March 8, 2007 One of the more interesting developments of improved communications via the internet is the way in which new sports become viable because geographically-disparate but like-minded people can be formed into a community. One such phenomena is the urban adventure racing - a part urban obstacle course, part scavenger hunt race that is open to anyone over the age of 18, and features teams of two racing around a major city to complete a series of unique physical, mental, and humorous challenges and return to the finish line in the fastest time. City Chase was created and launched in Canada in 2004 and made an immediate impact, expanding to a national event series with a national prime-time TV series covering events in Canada’s nine largest cities in 2005. It was named Canada’s best sporting event in 2005 and 2006 and last year the first world championships were held in Chicago. This year CityChase kicks off on March 17 in Sydney (Australia), where 500 teams are expected to compete, followed by events in Portugal, Spain, France, Singapore, England, the USA and Canada. Teams typically consist of seasoned runners who don’t mind doing the hard yards – check out the Chicago world championship course which covered 30 kilometres and required the fastest team 33 hours to complete.
Urban adventurers from Australia and around the world are gearing up for the return of City Chase to Sydney on 17 March 2007, when the city will once again be turned into a giant obstacle course to kick off the first leg of the largest urban adventure competition on earth.
Specific plans for the Sydney City Chase event challenges are strictly under wraps, but previous races have pushed competitors to their physical and mental limits, including everything from eating live crickets, to swinging on a flying trapeze, to underwater bowling.
Although the sport of urban adventure racing is relatively new to Australia, the winners of the inaugural 2006 Volvo City Chase, Ben Rattray and Andrew Hill, went on to upset 9 other teams from across the globe to win the City Chase World Championships, held over 33 hours across 30ks of Chicago late last year.
“Australians have proven their enthusiasm for this unique style of urban adventure racing and the response we received from the first Australian event is proof that there is a huge demand for this type of activity as an alternative to more traditional events like marathons,” says Nick Jelinek, the Canadian creator of the City Chase concept.
“We are expecting as many as 500 teams to sign up for a chance to represent Australia against the world next year at the World Championships to be held in a mystery city against the respective champions from Canada, England, France, USA, Singapore and Portugal.”