“The tough navigation, wild terrain and sleep deprivation make the Raid 100 the ultimate … challenge,” says the RAID Adventures website.
And, in terms of Clarence Valley Council’s (CVC) sponsorship of the adventure race; potentially, the event could inject more than $100,000 into the local economy over the eight or nine days that the competitors compete and stay in the valley.
“It’s part of the council’s sports tourism program,” CVC’s events officer Alicia Savelloni said.
“For a sports event, [visitors] spend about $200 a day [including accommodation].
“We get the figure for overnight stays per person from Tourism Research Australia.
“We’re excited because it’s the type of event that fits in well with the [council’s] tourism brand, which is all about showcasing nature and the outdoors in the Clarence Valley – and it’s also respectful of the environment.”
Mayor Ian Tiley, who officially started the race at 7am at Pippi Beach, Yamba, on Monday April 2, said CVC had “provided $8,000” for the RAID 100 race, “which is a 100-hour tortuous event”.
“I spoke to a lady from England earlier,” Cr Tiley said.
“She’s moved out here, but she’s linked up with these people from Perth and thought, ‘Well, I’ll try it, too, and get together with a team from Perth to run in the Clarence Valley for four days, plus four hours.’”
Event spokesperson Liam St Pierre said, “It’s an adventure race; teams of two and four competitors navigate an unmarked wilderness course, and they have 100 hours to collect as many checkpoints as they can.
“There are 122 competitors and 43 teams in total.”
He said the closest to a local team in the competition came from Lismore.
“Everyone else has come from as far away as Perth, New Zealand and Melbourne, and there are a lot of Queensland teams and lots of Sydney teams.
“The race itself will cover five days – they’ve been here for a couple of days preparing their equipment; and they’ll need a couple of days rest in recovery, as well.
“Once we’ve fired the starting gun, it literally doesn’t stop; they race for the full 100 hours – if they sleep, then the other teams are still racing.
“The winning teams will sleep maybe five or six hours during the 100 hours.”
The RAID 100 website puts it this way, “The world’s only expedition-length, Rogaine-format adventure race – the Raid 100 – is set to make a return from May 2-6, in Australia.
“Teams of two to four competitors will navigate a wilderness course, with just a map and compass, through a series of stages of mountain biking, kayaking, trekking, white water rafting and abseiling. “The race is set to traverse the Clarence Valley region of New South Wales, with a spectacular backdrop of isolated coastlines, wild rivers and rugged mountains.
“Teams are tasked with the challenge to collect as many of the 100 check points as possible in a 100-hour time period.”