The ITERA Expedition Adventure Race returns to the Highlands of Scotland

August 9, 2022

Teams from the UK, Sweden, Holland, USA, France, Poland, Ireland, Canada and Denmark will be among the 34 teams to assemble in Oban

/ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – The ITERA Expedition Adventure Race returns to the Highlands of Scotland from August 14th -19th, and will once again be part of the Adventure Racing World Series.

Teams from the UK, Sweden, Holland, USA, France, Poland, Ireland, Canada and Denmark will be among the 34 teams to assemble at the West Coast port of Oban, which hosts the race HQ.

Oban is the largest town between Glasgow and Fort William, serving a huge area of Scotland and is a hub for tourists looking to explore the islands, mountains and lochs of the magical west coast.

When the location was announced Race Director Paul McGreal said;

“We can go in any direction from Oban and create an incredible, interesting, wild and varied race. Locating the race in an urban setting worked really well for ITERA 2019 in Inverness – it helped provide great facilities for the athletes and race crew before and after the race itself. We want to repeat that combination of wild racing and a great Scottish welcome in 2022.”

Course Planner Tom Gibbs, who is a former Adventure Racing World Champion, has promised the racers a spectacular course. “The surrounding area has everything you could ask for – big mountains, seas, lakes, islands, castles, history and distilleries.  We are confident we can put on a world class course that will challenge and delight teams in equal measure.”

The full course will cover 550km with 14,000m of climbing, and teams know the course outline, but not the start location or the route, which will only be revealed in Oban the day before the race start.

The race will include 4 stages on foot (105km) and with 7550m of climb the terrain will be mountainous. There will be 4 paddle stages in kayaks, totalling 120km, and 3 MTB stages totalling 324km, plus an orienteering challenge and a mystery discipline. The fastest expected time is 83 hours.

Many of the teams lining up for the start have taken part in previous ITERA’s and some of those competing have raced every edition.

There are 3 very experienced American entries and members of all 3 teams are returning to ITERA once again. Rootstock Racing, who now organise their own ARWS race, The Endless Mountains AR, are back, and looking forward to the race experience Open Adventure and ITERA have to offer.

“We keep coming back for Open Adventure races because we know that we’re going to get a thoughtful, challenging, and beautiful course AND a great experience in terms of race logistics, personnel, and planning.” Said Abby Perkiss.

“We have ideas about where the route might take us, but whatever Tom and James (Thurlow) and the rest of the team have in store for us, we know that we’ll visit spectacular places and come out with incredible stories to tell.”

Brent Freeland added, “I love the balance between beautiful landscape and a course that’s steeped in history – and any chance I have to drink Guinness near the source is a good week in my book.”

The other US teams are Strong Machine AR and Team dARk Zone Podcast / NYARA, led by Brian Gatens.

Another regular international visitor is the SWECO team from Sweden. (Fortsätt Adventure Team will also represent Sweden.)

Mathias Carling of SWECO said, “This will be my 4th ITERA. The team is me, navigator Ulf Öjebo (raced ITERA Ireland), Kristina Carling (my wife, who also raced in Ireland) and Fredrik Nylen who will do his first ITERA.

“I have loved all earlier races and I really love the people around the race, the nature and the race set-up. We have had some really bad weather on some races, but in the end (… afterwards) loved it anyway.

“We have been around the podium positions in all ITERA’s (and missed a CP in Wales or we would have made the podium). Our squad is seven old friends racing together and for the first time our combined team age is over 200 years.”

“We hope for the podium, but know that we will meet a lot of challenges before getting to the finish line. We know it will be a great course and hope for some nice race weather too!”

Who will make that podium is difficult to predict as the race looks open and competitive. There are some very experienced international racers and teams in the mix.

The Polish team Adventure Trophy were 6th earlier this year at Adventure Race Croatia and the Endurancelife team were 5th at Expedition Africa in Lesotho. The Endurancelife Racing team will be strong too.

Rootstock Racing has a tremendous depth of expedition racing experience in the team, including navigator Mark Lattanzi, and the only French team, ‘Life Experience’, finished the full course at a tough Raid in France recently.

There is a lot of race experience in the ‘Love to Portage’ team as well, and they are the only team racing with 3 women. The team is Andrea Davison, Nicola MacLeod, Rosemary Byde and Jonathan Ellis.

The form team might be Adventure Racing Denmark, who have had a strong year so far. They have just won the Danish Championship, and earlier this year won the ARWS Europe race, Raid Lowlands, in Holland.

Team Captain Mikael Halberg has raced 3 World Champs and Thea Otte Anderson was on the winning team at the European Champs last year and the 3rd placed Nordisk team at Expedition Africa in Lesotho.

Ole Hemme Hansen is new to expedition racing, but Halberg said, “He is very strong and I think we have a good chance at a top 5 spot. We are looking forward to seeing Scotland and the scenery there. We plan to race smart and at our own tempo.”

To get on the podium teams first have to complete the full course, but for those who are moving at a slower pace the race has several short course options built in and the aim is get everyone to the finish line. During the race the independent ARWS referee will be Igor Dorotic, the Race Director at Adventure Race Croatia.

The race starts at 14.00 on Sunday August 14th and there will be live tracking, daily reports, photos and video updates for those following the progress of the teams. (Race followers will be able to send messages to the teams on the tracking page and read race blogs which the teams will make during the race.)

For further information see;

Race Tracking: https://live.opentracking.co.uk/itera22/