(It's going to be interesting to see just how secret they can keep everything!)
Sep 9, 2019 4:40 PM # 
Bash:
I never expected dots and I'm not sure Amazon Prime Video will work on our rural Internet (not that we get all the U.S. shows anyway) so I've resigned myself to a looooong wait for news. Luckily, AR Croatia starts tomorrow!
Sep 9, 2019 6:03 PM # 
abiperk:
Bash, one of our teammates and I were just talking about a weekend-long marathon watch party. Come down to philly and join us!
Sep 9, 2019 6:10 PM # 
Bash:
That sounds like fun! :)
Sep 9, 2019 6:54 PM # 
Bash:
A little info from Bear Grylls' Facebook:

...This will be our largest TV series ever filmed. In fact THE largest factual TV series EVER filmed! 970 adventurers on this expedition... for The World’s Toughest Race’ on Amazon Prime Video At dawn I set off the world’s most elite (and complete) adventure ultra-marathon runners for the start of a jungle, mountain course that is a staggering 671km long. Key skills: good feet management (!), 10 different advanced adventure skills, ability to only sleep for 15 hours in 10 days, & ninja-like night navigation, teamwork, resilience, kindness & courage! Very few will complete this course... The toughest adventure race ever attempted.
Sep 10, 2019 2:15 PM # 
broots:
Ooooh....
Found this...
https://fijivillage.com/news/Eco-Challenge-Fiji-st...

The text is basic, but there is a snippet or two in the audio clips including some descriptions of opening stage...

Also, watch the video clip. At :39, you can see an overview of the course...
Sep 10, 2019 2:22 PM # 
Bash:
Good detective work!
Sep 10, 2019 2:30 PM # 
broots:
Bash...just emailed you...I cannot sort out how to load a picture...so, here is a link to it in my Smugmug Gallery...

It's the "official" Eco map.
https://photos.smugmug.com/Wilderness-Traverse/i-3...
Sep 10, 2019 2:38 PM # 
broots:
and the start: they camped here before starting:

Nabitu District School, Draubuta, Tailevu
Sep 10, 2019 4:43 PM # 
Bash:
More nice detective work, Broots! Given that you use Smugmug, you could display that photo here instead of just linking to it (although the link works just fine so I won't bother posting it again).

When you click "Share" for a photo in Smugmug, instead of "Photo Only", choose "HTML". It will say "Choose a Size". Choose "Medium" from the dropdown list. Copy and paste the code into your AP entry et voilà!
Sep 10, 2019 4:54 PM # 
Bash:
Looks like lots of trekking and not so much paddling although the map could use a little more detail. :)
Sep 10, 2019 5:15 PM # 
abiperk:
Some local coverage, shared on Facebook by SM: https://fijivillage.com/news/Eco-Challenge-Fiji-st...
Sep 10, 2019 5:23 PM # 
broots:
Sep 10, 2019 5:23 PM # 
broots:
Yes!! Thanks, Bash:)
Sep 10, 2019 6:07 PM # 
Work4justice:
Loving all of this detective work!
Sep 10, 2019 6:15 PM # 
broots:
Come on abiperk...I posted that link at 1030 this AM;)
Sep 10, 2019 7:02 PM # 
Bash:
Maybe she's been busy caring for a baby? ;)

Great job, Broots! I look forward to seeing more photos from you in future.
Sep 10, 2019 11:46 PM # 
abiperk:
Thanks for sticking up for me, Bash :)
Sep 11, 2019 12:00 AM # 
broots:
Sorry. Baby brain. I forgot:P
Sep 11, 2019 12:08 AM # 
broots:
Tulia Nacola, builder of the boats, delivers some inspirational words to young viewers.

Also, notes about a fun start with boats crashing into one another as teams sorted out the boats. CP 1 is an island...somewhere...also, the boat builders have spare parts ready to go in case boats need repair!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnvBiMiCOZI
Sep 11, 2019 12:10 AM # 
broots:
Also, I've seen reference in my digging to 170 or so villages in the course, and that they had to approach each one for permission...and permission was granted by all. Pretty amazing.
Sep 11, 2019 12:35 AM # 
Bash:
Wow.
Sep 11, 2019 2:03 AM # 
silkychrome:
AP sleuthing at its finest!!
Sep 11, 2019 2:56 AM # 
Mr Wonderful:
I had to use a post office once to figure out which town I ended up in during a race, can't imagine 170 Fijian villages!
Sep 11, 2019 10:50 AM # 
Work4justice:
Another article talking about the race, and it suggests that a local radio announcer will be following the teams:
https://fijivillage.com/news/Nacola-encourages-the...

Another google alert for Tukini Cama...
Sep 11, 2019 12:59 PM # 
broots:
W4J, i've been stalking Tukini's facebook page since yesterday. Nothing:)
Sep 11, 2019 1:45 PM # 
Work4justice:
Hadn’t thought about that, or twitter?
Sep 11, 2019 2:06 PM # 
broots:
Didn't find him on other platforms!
Sep 12, 2019 2:12 PM # 
broots:
Today's news from Fiji:
https://fijivillage.com/news/66-teams-from-30-coun...

The audio clips have more content. Interesting notes:
1) Tukini cites a news embargo, so while they are allowed to cover basics, Burnett has silenced them on details (I wondered about that with the boat maker video, the fact that they zoomed in close to her face when it seemed there was action down on the beach...)
2) Sounds like the field is spread out from the east coast of Fiji up into the center, 3 days in. Wonder if some teams are still finishing up Leg 1...that means 2-3 days (I'm not sure when exactly it started at this point...) in their boats...WOW...
3) He notes they are passing through jungle that hasn't even been explored by the "indigenous" people (he then calls those people "locals". Notes that it is truly primitive un-accessed jungle.
4) Confirms: 165 local permits to run the race, and it sounds like the locals have really embraced the event.
Sep 12, 2019 3:54 PM # 
glewis:
Wow - loving these rouge updates.

I'm not surprised by the amount of permits or that the locals are embracing the event. I recall reading somewhere (although I can't locate it now) that Mark Burnett is adored by most Fijians. My guess is that many would be honored to have him bring people through their village.
Sep 12, 2019 6:13 PM # 
legendaryrandy:
If you want a bit of fun, come over here. https://www.facebook.com/groups/499109890868756/
Sep 12, 2019 9:25 PM # 
Clare:
They don't seem to have stopped the medical team on social media

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2TrFYbhcjz/?igshid=vy...

https://instagram.com/nilsgisli?igshid=1sfeuhq0jwr...
Sep 12, 2019 9:55 PM # 
abiperk:
Followed!
Sep 12, 2019 10:40 PM # 
Work4justice:
♥️
Sep 15, 2019 1:52 PM # 
silkychrome:
TA in Lutu?

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2bZJg4lKN-/?igshid=qt...
Sep 15, 2019 4:27 PM # 
broots:
Lutu: a search of Lutu suggests some teams are roughly halfway across the island. Pending on whether they did that Southern loop they are approx somewhere over or under halfway. Either way, long way to go and they are 7-8 days in. I imagine any teams in or coming in to this Ta are on the verge of cutoffs...
Sep 15, 2019 6:25 PM # 
broots:
Also, anyone noticed that fijivillage has gone silent? Thinking they’ve been silenced...
Sep 15, 2019 7:34 PM # 
Work4justice:
I did! Maybe they know about the super sleuths.
Sep 15, 2019 9:20 PM # 
broots:
Hah, I actually do wonder if they have been sleuthing and realized that the AR community is digging deep...Worried that Tukini might give something real away...
Sep 15, 2019 9:40 PM # 
abiperk:
Though we’re not the people they need to worry about in terms of spoilers ruining viewership.
Sep 15, 2019 11:44 PM # 
broots:
Some real pics of teams! Not that exciting, and you can't ID people (at least I can't), but still:)
https://twitter.com/ilisabeta6/status/117334966438...
Sep 16, 2019 11:50 AM # 
silkychrome:
vid of the start?

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2X0xWZJOLt/?igshid=1f...

and w the information of what looks like a river start, in the village, for “16 hours”...anyone want to guess the location of TA 1?
Sep 16, 2019 1:47 PM # 
Bash:
Ron Eaglin posted yesterday that some teams have their phones back and are communicating with folks at home - not about the race but about their impressions of Fiji.
Sep 16, 2019 2:22 PM # 
broots:
Hmmm. link is dead...already censored?

TA1: my bet: Naloto.

So, I thought the race started earlier, but it looks like it started a week ago. About to start day 7?

I believe they projected that Seagate...I mean, whoever wins...would finish in 5-6? So curious if they were right on that. Also, abiperk and I were talking this morning.

1) I have seen several people suggest they don't believe MB has any clue about AR today. I personally strongly disagree with that. MB is a genius, and I would bet anything that he has done quite a bit of research. Doesn't mean he knows all the teams, but I bet he knows the state of things quite well. He might not CARE about the rest of the AR world, but I bet he knows the state of things.

2) That said: I'm super curious to see how many teams knock this out, and I wonder what those results suggest about AR now vs. then. As I recall, Seagate won the last Eco-Fiji in 6ish days, so right in line with what they are projecting for this one.

3) IF, their estimates are close to accurate and the winner, whoever that ends up being, do finish in 6ish days, that leaves 4 (or 5? still not sure about how long the course is open) days for others to finish. Knowing the field, there are way more than 10 or so teams that should be able to finish a full course with that much extra time.

4) So, ten or so teams finished in 2002. Unless the estimates are off, I'd expect at least double that, and maybe 25-30 teams or so to have a legitimate shot of finishing the course.

5) IF that proves to be true, are teams better now? Is it a product of lighter, better gear? More a result of having a well developed international circuit that allows more teams more chances to race? More affordable? I know it's still expensive, but in general, a team can do an XPD for under 5000 entry, whereas back in the PQ/Eco days, race entries were pretty regularly double that. For all the talk of expense, there are more diverse offerings at more affordable costs. Granted, they aren't 10 days ultra-extreme events usually, but still: maybe teams are just more experienced than they used to be outside the top tier...

6) And maybe it just IS the World's TOUGHEST race and there are shenanigans going down we simply can't imagine with teams dropping like flies and a finish rate of 20% which would be more in line with its history and what I initially expected myself. Still, the more I think about it, the more I think way more than that will finish if that 6 day winning time projection is reality. They drafted plenty of rookies to serve as fodder for the cameras, so it will still be highly entertaining, but I do wonder if they will find teams to be more highly functioning than maybe they used to be:)
Sep 16, 2019 3:31 PM # 
silkychrome:
no way that link is gone!! maybe some sleuthing here too? proving MB knows what’s up in the AR world, which is that the best sleuths are on AP.

anyway, it showed all the teams pushing off the bank on their native canoes/sailboats (with outriggers). the river was only about 4 boats wide so it was a massive boat jam from the beginning. one of the boats was flipping. although the sails were not up/no wind so not quite the mass chaos i was envisioning from the Tukini interview. i’m still following https://instagram.com/andrewgraham253?igshid=1fp8e... for other info if available.
Sep 16, 2019 5:11 PM # 
Bash:
If you click on his post that shows a licence plate, you can scroll across to several other photos that show the race.
Sep 17, 2019 12:11 AM # 
silkychrome:
THIS JUST IN (from W4J and abiperk)...Mr. Faavae posted a photo on his FB page 4 hours ago. just FYI.
Sep 17, 2019 12:27 AM # 
abiperk:
Hahaha, love the whisper-down-the-lane text network :)

I’ve become wary of posting here for fear that MB will get attackpoint shut down!
Sep 17, 2019 12:30 AM # 
broots:
Shubi!
Sep 17, 2019 12:32 AM # 
abiperk:
Broots has fallen down the Instagram rabbit hole...
Sep 17, 2019 1:00 AM # 
Work4justice:
Is Mark Harris an APer?
Sep 17, 2019 1:05 AM # 
abiperk:
Very occasionally.
Sep 17, 2019 2:24 AM # 
Bash:
So what is the photo? :)
Sep 17, 2019 4:04 PM # 
broots:
Don't really remember where I saw Shubi, but familiar face(s) in here:
instagram.com/p/B2g_PdfAIki/
Sep 17, 2019 4:07 PM # 
Bash:
Cool, thanks!
Sep 18, 2019 1:26 AM # 
abiperk:
Looks like SAFAT is done. Staffen posted on Instagram that he called his family after he finished.

Thunderbolt AR, too - photos of post-race recovery.
Sep 18, 2019 10:12 AM # 
Work4justice:
I see kateness is on the board! Also, got a text late last night from MC...so Bones is done.
Sep 18, 2019 12:22 PM # 
Bash:
Team Canada Adventure has phoned home.
Sep 18, 2019 7:03 PM # 
Hansel:
Hi Barb!
Sep 18, 2019 7:08 PM # 
Bash:
Welcome back to civilization! :)
Mar 14, 2020 2:23 PM # 
Carbon's Offset:
Does anyone have information about the broadcast? Didn’t they originally suggest it would air in February on Prime?
Mar 14, 2020 5:13 PM # 
StrongMachine:
No official word yet on when it will air. Yes, they originally said February or March, but that has definitely been delayed. My best guess (and it is only a guess) would be summer to fall 2020.
Mar 16, 2020 3:16 PM # 
silkychrome:
not sure if it's related, but Survivor season 40 wraps at the mid-May 2020. maybe MB is waiting until that's over to push Eco out?
Mar 17, 2020 3:49 AM # 
Abizeleth:
They should put it on now! People are looking for sports to watch!
Mar 29, 2020 11:44 PM # 
StrongMachine:
Update from the Eco producers:
"Amazon will notify you all once they have an update. As everyone can imagine, this pandemic has slowed and effected so many of us in the entertainment industry in addition to many other people in industries. Please be assured, amazon will notify you all when they have an update. Stay safe!"
Mar 30, 2020 1:54 PM # 
MHtrailvet:
did it pain you to include "effected" in your update?
Mar 30, 2020 5:03 PM # 
silkychrome:
a = the verb
e = the noun

it pained me to read!!
Mar 30, 2020 5:42 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Your chart affected me, and I want to effect a change:

a = the verb
e = usually a noun, sometimes a verb
Mar 30, 2020 6:26 PM # 
MHtrailvet:
Sure, there's also the rare case of affect being a noun. ("Her naivete seemed, to me, an affect") but follow Silkychrome's simple guide and you'll be right 98% of the time.
Mar 30, 2020 6:26 PM # 
MHtrailvet:
Sorry to hijack the thread!
Mar 30, 2020 6:56 PM # 
Bash:
Glad I'm not the only grammar nerd in this crowd!
Mar 30, 2020 7:26 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Are there any more perfect pandemic pastimes than thread hijacking??
Mar 30, 2020 7:51 PM # 
StrongMachine:
Haha, MH, you know me too well. I'm a professional editor so, yes, that one hurt, even with the relaxed standards on internet communication I've imposed on my own judgmental mind.

However, beyond the affect/effect snafu, this one hurt more: "In addition to many other people in industries."

Really? Woof.
Mar 31, 2020 12:19 AM # 
Work4justice:
Ok, am I the only one who has the “fingernails on the chalkboard” when between is used instead of among and vice versa?
Mar 31, 2020 4:02 AM # 
Bash:
Doesn't that bother *everybody*? ;)
Mar 31, 2020 1:18 PM # 
GD44:
I have to review lots of reports from my team and I provide plenty of red pen treatment too! My specialty is in the use of hyphens and apostrophes. :-)
Apr 3, 2020 1:12 PM # 
FB:
For me it’s a toss-up among vice versa or between ;-)
Apr 3, 2020 6:23 PM # 
Bash:
FB!! You're alive!! :)
Apr 4, 2020 2:30 PM # 
FB:
Maybe I have time to write that Exp Afr Rodrigues report now.... I think I remember some of it :)
Apr 9, 2020 4:32 PM # 
StrongMachine:
Updated from Eco-Challenge producer Lisa Hennessy:

Bula everyone. If you haven’t heard our beloved Fiji was hit by a cyclone. If there are folks you met along the way I’m sure they would appreciate a kind word from you.

Hope you are all healthy and well during these unprecedented times.

I know you are all eager to know when the series will stream - The official premier date will be shared soon.

We have now finished all 10 episodes. It’s an incredible series. YOU are all incredible.

With love

Lisa
Apr 9, 2020 5:13 PM # 
GD44:
:-)
Jun 24, 2020 1:28 PM # 
abiperk:
Official trailer - episodes drop August 14

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDC_2q692Ko&fe...
Jun 24, 2020 3:06 PM # 
silkychrome:
CALL TO ACTION!

Now is the time to get busy on social media to help promote AR. View, Like, Share, Comment, Subscribe...do all of those things to help this and future post/advertisement gain exposure.

As with many things, one "like" or click may seem like an insignificant thing. But it really matters as they add up. Not only to you help the visibility of the post to other people, you help AR as a sport say "look at the millions of people who are interested in this".

The second call to action is to then do this same thing for smaller races and race directors. View, Like, Share, Comment, Subscribe...to boost those posts and help connect the viewers of EcoChallenge to events in their region so they can be a badass too.
Jun 24, 2020 4:00 PM # 
abiperk:
Good call, Silky!
Jul 16, 2020 1:15 PM # 
silkychrome:
New trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4rq5BZIni8

Fan club on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/wtrbasecamp/
This is a private group, you have to request to join, but my "request" was approved in about 5 seconds so they might have it set on auto-approve.
Currently 991 members.

No idea why this group is "private"...I would think that a public group would be better (more engaging to non-members).
Jul 18, 2020 1:55 AM # 
Bash:
Cool - thanks, Silky!
Jul 22, 2020 12:50 PM # 
silkychrome:
another thing that's been on my mind. how do we get 2019 Eco racers to turn into 2021 ARWS or USARA racers?

currently i am thinking about Team Iron Cowboy from the US. I know one if not all of the team members have never done AR before. and based on the trailers I believe they are one of the featured teams. if those people had a good (Type 1 fun or Type 2 fun, their choice) experience at Eco, do they know that there are other races in the US that they can participate in? would their participation improve visibility for those races?

this is slightly different than "how do we get Eco viewers interested in/informed about AR participation?" question but I think both are important.
Jul 22, 2020 2:05 PM # 
StrongMachine:
Well, on the specific case of Team Iron Cowboy, we camped next to them the night before the race and I talked their ear off about the U.S. AR scene, so I think they may now say they have more than enough information about next steps should they choose to continue racing AR :)

This is an assumption, but I would say most of the teams that did Eco are now aware that a domestic AR scene exists in the U.S. Several of us RDs (primarily Jason Magness) have been promoting races in our Eco-Challenge Competitors Facebook group. But I think it behooves us to continue to cajole and entice them to race our races and become advocates and promoters of the sport. My impression is that many of the U.S.-based racers are keen to try out more racing (in fact, we had the Able Abels sign up for our Maine Summer AR before it was canceled). Fletcher Hamel, if you're reading this, definitely keep up the good pressure on them to stay involved!

In case you hadn't seen it, there's a webinar from the virtual Outdoor Retailer Thursday night that could shed some light on how the show and a few of its primary protagonists might approach AR in the future. I'll be listening in and it's free so anyone can join (it does require you to give your name, address, and email). Just Google:
Outdoor Retailer Live Webinar A Conversation with the Crew and Competitors of World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji

Silky, your second question has me more confounded. I'd be very, very interested to get everyone's opinion on how we bring Eco viewers into the sport. We're thinking about a targeted Facebook campaign as a first step. Does anyone have any other ideas?
Jul 22, 2020 2:07 PM # 
StrongMachine:
Sorry, should have included the link to the webinar. It's 6 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, July 23:
https://livesessions.outdoorretaileronline.com/vie...
Jul 22, 2020 2:55 PM # 
silkychrome:
SM, I am specifically thinking of Iron Cowboy because one of the racers already has a large social media following and another one just hired an Los Angeles PR agent. has there ever been a USARA race where a racer had a PR agent?

anyway, I just wanted to make sure that even without 2020 USARA Nats or ARWS races, that the word is getting out and these people are being actively recruited. (something along the lines of "what happens when you race where the TV cameras aren't following you?")

for the second question, yes i believe targeted FB (AND INSTAGRAM AND TIKTOK) campaigns are a great place to start. having meaningful links on the receiving end of the campaign is equally critical. it's one thing to get 1,000 new eyeballs on the USARA website, then lose them if they think the site doesn't immediately provide them with current or easy-to-find information. I'm sure Mark VanT is saying "duh" right now but I think there needs to be multiple campaigns to see what works.
--link to ARC Race Map
--link to ARC Race List
--link to ARC Resources page
--link to USARA Nationals race page
--link to ARWS home page
each with different photos to see which kind of photos are most clickable
(Mark VanT's Marketing Strategy document: https://bf47fc33-559c-4f72-a251-11ff73e14762.files...)
Jul 23, 2020 12:38 PM # 
StrongMachine:
Was looking at the adventure racing page on Wikipedia last night (it needs some updating, if anyone wants to tackle that project) and found this gem:
https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1994-03-05...

I think this was the last time Mark Burnett was identified as "Topanga man..."
Jul 24, 2020 5:22 PM # 
Bash:
Lol!
Jul 25, 2020 6:58 PM # 
abiperk:
Looks like they're putting out some more discipline-specific teasers - this one on climbing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiXZ32Y0g60&fb...
Jul 28, 2020 6:25 PM # 
StrongMachine:
Link to lots of photos from the race, from the Amazon PR team. Please don't share the link on social media:
https://f.io/uu0XiVAH
Jul 28, 2020 9:22 PM # 
abiperk:
These are so fun! Thanks, StrongMachine. I have to say, I wish they'd let more teams smile in their pictures.
Jul 29, 2020 3:19 PM # 
StrongMachine:
Kate and I were joking how adventure racers are not made to look serious in posed pre-race photos...we save that for the race itself. The result is a bit ridiculous.
Jul 29, 2020 4:05 PM # 
abiperk:
Yep, exactly!
Jul 29, 2020 5:40 PM # 
MHtrailvet:
I guess they're going for the XXtreme Sport Badass thing? It kind of worked with some of the teams, maybe because I don't personally know them. But with you guys, well...
Jul 29, 2020 7:43 PM # 
StrongMachine:
You will pay for your words. XXtreme Sport Badass Mason CPs coming up at the next Wildlands! Pack your body armor.
Jul 30, 2020 2:16 PM # 
MHtrailvet:
I think I pre-paid! (South Garcelon O section, 2018 MSAR)
Jul 30, 2020 4:02 PM # 
StrongMachine:
That is but a taste of what awaits. We are currently in the latter stages of laboratory work on a mosquito, black fly, tick hybrid, with human trials scheduled for specially chosen locations in October. We plan to starve the insects for one month prior to your arrival. Here's a preview of an earlier phase of the research project:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCs2slK8GkY
Jul 31, 2020 3:01 PM # 
StrongMachine:
Billboards have been put up in New York's Times Square, in Hollywood, and around the world:
https://www.mainesummerar.com/uploads/6/3/4/7/6347...
Aug 6, 2020 12:12 AM # 
StrongMachine:
A more comprehensive overview of the series from someone who's seen the first eight episodes:

https://news.yahoo.com/watch-wounded-veterans-worl...

My favorite line:
Adventure racing didn't disappear just because Americans no longer watched it on TV, so there were plenty of experienced, world-class teams from places like New Zealand, Australia, Brazil and even the USA who were ready to compete when the revamped Eco-Challenge put out the call.
Aug 6, 2020 4:33 PM # 
Work4justice:
In the confidential vein....Just landed in my email--Eco is coming back maybe possibly depending on, etc. in 2021!

Greetings World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji Teams!

We trust you are all safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. Hopefully you are all able to safely fulfill your need for adventure even if you have to do it closer to home these days.

It’s hard to believe that we started this journey together over a year ago. We shared an incredible adventure in Fiji and now the countdown to showing the world what our experience was like begins. The airing of the 10-episode global event, World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji, will premiere August 14th on Amazon Prime Video.

By now, most of you have seen the incredible trailer that was released. Amazon has also started a private group called Basecamp where you can share your stories. It can be accessed here. Also, the link to the Instagram page can be found here. This is all part of expanding our incredible community and continuing the momentum that was created in Fiji.

We also have some exciting and confidential news to share.

Although nothing is official as many variables are still undecided, we are looking into the potential of hosting a race in 2021 in a new location. Obviously, this is all subject to change in our ever-changing world. We always want to make sure that everyone’s safety is the #1 priority.

As we take next steps into planning a potential race in 2021, registration will open on August 15, 2020 at 7AM Pacific as we begin the process of vetting teams interested in participating. As always, go to our website to register. The registration process will be the same as last year and a team video must be created using the specific guidelines explained on the website. We strongly encourage you to register your team on August 15th as we anticipate being inundated with applications once the Fiji race series airs.

As much information as we can currently provide will be updated on the website on August 15th, and we will let you know if and when plans are locked for a race in 2021. Obviously, all details are subject to finalization, review and revision. We will continue to monitor the situation and respect the guidance from safety and health experts and officials.

For now, we thank you all for being part of our special family and we’re eager for the rest of the world to finally get to see this incredible race!

The World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Team
Aug 7, 2020 1:57 PM # 
silkychrome:
GearJunkie preview:
https://gearjunkie.com/eco-challenge-fiji-teams
Aug 7, 2020 2:07 PM # 
StrongMachine:
Not sure where they got this from:
"... Team Strong Machine is composed of two parents, their son, and their friends."

I'm trying to figure out how they got that info? It looks like GJ did some edits to the original list, which was released before the race, but still strange.
Aug 7, 2020 2:38 PM # 
abiperk:
I mean, W's three years old now. He could carry his own weight.
Aug 9, 2020 6:57 PM # 
silkychrome:
If anyone sees any press for Eco, please post here. Team interviews, articles, etc. For any team. Trying to create a comprehensive source for people to easily go down the Eco rabbit hole and turn them into AR fans :) :)
Aug 10, 2020 1:33 PM # 
usara:
From Facebook:

In 2019, hundreds of teams applied for the opportunity to participate in World's Toughest Race: Eco Challenge Fiji, a revival of the legendary Mark Burnett/Lisa Hennessy production that brought so many of us to adventure racing. Of the 66 teams selected, 21 were American, the largest representation from a single country. In fact, four members of USARA’s new leadership team experienced the course first-hand.

With the upcoming premier of Eco-Challenge on August 14th, USARA is excited to launch a dedicated space for all things Eco. We start our coverage off today with an article reflecting on the history of the event and its place in the greater landscape of our sport. In the coming weeks, you can expect interviews with American racers, episode recaps, a repository of news coverage and race reports, and more.

Our goal with this coverage is to help bring adventure racing to a wider audience. We hope that seeing the Fijian course will encourage current adventure racers to take on new challenges and new races. We hope that hearing from the Eco-Challenge racers will inspire fans of the show to try an adventure race for the first time. We hope that experiencing the World’s Toughest Race from your home will encourage you to plan your own adventures with family and friends. Because that is the goal of adventure racing at its core, as our friends at Rootstock Racing put it: “living life to the fullest and bonding with your teammates and the world around you like you never have before.”

PS – We at USARA were fortunate to pre-screen the first eight episodes of the snow, and we can confidently report that it’s FANTASTIC!

http://www.usara.com/blog
Aug 11, 2020 5:25 AM # 
StrongMachine:
Hi Silky,
I set a Google Alert for Eco-Challenge and have seen dozens of articles over the past month or so. Here's a sampling:
https://www.pressherald.com/2020/07/20/unbroken-br...

https://www.runnersworld.com/training/a33369111/hi...

https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/interview-t...

https://www.gq.com.au/entertainment/film-tv/why-be...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah7xxFjI9N8&fe...

Sorry too tired to insert these links properly so it's not a bunch of long URLs.
Aug 11, 2020 10:19 AM # 
silkychrome:
awesome!! keep the links coming (who cares about formatting).

here’s another one from gear junkie, interview with bend racing.
https://gearjunkie.com/eco-challenge-fiji-intervie...
Aug 11, 2020 6:35 PM # 
StrongMachine:
My dad (!) and more Team Onyx in the Chicago Tribune:
https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/tv/ct...
Aug 11, 2020 7:39 PM # 
silkychrome:
RedBull on the course design process:
https://www.redbull.com/us-en/theredbulletin/makin...
Aug 11, 2020 7:40 PM # 
silkychrome:
SM - love the quote from Sam Scipio in the Chicago Tribune:

“I didn’t grow up doing outdoor sports, and I want (viewers) to know that they can get into it,” Scipio said. “It’s not this elite club. It’s not a club where you need the highest (priced) or best gear or the most water-proof jacket. Just get out there, even in your city, and start exploring. You’re welcome here.”
Aug 11, 2020 8:04 PM # 
Work4justice:
That's awesome to have made the Tribune!
Aug 11, 2020 10:13 PM # 
StrongMachine:
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/entertainment/f...
Aug 12, 2020 2:38 AM # 
silkychrome:
https://www.bt.com/tv/entertainment/bear-grylls-in...
Aug 12, 2020 2:39 AM # 
silkychrome:
https://www.mensjournal.com/adventure/7-reasons-to...
Aug 12, 2020 1:11 PM # 
silkychrome:
https://www.joshuaforester.com/blog/2020/8/10/eco-...

pre-race blog from Team US Military
Aug 12, 2020 4:06 PM # 
silkychrome:
Sleepmonsters just posted an interview with Bob Miller - https://www.sleepmonsters.com/races.php?article_id...

and this page has all the pre-release videos all in one place - https://www.sleepmonsters.com/video.php?event_id=1...
Aug 12, 2020 4:16 PM # 
silkychrome:
Great article on Whistler B.C.'s newspaper Pique Newsmagazine about the BC crew/athletes and Team Bones Adventure Racing

https://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/local-sports/sea...
Aug 12, 2020 4:17 PM # 
silkychrome:
YouTube video from Team True North (CAN) on gear choices

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL4idtYtHxg&fe...
Aug 14, 2020 12:38 AM # 
Work4justice:
Looks like it dropped today!
Aug 14, 2020 12:47 AM # 
Joe:
Watching
Aug 14, 2020 1:05 AM # 
silkychrome:
It's alive!
Aug 14, 2020 1:08 AM # 
usara:
We have updated interviews for 20 out of 22 American teams, as well as a collection of links at:

http://www.usara.com/eco-challenge-coverage.html

We will have Episode recaps posted, one per day, starting tomorrow!
Aug 14, 2020 1:54 AM # 
Bash:
So exciting!!!
Aug 14, 2020 3:31 PM # 
StrongMachine:
Lisa Hennessy says the Eco team finished editing the show at home during the lockdown:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/tonifitzgerald/2020/0...

Outside has the reveal that there was a driving leg of the course:
https://www.outsideonline.com/2416008/eco-challeng...

And a shout-out to Team Ireland:
https://entertainment.ie/tv/on-demand/bear-grylls-...
Aug 14, 2020 5:27 PM # 
silkychrome:
driving! ...i thought surely that was a typo and SM meant "diving" but, no!

what were the logistical reasons?
Aug 14, 2020 6:08 PM # 
silkychrome:
Team Onyx
https://thequeerreview.com/2020/08/13/exclusive-in...
Aug 14, 2020 7:37 PM # 
silkychrome:
TAC POV from Team Atlas
https://www.getouttheremag.com/articles/5004/eco-c...
Aug 14, 2020 7:40 PM # 
silkychrome:
US Military in the news
https://richmond.com/entertainment/richmond-doctor...
Aug 14, 2020 8:19 PM # 
awentz:
LA times has an article on the embedded film crew: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/stor...
Aug 14, 2020 11:25 PM # 
abiperk:
Patagonia...

https://ecochallenge.com/
Aug 15, 2020 2:51 AM # 
silkychrome:
Stray Dogs
http://teamstraydogs.com/races.html
Aug 15, 2020 3:47 AM # 
Conman:
Started a new thread for Patagonia 2021...
Aug 16, 2020 1:59 PM # 
silkychrome:
Team Endure's Shane Sigle interview:
https://durangoherald.com/articles/335418-durangos...

Team Eagle Scouts
https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2020/08/14/team-...
Aug 17, 2020 9:28 AM # 
Conman:
Bones Race Report
https://bonesadventure.com/team-blog/2019/9/25/201...
Aug 17, 2020 12:39 PM # 
Conman:
Team US Military has a running series of blog reports with loads of race details
https://www.joshuaforester.com/blog
Aug 17, 2020 6:58 PM # 
silkychrome:
"You had a lot of highly skilled and accomplished adventurers who operate at a higher level to what Bear does, so they were never going to be star struck." --NF

https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/tv-radio/300...

the rest of the article is mainly a repeat of information we know but dang, good quote.
Aug 17, 2020 7:31 PM # 
JayXC:
I suspect that was the case for most of the top 20 but there certainly was star-stuck racers further back in the pack.
I wonder if he’s like that all of the time? Can you imagine him ordering food? “You’ve brought me this amazing menu like a gazelle! Oh, rats I’ve dropped it...we have a menu down, A MENU IS DOWN!!”
Aug 17, 2020 7:39 PM # 
Bash:
Lol!!
Aug 17, 2020 8:08 PM # 
Bash:
We were also wondering whether the producers might invest in a little outdoor gear for Bear next time, e.g. maybe a rain coat or Buff when it's pouring.
Aug 17, 2020 9:13 PM # 
MHtrailvet:
His moderate star power is good overall for marketing of the series, I guess, but I worry that his hyperbolic showman character will leave a bad taste for some people. I wish there was someone more legit on the ground but I really can't think of a good candidate.
Aug 17, 2020 10:31 PM # 
wilberto:
Some random in the wild BearSightings: I may have stood near NZ at the opening Bearbriefing (tm) and they weren't very starstruck. Not sure many experienced teams were, but it was still exciting. I may have been in the back of a dark, rainy TAC briefing at Camp 1. He was certainly talking in BearSpeak (tm) but he was genuine and you could tell the stress he and race staff were under that evening. I may also have been in a buffet restaurant on a certain southsea island after a particularly thrilling morning and saw a group of race staff at a nearby table. Did a doubletake at the regular looking guy in t-shirt, shorts and a hat having lunch (BearBuffet (tm)?). Did not recognize him without his BearSuit (tm) and his BearGear (tm). Random BearQuestion(tm) from watching the show: You're less than 100 m from your chopper in a village. Do you need your pack and machete? Kidding aside, it may not be AR, but he has legit adventure cred. I thought he added to the storytelling in the coverage and anything that helps the sport light shine brighter, bring it on.
Aug 17, 2020 10:58 PM # 
Bash:
Agreed, Wilberto!
Aug 17, 2020 11:02 PM # 
StrongMachine:
More coverage:
https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/tv-radio/300...

https://www.kitchenertoday.com/rooted/kitchener-wo...

https://decider.com/2020/08/16/worlds-toughest-rac...

https://thequeerreview.com/2020/08/13/exclusive-in...

https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2020/08/14/team-...

https://www.kctv5.com/world-s-toughest-race-eco-ch...
Aug 18, 2020 2:05 PM # 
silkychrome:
Totally agree on wilberto's hypothetical take on Bear...he's a bit over the top, but as a TV viewer I felt genuine affection/awe/stoke for adventure racing coming from him. Could the sport ask for a better characterization? I think not, especially after the previous Ecos seemed to hone in on drama teams instead of functional teams.

So, the comments may be "showman" like, but I felt they came from a genuinely positive place in Bear.
Aug 18, 2020 2:42 PM # 
Work4justice:
I couldn't help but wonder how they strapped him in the heli. And then unstrap him so he could jump out.

JayXC--lol--I almost can't wait to drop a menu and say "menu down, MENU DOWN!"
Aug 18, 2020 3:24 PM # 
StrongMachine:
https://www.thesun.ie/tvandshowbiz/5794604/irish-c...

latrobevalleyexpress.com.au/story/6884161/the-adve...
Aug 18, 2020 9:23 PM # 
Conman:
RACE MAPS!!! {drool...}

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=...
Aug 19, 2020 1:56 AM # 
Bash:
Oooh! I'm not sure if any of the links above have the results. I'm working my way through them all. This article has rankings and all the racer names.
https://obstacleracingmedia.com/ocr-news/eco-chall...
Aug 19, 2020 2:34 AM # 
Conman:
I have compiled everything I can for a leaderboard here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xZtIFnXE6Z...

Happy to make edits if anyone has more info or corrections.
Aug 19, 2020 1:10 PM # 
Bash:
Nice, thank you!
Aug 19, 2020 4:23 PM # 
StrongMachine:
Apparently more than 2,000 teams applied for Eco-Challenge Fiji, if this is true:

https://www.vaildaily.com/news/eco-challenge-featu...
Aug 19, 2020 4:24 PM # 
StrongMachine:
GearJunkie article on shoe choices:
https://gearjunkie.com/eco-challenge-gear-part-2
Aug 19, 2020 5:08 PM # 
StrongMachine:
"[Sonja] Wieck [of Team Iron Cowboy] is also launching a podcast this month called "Tales of Toughness" where she talks to other Eco-Challenge athletes and shares the stories that didn't make the show."

https://www.ksby.com/news/local-news/los-osos-woma...
Aug 20, 2020 12:26 PM # 
R-B:
Rea and Ryan of team Canada Adventure podcast.

https://obstacleracingmedia.com/podcast/eco-challe...
Aug 20, 2020 4:02 PM # 
Conman:
StrongMachine: You posted this before the show went live:

"Link to lots of photos from the race, from the Amazon PR team. Please don't share the link on social media: https://f.io/uu0XiVAH";

Do you know if these pics can be shared widely now? Lots of hungry race fans out there who want to see pics of their teams, esp. the ones that didn't get any coverage in the shows.
Aug 20, 2020 4:28 PM # 
StrongMachine:
We haven't gotten any formal approval to use them, but now that the show is out, I don't think it's a problem. But if the Eco police come after you, don't tell them it was me who gave out the link!
Aug 21, 2020 8:04 PM # 
nurse reilly:
Does anyone know a team that needs a female for eco-challenge Patagonia?
Aug 22, 2020 3:45 AM # 
Conman:
Thunderbolt AR (7th place finisher) has published their race report:

https://thunderboltar.com/2020/08/21/eco-challenge...
Aug 22, 2020 1:23 PM # 
silkychrome:
Great interview with Executive Producer Lisa Hennessy...

https://variety.com/2020/tv/features/eco-challenge...

A crew of 700 race/media staff...probably 6-7 times what most expedition races have.
Aug 22, 2020 2:24 PM # 
JayXC:
More like like 60-70...
Aug 22, 2020 10:48 PM # 
Conman:
I'm working (slowly) on a Google Earth paths & waypoints .kmz for the entire race course. Basing it on the race topo maps provided by Peter Jolles (and others) and on information (especially visuals) from the show. Does anyone think this would be useful or fun? Even if there aren't uses for it, I'm enjoying making it.
Aug 22, 2020 10:53 PM # 
R-B:
Would definitely be fun Conman!
Aug 23, 2020 4:52 AM # 
Conman:
Fun little snippet of a report about Gippsland and Scouts Aussie:

https://www.facebook.com/teamscouts/posts/34110698...

The scouts team is working on a full race report to come soon.
Aug 23, 2020 3:53 PM # 
StrongMachine:
https://www.bendbulletin.com/adventure/team-bend-r...

https://www.telegraphindia.com/entertainment/climb...

https://www.slashfilm.com/the-quarantine-stream-th...
Aug 24, 2020 4:26 AM # 
Bash:
There's a Wikipedia page about the race. It looks like it includes Conman's leaderboard, amongst other things.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World%27s_Toughest_R...
Aug 24, 2020 2:00 PM # 
StrongMachine:
That is awesome! If anyone here is working on Wikipedia, the Eco-Challenge and ARWS pages could use an update:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eco-Challenge

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventure_Racing_Wor...
(particularly the cancelation of this year's worlds, the addition of Spain as next year's host, and the finalization of the 2019, 2020, and 2021 calendars.
Aug 24, 2020 4:12 PM # 
StrongMachine:
https://katu.com/amnw/am-northwest-special-guests/...

https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/travel/t...
Aug 24, 2020 5:15 PM # 
Spike:
Does anyone have any information on the maps?

Some of the links above include photos of the maps, but the resolution isn't so good. As best I can tell, the race maps were 1:50,000. I can't figure out the contour interval.

Any idea where the maps came from? Who produced them?
Aug 24, 2020 7:33 PM # 
Conman:
This maps question is best posed to one of the team navigators: Jason Magness; Peter Jolles; Roy Malone; StrongMachine... Most of them are readily findable on FB. I do recall reading that 1:50K is the resolution for the land maps; 1:75K for the ocean paddle maps (#1 & #9). Did you examine the complete map set posted by Peter on FB?
Aug 24, 2020 11:36 PM # 
Spike:
I checked with someone who did the race and found a reasonable photo of one of the maps of Ovalau (the island in the first part of the race). I compared the photo of the map with some GIS data to confirm the contour interval.

Most of the maps were 1:50,000 with 20 meter contours. The maps seem to be old government topos. They might have been printed specially for the race.
Aug 25, 2020 12:42 PM # 
StrongMachine:
I don't have any info on the maps...I didn't look at one the entire race, and then our navigator, Michael Garrison, kept them afterwards. From looking at Peter Jolles' FB post, they looked like standard government topos to me, though.
Aug 25, 2020 6:32 PM # 
StrongMachine:
https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2020/08/24/how-d...
Aug 25, 2020 11:02 PM # 
woodyc:
Hi, new here. Curious about how rope ascents don't become bottlenecks in AR, i.e. if 4 teams showed up at Vuwa Falls at the the same time, and each team has to wait for a section of ropes to get cleared, doesn't that mean that the fourth team up could end up losing an hour or more over the first?
Aug 26, 2020 12:32 AM # 
silkychrome:
Hi woodyc, yes that's absolutely a potential bottleneck. I'm not sure exactly how it worked in Fiji (although some of the competitors on AP may chime in), but it varies in shorter races how ropes or any other bottle neck section area handled. Most RDs don't want to mess around with time credits so will place the ropes late enough in the course (and make sure the ropes section can be completed in a reasonable amount of time) that teams don't stack up there. Or, if all teams know that no time credits are available, then it becomes a strategy decision on if they should go fast to get to the ropes, risking burning matches vs. no delay.

Robyn Benincasa tells a funny story about this situation (in Borneo perhaps?), beating a French team to the ropes and then hanging on them, eating all the food in their packs, to refuel while the French team had to wait.
Aug 26, 2020 3:56 PM # 
silkychrome:
USARA has been doing episode recaps and we are up to Episode 9. I wrote the latest one and was able to squeeze in a "dicing to the finish" reference. Thanks, AP, for teaching me that one.

http://www.usara.com/tales-from-ta-the-usara-blog/...
Aug 26, 2020 5:04 PM # 
Bash:
Nice, Silky! :)
Aug 28, 2020 7:24 PM # 
Bash:
Eco certainly has the attention of Obstacle Racing Media. Their first Eco podcast was with Ryan and Rea of Team Canada Adventure, which makes sense. Their latest podcast is with Jason and Dan of Team Bend Racing. Look for links in the team results list.
https://obstacleracingmedia.com/ocr-news/eco-chall...
Aug 29, 2020 2:19 PM # 
Conman:
Race interview with Clinton Mac (captain) of Team Cyanosis from South Africa. Well worth the watch! Thanks to Kinetic Events Africa and Heidi Muller for sharing this with the world:

https://www.facebook.com/kineticeventsafrica/posts...
Aug 29, 2020 6:02 PM # 
silkychrome:
Race Report from Ireland

https://rachelsirishadventures.com/worlds-toughest...
Aug 30, 2020 12:51 AM # 
legendaryrandy:
woodyc If you look the ropes have multiple anchors. Once a climber transferred to the next, they were off that anchor and another climber could start. It looked like all 4 on the team started on separate ropes
Oct 15, 2020 12:56 PM # 
fpb:
I have a question. Given that the 50 degree swimming section seemed to pose the greatest difficulty, was bringing a wetsuit an option? How about bringing inflatables or other devices to improve buoyancy? Or could people have just bushwhacked around that section?
Oct 15, 2020 1:08 PM # 
silkychrome:
all of the above. teams stated they could prep in the following ways:
--before the race, teams turned in a drybag of warm clothes, to be distributed to them by race officials at an unknown point on the course. some teams guessed they would see their warm clothes at the end of the cold pools swim
--Team Bones guessed correctly about the cold pools and brought small inflatable pack rafts with hand paddles to float thru the section
--other teams (Team Canada and others) brought neoprene tops to protect against cold
--it seemed most teams tried to bushwhack but the jungle was so thick that swimming really was the best option.
Oct 15, 2020 1:55 PM # 
fpb:
Brilliant! I would have liked to see more examples of creative strategy and tactics like this.
Oct 15, 2020 6:20 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Same. Dying for an AR nerd director's cut.
Oct 20, 2020 12:48 AM # 
Bash:
No Season 2?! :(
https://www.deccanherald.com/international/world-n...
Oct 20, 2020 3:05 AM # 
FB:
Certainly looks that way.... :(
Oct 20, 2020 1:16 PM # 
Work4justice:
What a bummer.....
Oct 20, 2020 1:18 PM # 
silkychrome:
Some more commentary:
https://www.realityblurred.com/realitytv/2020/10/e...
Oct 20, 2020 4:50 PM # 
broots:
Haven't commented on AP in a year or so. Seems like a good time to start some good old-fashioned, unsubstantiated, arguably ignorant speculation;)

Sent this to some of our teammates.

...

Yeah. It’s clearly something complicated. Our understanding is that Amazon had given them a three race/year deal. SO. It’s not that they didn’t RE-SIGN MB and Eco. They were signed.

Something happened. Add in the fact that they had planned the next race, scouted it, basically casted it, and the word (not verified as far as I know) that it was the top show in August. 2+2 does NOT equal 4 here.

I’m thinking one of three things.
1) It came out of the gates hot and just fell off a cliff like a sleep deprived ARer falling of Vuwa Falls.

2) The pandemic just screwed it ALL up. I know Netflix canceled its fourth and final season of one of their most popular shows (Glow) because of Covid. I don’t understand WHY they can’t just postpone such things, but clearly there is more to it.
a. It could be that things were just tough in regards to projecting travel, permits, etc. But again, why not just postpone?

3) Something nasty happened between MB and Amazon, and they said it wasn’t worth it.
a. This might be better filed under #2, but: thought it was really odd that they hinted a month ago that they were pushing for February or March. I can’t imagine the RDs thought that was a good idea from a directing standpoint, safety standpoint, or for teams as I’m sure many casted teams would have passed since, you know, the world will most likely be locked down through the northern hemisphere spring…Maybe Amazon was insistent on that timeframe and MB and the RDs just said no…?

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