NIAR Pre Race Preparations – Nordic Style

23 teams have arrived at race HQ in downtown Stockholm to complete registration and checks prior to embarking on a 600+km Adventure Racing World Series expedition race called the Nordic Islands Adventure Race.

HQ is set in the outdoor adventure themed hotel called “Downtown Camper by Scandic” where all of the teams are accommodated.  The Swedish staff are friendly, wear outdoor clothes and have even entered an all female team in the race – despite having no previous adventure racing experience!  If there is a hotel anywhere that will make adventure racers comfortable in the midst of a bustling city, this is it.  

In the warm and welcoming style of Race Director Staffan Björklund, following registration teams were treated to a mouth-watering dinner in the old town of Stockholm.  Teams relaxed (is any adventure racer truely relaxed prior to starting an expedition race?) in the catacombs of a building almost 800 years old.  

On the subject of warm, Sweden has seen it’s hottest July since it began recording temperatures in 1756.   With the heat and dry has come forest fires and drought conditions for livestock.  Monitoring the weather conditions and any impacts on the course is a high priority for the safety team of the race. Possibly breaking the dry spell however is a storm forecast to hit the area on Saturday bringing rain and strong winds.  Lets hope it has passed before the race starts on Sunday. 

With such a large number of athletes coming from around the world, unfortunately probability almost guarantees that some piece of critical equipment will be lost or delayed in the various airline flights.  This time Harper Forbes from Canadian team was the unlucky one arriving into Stockholm without a bike box from his connection through Iceland.  Harper was optimistic that his bike would arrive, though it still isn’t certain – the next flight from his airline arrives around the time the race starts.

The actual Nordic Islands Adventure Race course travels between Stockholm, Sweden through Åland and Ålands Archipelago to the finish line in Turku (Åbo), Finland.

Björn Rydvall, team captain of Swedish team Haglöfs Silva said he hadn’t before explored Åland and was really looking forward to this.  In typical Swedish modesty he deflected any attention on his team (world ranked number 7) and credited the strength and depth of the field, in particular Estonian Ace Adventure (world ranked 5th) and Swedish Armed Forces Adventure Team (world ranked 6th).  

Teams enter the “lock down” on Sunday morning local time where they will have just a few hours to sort out their maps and plan the course.  Race starts on Sunday, August 12th 2018 at 12:00 pm.  Disciplines include trek/run, mountain bike, rope skills, pack raft, kayaking, swimrun and Navigation.

Follow the teams live at

You can also follow the NIAR social media feeds, and @nordicislandsar on Instagram.  

For more information on the AR World Series:


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Released 10 August 2018 by Craig Bycroft, Adventure Racing World Series

Photo Honza Zac and Agatha Boveda, Nordic Islands Adventure Race

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