Next race up on the A1 Calendar is Explore Gippsland. Hosted by Australia's current top adventure racer Rob Preston, this course has been over a year in the planning and will sure to be a tough navigational challenge that pushes teams across an amazing wilderness course.
A1 is excited to partner with Mountain Designs, who are the major sponsor for the A1 Australia Series. Mountain Designs has been a long standing supporter of Adventure Racing and their gear has been successfully tried and tested in the toughest endurance races all over the world. Mountain Designs, whose gear is purpose-made for adventure with quality and functionality, will provide thousands of dollars in prizes at end of season awards and at each of the Mountain Designs A1 Races.
After my first year of adventure racing I was hooked. There’s not another sport in the world like it. Despair, doubt, faith, fear, hope, elation, pride and awe are some of the feelings it conjures up for me. My mission now is to showcase and develop adventure racing by reducing the barriers to entry and attracting more participants to the sport. So Adventure 1 was born… a home for adventure racing and a national adventure racing series supported by a community of athletes who dream of adventure… like myself
Having spent the best part of my adult life exploring, working and living in remote parts of the world, I am an adventurer at heart (as my patient family can attest). Plus, no other sport balances camaraderie with competition like adventure racing. I am no elite athlete, so I won’t be troubling the podium anytime soon, but I love the challenge of getting out there and pushing my physical and mental limits to better myself.
During my first year of racing I experienced a number of challenges in being able to get race ready and I wanted to make the path for those after me easier. In addition, there was momentum building for a national series towards the end of 2016. So I put my project management skills to work and collaborated with leaders in the sport to create Adventure 1.
Adventure racing is a conundrum. It’s an up-at-dawn gut-wrenching siege that leaves you wanting more! It’s the perfect antidote to the modern, noisy, man-made environment so many of us now find ourselves in. To spend my time and energy creating something that allows more people access to an adventurous outdoor lifestyle, so they can be the best version of themselves, is very fulfilling. Finally, the fact the sport’s premier division is mixed gender means adventure racing is bridging the gap on gender equality, another topic I am passionate about.
I love a good challenge and I have consulted broadly during the creation of Adventure 1. I honestly believe my newbie’s perspective compliments the experienced advice I have received from leaders in the sport, elite athletes and race directors. In addition, to ensure we build a sustainable future for adventure racing, we have created the A1 Pulse feedback portal so race directors, elite / newbie athletes and grass roots companies can provide input. Together, we can create something great.
To be clear, Adventure 1's objective is to remove the "unnecessary" barriers to entry, not to make the sport easier. Race directors will never look to make races easy. There will always be a natural filter as the difficulty of the races themselves means the sport will primarily attract those who love the spirit of adventure, survival, teamwork and racing. What's not acceptable is when those who have that make up find it challenging to get into the sport or perhaps aren't even aware the sport exists.
Adventure 1 is proud to have Rob Preston, one of the top adventure racing athletes in the world as the Ambassador for the A1 Australian Series. The Adventure 1 Series will be focused on providing pathways into adventure racing and become the breeding ground for future legends of the sport, like Rob, to go on and compete on the world stage.
Whilst Rob competes extensively around the world, he shares in Adventure 1’s vision of building a domestic adventure racing series that is focussed on both showcasing and developing the sport.
South African adventure racing legend Graham Bird has come on board as an Ambassador.
“Launching the A1 Series here in will help to further grow and improve the sport in South Africa. The series has been successful in Australia and New Zealand and aligning with the A1 brand and their international events will gain further exposure for, and access to, Adventure Racing in our beautiful country”.
“With the A1 South Africa Series we have brought together a great mix of experienced and passionate racers with fresh ideas and a common vision to be able to offer 4 new events around the country. Together with the old favourite Full Moon, it’s a winning formula for the sport.”
AR legend and Absolute Wilderness Race Director, Nathan Fa'avae, is a big supporter of the A1 concept and is putting his weight behind the new NZ Series...
"New Zealand is the sports global leader with GODZone now the largest event in the world and Team Seagate, the elite world champions. Women's adventure racing is growing phenomenally here and the introduction of the A1 NZ Series will consolidate all of these awesome things happening in the sport. There are real benefits being under one overall recognizable brand and I believe for media, sponsors, and people intrigued by the sport, this will make it more accessible and even more exciting."
Warren brings an incredible depth of experience as a race creator and competitor. 2009 Adventure Racing World Champion, 11 World Championships (including five top 6 finishes), over 30 expedition races covering most continents as well as organising and creating GODZone, the worlds biggest expedition adventure race. Passionate about the sport that has provided him with so many highs (and a healthy dose of lows) Warren has a determination to leave the sport with a legacy for future generations to enjoy.
"Being part of A1 fits the desire to make a difference and build solid foundation for the sport to grow and prosper."