Ozark Foundation has announced the date of the 2nd annual Expedition Ozark, a multi-day, expedition level adventure race in Northwest Arkansas in April 2024. The race start coincides with the solar eclipse on April 8. Most of Arkansas will be on the total eclipse path providing a dramatic race start.
The 2023 race attracted 35 teams from around the world to Northwest Arkansas to complete a 550km (340mile) course. Building on the success and excitement of its inaugural event, Mike Spivey, Ozark Foundation President and CEO, commented, “The inaugural Expedition Ozark adventure race was our surprise event of the year. Over 120 athletes from 13 countries participated. The spirit of the Northwest Arkansas community made this 5-day race through the Ozarks truly epic.”
Participants in Expedition Ozark will navigate through the landscapes of the Ozark Mountains, tackling a series of challenges that include mountain biking, trail running, paddling, rock climbing and orienteering. “Expedition Ozark reflects the rugged beauty of the Ozark Mountains. We are excited to welcome national and international participants to the breathtaking landscapes that our region has to offer,” Starting our race on the date and hour of the solar eclipse will add a unique and memorable dimension to the race.” Said Carrie Wilde, Expedition Ozark Event Director.
As part of the Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS), Expedition Ozark adds to a portfolio of 10 other expedition races from around the globe including races in Chile, Namibia, Ecuador and Australia. Expedition Ozark winners will receive a paid entry at the Adventure Racing World Championship in Ecuador in November. Teams will also be racing for a $15,000 prize pool.
Heidi Muller, ARWS CEO, said, “We endeavor to make our races unique by highlighting the most beautiful parts of each country to the world and the first Expedition Ozark delivered on that ambition with a fantastic race.’
“The racers were blown away by the Ozark scenery, the quality of the course and by the support they received from the race organization and the local communities. The first Expedition Ozark was a stunning success and ARWS is delighted to include the race again in 2024 as part of our most exciting series line up for many years,” Muller added.
Race Co-directors Danny Collins and Jason Bettis will be setting an entirely new expedition length course for next year. There will also be an eight-hour, introductory Adventure Ozark race, held on April 13th and coinciding with the end of the expedition race.
The winner of 2023 Expedition Ozark was Team Bend Racing (USA). Speaking after their win, Alexandre Provost said, “I want to thank Expedition Ozark for an amazing adventure racing week. One of the best we have had in a long time. Race Co-directors Collins and Bettis organized a spectacular course that challenged us all along the way. The support of the Ozark Foundation and the Northwest Arkansas communities was the best I have seen. We are excited to return to Arkansas to defend our title,” Provost added.
More details about the race are available on www.expeditionozark.com and entry is now open.
You can watch the video documentary of the 2023 race and the 2024 promotional video on the Expedition Ozark’s Youtube channel. https://www.youtube.com/@ExpeditionOzark