Teams are now arriving in the Colombian city of Medellin for the PC12 Adventure Race, the fourth Adventure Racing World Series Qualifier of 2023 (and the first of 3 qualifiers in South America this year).
Medellin is known as the ‘City of Eternal Spring’ for its temperate climate, is Colombia’s second city and the capital of the province of Antioquia, where the race will take place. The race HQ this year is the Hotel Poblado Alejandria, where teams will register and prepare ahead of the race start on Sunday June 4th.
Teams don’t yet know where the start will be and are preparing for a race of ‘Magic and Biodiversity’ in the heat and tropical vegetation of Colombia. They know the course will be 480km, divided into 214km of biking, 91km of kayaking and a massive 175km of trekking, split into 13 stages.
Teams have been told the route “will cover great mountains, spectacular rivers of crystal waters and natural paths where nature is abundant. Amazing birds, funny monkeys, jaguars, snakes and prehistoric Iguanas will keep you company.”
They’ve also been promised; “As you race, you will be enchanted. PC12 is a race where there is no checkpoint 12 but somewhere along your route you will find a PC12 and it will be the checkpoint of your dreams.”
The unique feature of the race is the mythical PC12 where teams have access to beds, showers and all kinds of foods and fruits to help sustain them on their expedition.
The race is always one where heat and humidity saps the energy of teams, so a stop at PC12 is welcome. Temperatures could reach 40C, though teams have been warned that in the mountains it might be cool at night (as low as 5C).
The 18 teams racing the expedition course are divided equally between Colombian teams and international visitors, and the favourites will be two of the world’s elite teams, Vidaraid (USA) and Brazil Multisport, #3 and #4 in the ARWS World Rankings.
Both teams will field the teams which raced at Expedition Ozark in April, where they finished 3rd (Vidaraid) and 4th (Brazil Multisport). Given their record of wins and podium places both will be hoping to improve this time and the Brazilian team will be encouraged by their win in Panama last year when they beat Vidaraid.
As the ARWS South American Champions Brazil Multisport have a paid place at the AR World Championships in South Africa secured. Vidaraid and the other challenging teams will have the extra incentive that the winner also gets a valuable free place at the World Champs.
There is a strong international line up of experienced teams who will challenge the US and Brazilian superstars. The Spanish team Keltoi are strong and consistent performers as are Black Mamba (Brazil) and the French Vaucluse Aventures team.
San Juan Aventura of Argentina are now regular ARWS competitors and include former members of Team Blizzard who have won a World Series race before. From the Colombian teams Seti (the former PC12 organisers) and Saferbo are the most likely contenders.
They may have a slight advantage in their acclimatization for racing in the heat, but perhaps not in the ability to ask directions from local residents. Race Director Juan Aristizabal advises teams, “directions for villagers may not be very accurate or helpful so it’s best to follow the map!”
He added that the race will have a unique and very special start and that some areas of the course are almost uninhabited and have exceptional abundance of wildlife, so the race will live up to its tag line of ‘magic and biodiversity’.
Teams will leave Medellin for the start at 5am on Sunday and the race starts at 10.12am.
There will be regular updates, news, photos and video on the PC12 and ARWS social media channels.
Facebook; @PC12AR / @arworldseries / @arwssouthamerica
Instagram; @pc12adventurerace / @arworldseries / @arwssouthamerica
You can also follow live satellite tracking at https://nonstopaventura.tracktherace.com/es/pc12