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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! :)

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