Huairasinchi, I visited two teams during their stay in PapaGayo, where they went mountain biking and trekking around Machachi to acclimatize:
To the question, why someone would like to do such a sport and race, Tim Stephens from Team Switzerland R’ADYS answered: “First of all, it is because of the adventure that you are far away from the civilization, which makes it unforgettable and you are closer to the environment than ever.” The Team Australia mentioned: “ Besides seeing the beautiful environment, you will feel satisfaction, when you made it and it developes a special bonding between the team members.”
Another important point is the preparation for such an exhausting race. The teams told me, that they do a lot of sports in their spare time anyway, so two or three month before the race they also start to do longer training sessions, like for example mountain biking for 6-8 hours. Furthermore, the goals for the teams are different. R’ADYS motto is “go hard or go home”, they hope they will range under the TOP 20. But they really have good chances, because they already participated on two other races this year and in total they passed about 30 races, but not in the same team structure. On the other hand, Team Australia does this race more or less for fun, they just want to pass it. Of course, professional teams are also participating, that means, they have so many sponsors, they do not even have to do another job besides training themselves for the races. These teams will be for sure under the TOP 3. Unfortunately Team Australia does not even have a sponsor, so such a race can get very expensive. They said: “Luckily Ecuador is not as expensive as Australia, so we can at least save some money on food.”
Besides the sportive challenges, the logistics are also very important. They need to decide, which things to put in their backpacks, which things to put in the boxes, which will wait for them on the checkpoints but not all of them on the same ones. The bike needs to be stored in a bike box and they have to be put together as soon as they need it. The worst thing is probably to handle the food. Since they have to eat a lot and the race lasts 8 days, they have chips, sweets, toasts, special food and other kinds of calories with them, which they have to divide into these days. They will need about 5000-6000 calories a day.
Gulliver wishes the teams good luck and have a great race!