20 essential dates for your adventure diary
© Mirja Geh / Red Bull Content Pool
Here's our run-down of the top events to follow or try from July to the end of this year.
From riding across Russia to swimming the River Thames in London, running through the Moab Desert or fighting through the unexplored forests and swamps of Patagonia, there’s plenty of adventure left to be had in 2018. We’ve put together a tantalising mix of famous challenges and less recognised but equally tough events for you to watch or try. So here you go, take your pick.
July 24 – August 17: Trans Siberian Extreme
- What: The world’s longest ultra-stage bike race.
- Where: Moscow to Vladivostok, Russia.
This 9,200km race, which is twice the length of the Race Across America, follows the route of the famous Trans-Siberian Railway across the Siberian wilderness, around Lake Baikal and through the Baikal Mountains. Now in its fourth year, it crosses seven time zones and covers 80,000m in accumulated altitude. Its 15 stages range from 300km to 1,400km on roads that vary from smooth tarmac to unmade tracks.
Also to look out for in July...
July 13: Salzkammergut Trophy
- What: This 210km mountain bike marathon includes a 7km climb through stunning mountain scenery. There’s also a downhill unicycle race.
- Where: Bad Goisern, Austria.
- Website: www.salzkammergut-trophy.at
July 22: Yukon 1000
- What: This is the world’s longest canoe race, covering 1,609km over up to 10 days and ending in near 24-hour daylight in the Arctic Circle.
- Where: Whitehorse, Canada, to Dalton Highway Bridge, AK, USA.
- Website: www.yukon1000.org
August 27: Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc
- What: The ‘world summit’ of mountain trail running.
- Where: Chamonix, France.
- Website: www.utmbmontblanc.com
Encircling Mont Blanc, this is arguably the most iconic trail-running event in the world, covering 170km with 10km of mountain ascents.
There are other options too, from the easier 55km ‘OCC’ that covers part of the course and takes 5-15hrs to the – believe it or not – even harder 300km ‘PTL’ (Petite Trotte à Léon) with 25km of ascents taking around five days.
Also to look out for in August...
August 5: The Thames Marathon
- What: This highly prestigious long-distance open-water swim covers 14km of the River Thames.
- Where: Henley to Marlow, UK.
August 14 – October 4: The Great Divide
- What: This 4,500km bike ride crosses the USA from top to bottom and can be done as a whole 45-day ride or in seven different one-week stages.
- Where: Canmore, Canada to Antelope Wells, USA
- Website: www.the-great-divide.com
September 8: Red Bull Dolomitenmann
This four-person relay multisport event combines mountain running, paragliding, mountain biking and kayaking, with the competition played out in the stunning Austrian Alps.
The first athlete in this race must run 12km up a 2,441m climb to hand over to a paraglider who takes two flights to reach the mountain biker, who then takes on 27km of climbs and downhill descents before handing to a kayaker for the final leg, a challenging white-water paddle back.
Also to look out for in September…
September 1: SUP11
- What: This 200km SUP tour travels the route of the old ice-skating race, covering 11 cities either non-stop in 36hrs or over 5 days in a staged race.
- Where: Friesland, The Netherlands.
- Website: sup11citytour.com
September 3: ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship
- What: This original Swimrun race (triathlon minus the bike) runs through a 26-island archipelago with 10km of open water swims and 65km of trails.
- Where: Sandhamn, Sweden.
- Website: www.otilloswimrun.com/races/otillo/
October 28: XTERRA World Championship
- What: One of two mega-triathlons in Hawaii.
- Where: Maui, Hawaii, USA.
- Website: www.xterraplanet.com/worlds
This race is the summit of the XTERRA race series, which now includes 50,000 competitors from more than 50 countries all around the world.
Televised across the planet, the gruelling event sees 800 racers, including 75 pros, take on a 1.5km rough ocean swim, a 32km mountain bike ride in the West Maui mountains and a 10.5km run through forest trails and over soft sandy beaches. The field is full, but there's a waiting list.
Also to look out for in October…
October 12: Moab 200
- What: This non-stop solo desert endurance run covers 383km of desert, canyons, slick rock and two mountain ranges.
- Where: Canyonlands and Arches national parks in Utah, USA.
- Website: www.moab200.com
October 18: Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon
- What: This iconic 250km foot race through the Kalahari Desert is known as the Big Daddy in trail and desert running circles across the world.
- Where: Augrabies in North Cape, South Africa.
- Website: www.kaem.co.za
October 18: IRONMAN World Championship
- What: This qualification-only event is a 226km mix of open-water swimming, running and road cycling.
- Where: Kailua-Kona, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
November 17: Patagonian Expedition Race
- What: One of the world’s toughest expedition races.
- Where: Patagonia, Chile.
- Website: www.patagonianexpeditionrace.com
This is one of the most stunning but brutal challenges in adventure racing, taking competitors across glaciers, through swamps and over exposed mountain passes in some of the most remote wilderness in the world.
It involves up to 10 days of non-stop mountain biking, kayaking and trekking in the spectacular Chilean wilderness, with full-on orienteering sections through dense unexplored forest. Not to be taken lightly, racers have got lost and been airlifted out and the finish rate is usually 30 percent at best.
Also to look out for in November...
November 1: La Ruta de Los Conquistadores
- What: The original multi-day fat-tyre bike race, this crosses Costa Rica from Pacific to Caribbean, through 260km of jungles, volcanoes and beaches.
- Where: Costa Rica, Central America
- Website: www.larutadelosconquistadores.org
November 3: Yak Attack
- What: This highly scenic high-altitude mountain bike race reaches 5,416m in five stages, with temperatures ranging from +30ºC to -20ºC.
- Where: Annapurna Circuit, Nepal.
November 23: Ultraman World Championships
- What: Forget the ‘simple’ Ironman, this circumnavigation of Hawaii’s Big Island has a 10km ocean swim, 420km cross-country ride and 84km run.
- Where: Hawaii, USA
- Website: ultramanworlds.com
December 12: Antarctic Ice Marathon and 100k
An incredibly extreme and remote marathon, this takes place in Antarctica on Union Glacier, only accessible by air, and travels through some stunning icy wilderness at the bottom of the world.
Last year’s race had 53 runners from 19 countries and completing it counts towards entry into the ‘Seven Continents Marathon Club’ – you just need the other six. Conditions play a big part in the finishing time, with the record set at 3hrs 34m 47s by Petr Vabrousek in 2013.
Also to look out for in December...
Dec 11: Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge
- What: This cross-Atlantic row covers 4,700km, with up to 30 teams from solo rowers to five-person boats
- Where: Canary Islands to Antigua and Barbuda
December 26: Rolex Sydney Hobart
- What: This famous yacht race sees boats take on the churning Tasman Sea, trying to make safe harbour in Tasmania in time for a New Year party.
- Where: Sydney to Hobart, Australia
- Website: www.rolexsydneyhobart.com