Today saw the official opening of the Adventure Race World Championship in Scotland. It kicked off with teams handing over each of their five kit boxes to officials; some teams having to rethink and repack quickly as some of their boxes failed the 40 kilo weight limit. I?m still a little unsure as to why some teams packed spring water! It had been a chilly night and as the cloud lifted throughout the morning a sprinkling of snow visible on the hills, perhaps an indication of some of the conditions teams can expect throughout the week. Following the safety brief came the bit that all teams were eagerly awaiting. To build the occasion The Final Countdown played over the speaker system as Gary (the route planner) took to the stage to announce where the teams would be heading over the coming week.
|The planetFear team entertaining the crowd in Fort William|
The route is set to take in some of the most breathtaking landscape Scotland has to offer. Saturday?s prologue is on Rum, out of the four hundred competitors racing only four had been there before. After a nights camp, it?s then an open and potentially hazardous kayak back to the mainland, a hop into the fresh water of Loch Morar and then north to Inverie on the Knoydart peninsula. On foot, teams then visit the Munros of Knoydart before mountain biking across to Loch Ness whilst taking in aerial activities and rock pool jumps. From here, an enormous trek and kayak across areas such as Loch Ericht and Rannoch Moor eventually brings the teams to the King?s House in Glen Coe. As teams turn the corner here they should feel like they are on their way home, except that still standing in their path will be all the summits in Glen Coe (via the stunning and exposed Curved and Aonach Eagach ridges. Finally, it will be across to Ben Nevis for their last peak and weary descent to the finish.Teams spent most of the afternoon debating route choice and laminating maps. To round off the day the opening ceremony took place all teams flying the flag for their country. Those teams hoping to get a long last sleep tonight better be in bed early. It?s an early start tomorrow with a 5:30am bus from Fort William and a 7:30 ferry to Rum.