Sixty-eight teams with racers from 15 countries will be in the Netherlands next weekend for the Raid Lowlands, the second race in the Adventure Racing World Series calendar in Europe this year.
Racers from Germany, Turkey, Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, UK, Poland, Finland, Belgium, Ireland, Sweden, Canada, Spain, Estonia and Switzerland will be on the start line. They will be racing in either the ARWS category, which is a 210km route, or in the ‘short’ 60km race.
The 39 teams in the ARWS category will have 35 hours to complete the course, which will include hiking, biking, canoe and kayak stages, ropes, swimming and navigation. It might be the Raid Lowlands but there is also 4000+ meters of altitude gain on the course.
The race will also serve as the Dutch National Adventure Racing Championship. There are 22 Dutch teams taking, part, including Dutch Direction, Dutchables and Lowland Leopards, who are all very experienced teams in ARWS races, at both regional and expedition distances.
In the ARWS race the competition is wide open and last year’s winners, Team Racing Denmark, are not defending their race title this time. (They raced Expedition Ozark in the USA only a month ago.) There are strong French teams in the lineup and also taking part is Team Endurance from Spain, who were second at last year’s ARWS European Championship.
Teams will register from lunchtime on Friday and following a pasta meal at the race HQ at the Shimano Experience Centre in historic city of Valkenburg there will be a short prologue starting at 21.00. Teams will board busses to travel to the secret start location at 23.00 and the race will begin at 01.00 in the morning on Saturday, May 13th.
Only when they board the buses will teams receive their race maps and begin the adventure ahead of them. Before this they know the different stages of the course and the disciplines and distances, so they can pack and prepare, but they won’t know where they are going!
The race is organized by Team XPD Holland, a Dutch adventure race team who have been participating in international races for about ten years. They have raced ARWS events in Australia, France, Spain, and on the Indian Ocean island of Rodriguez, among others.
The first edition of Raid Lowlands took place last year and Rens Rijnbeek said, “After the first edition in 2022 and all the positive vibes from the competitors we had to organise another edition. Raid Lowlands is made possible by Team XPD Holland working together, so we don't have one Race Director, the Race Director is the whole team. Our goal is to give the participants an experience that they will never forget and that they will remember fondly in a few years' time.”
The winners of the ARWS category will claim a place at the ARWS European Championship race in France at the start of October, and the Dutch AR Champions will also be decided when the race finishes on Sunday.
For regular news, photos and video throughout the race follow @teamxpdholland on Instagram and Facebook and the live tracking at https://sportrec.eu/gps/raid-lowlands-23
For more information on the Adventure Racing World Series and the ARWS Europe Series see the new website at www.arworldseries.com
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