I dropped Sari off at the Aspen airport this morning where she started her journey to China for the Wulong Mountain Quest adventure race. Sari and her Nike teammates Mike Kloser and Josiah Middaugh are traveling from Aspen to Denver, where they pick up their fourth team member Michael Tobin, and then fly to San Francisco, to Beijing, to Chongqing. In Chongqing, they get on a bus to Wulong County, a subtropical, mountainous region in southern China.
Here are the race basics:
- 3-day race starting on Aug. 31 with an opening day 45-min prologue race on Aug. 30.
- Stage race format where teams will race for 4-8 hours a day and sleep in a hotel at night = super fast race pace.
- Race disciplines will include trail running, kayaking, canyoneering, caving and mountain biking.
- Team Nike is the defending champion at Wulong, though last year they raced with 4 men. Mike Kloser (age 48) qualified as a female racer because he was over 45 (HAH!). After Nike dominated the competition they closed that loophole this year and all teams are required to race with one (real) woman.
- Some of the best teams in the world will be at this race including AdventureSportNZ (nemesis from Abu Dhabi race), Wilsa Helly Hanson, SOLE, OrionHealth and LaFuma as well as our friends from Team Nike Beaver Creek (Dan Weiland, Jay Henry, Jon Brown and Gretchen Reeves).
- Prize money is $35K (US) for first, $25K for second, $18K for third and so on.
Ian, Juniper and Grandma Mimi (Ian’s support crew while Sari is away)