Sunday 17 August 2008

World’s most premium adventure race to be held in Tasmania

Described as the ‘world’s most premium adventure race’ details of the 2008 Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge were announced at an exclusive dinner held recently in Melbourne.

The Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge was created by Australian Formula One driver Mark Webber in 2003 and is a multi-discipline teams based event involving running/trekking, mountain biking, kayaking and a number of mystery disciplines. The Challenge has received great reviews in the world of multi-sport as well as having raised about $1 million for Webber’s partnered charities since 2003.

Webber said the Challenge has been described as a ‘pro-am style adventure race’ catering for fit celebrities and corporate teams to elite athletes from varying sporting backgrounds and from all over the world.

A distinguishing feature of the Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge is that everything is taken care of for competitors. Those who have had any experience with adventure racing will know, competitors drop where they are to catch a few minutes sleep and eat pre-packaged foods throughout the 24-48hr race.

While a day of racing in the Challenge is tough, everything is provided for competitor; from a comfortable camp village to chef prepared gourmet foods, sports supplements, masseurs, use of brand new equipment including Giant mountain bikes and an end of event party for competitors to unwind and celebrate their achievements with friends and family.

“The Challenge has provided teams with an amazing team building experience and a huge sense of accomplishment. Some competitors start out, particularly within the corporate teams, questioning whether it’s within their capabilities. You can see the sense of achievement on their faces as they cross the finish line.”

“It’s amazing to see what people can achieve when they put their mind to it. For many of our past competitors the focus of the feedback we get is about how stunning Tassie is. We get to see wilderness areas, rugged coastlines and mountain ranges as we’re slogging it out on the course.”

“Competitors get to meet some great elite athletes and personalities who share the experience of the Challenge with them over the five days which is pretty special and unique.”

Despite spending almost 200 days away from home during the manic Formula One season, Australian F1 driver Mark Webber only gets home to Australia from his UK base twice a year, the second to compete in the Challenge. The Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge is a calendar highlight for Webber and forms part his stringent fitness program which mixes his love of the outdoors with running, paddling, mountain and road cycling. Webber has competed in each Pure Tasmania Challenge and is a certain starter for the 2008 Challenge.

Unveiling a Challenging course across Pure Tasmania

Unveiling details of the 2008 Challenge, Webber said this year’s course will begin on Wednesday 19 November at Cradle Mountain Chateau in Tasmania’s northern gateway to Cradle Mountain’s pristine wilderness. Competitors will race their way across the State before finishing five days later in Hobart on Sunday 23 November. The event will take in over 250km of some of the most breathtaking but rugged terrain in the world. Kayaking, trekking and mountain biking is the competitors only mode of transport.

Organisers are expecting a strong contingent of internationals to make the trip down under to compete in one of the three categories of entry including representatives from Asia, New Zealand and Europe. High profile Singaporean competitors are expected to return after a good showing in last year’s Challenge, as well as a possible defence of their title from the Kiwi world champion Richard Ussher and his wife Elina. Telstra are also very keen to defend their claim as the best corporate adventure racing team in Australia.

Teams are encouraged to fundraise to support the Mark Webber Challenge foundation which assists both the Leukaemia Foundation and the Save the Tassie Devil Appeal.

Newly appointed Leukaemia Foundation General Manager Stephanie Hechenberger said: “I’ve been watching the Challenge grow as an event and look forward to continuing our strong relationship with the Challenge in the coming months. With the event having raised over $200,000 in 2007 already, we can tell you this money will make a huge difference for those families and individuals requiring treatments interstate by providing comfortable accommodation and travel options for them.”

For full detail on the Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge go to

Past Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge competitors include:

James Tomkins Five-time Olympic rower (part of the awesome foursome)

Michael Klim Former Olympic and Commonwealth swimming champion

Tatiana Grigorieva Former Olympic and Commonwealth pole vault champion

Richard Ussher Current World Champion adventure racer (NZ)

Tiffany Cherry ESPN Sports Reporter

Jason Richardson SEN personality, 1993 Stawell Gift winner

Greg Rust Network Ten F1 reporter, host of RPM

Mike McKay Former Olympic and Commonwealth rower (part of the awesome foursome)

Dee Cafari Yachted solo around the world (UK)

Matt White Pro cyclist

Brett Aitken Olympic cyclist

Shane Kelly Olympic cyclist

Pat Rafter Former Tennis great and US Open Champion

James Cracknell Olympic rowing champion (UK)

Alex Waters British F3 star (UK)

Steve Waugh Former Australian cricketer

Alvin Lim/Esther Tan winners of the 2007 Ace Adventure race in Singapore

Chris Wootton driver in the Formula BMW Asia series (Australian)

Corporate teams have included:

Cadbury Schweppes, Telstra, Virgin Blue, Lonely Planet, Europcar, Foster’s Group, Hydro Tasmania, Tassal, Royal Bank of Scotland, X Tech, Spinvox, Aurora Tasmania, Deutsche Bank,

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