Did you enjoy watching the ‘World’s Toughest Race’ with Bear Grylls on Amazon Prime, as competitors challenged their physical and emotional limits across 11 days in the most epic global adventure race ever attempted? Then our very own, miniature adoption of the format – the Garmin Quest 2020 in Hatta – should be right up your alley.
Dubai Sports Council, Hatta Adventures, Garmin and Arabian Epic have come together to create this exciting race format that guarantees a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the foothills of the Hajar Mountains, taking participants on an adventure of biking across rugged mountainous terrain, trail running through some of the oldest inhabited lands in the UAE, and kayaking in the waters of Hatta Dam.
Billed as a triathlon with a difference, Garmin Quest 2020 is the region’s first long-distance adventure race based on mountain biking, trail running and kayaking, and it will take place on December 18. Registrations are open now for this unique event on the Hopa Sports website (https://www.hopasports.com/en/event/garmin-quest-2020), but there are only limited places available, so those interested in taking part will need to be quick.
Participants can only register as individuals, not as teams, and they can choose from two categories: the Challenger category, which is open to people aged 14 to 60, and the Explorer category that is open to people aged 17-60.
In the Challenger category, participants will run for a total distance of 5.5k, cycle for 13km and kayak 1km in six different stages. Stage 1 will involve 6km for cycling; Stage 2 will be a 2.5km run; Stage 3 will take participants to Hatta Dam for the 1km kayak, before they hit the trails again for a 2.5km run; Stage 5 will see them get back on their mountain bikes for 7kms of cycling, before they get back on their feet for a 500m run to the finish line.
In the Explorer category, participants will run for a total of 10km, cycle for 27km and kayak for 1km (Stage 1: 20km cycle; Stage 2: 2.5km Run; Stage 3: 1km kayak; Stage 4: 2.5km Run; Stage 5: 7km Cycle; Stage 6: 5km Run).
Competitors will need to bring their own mountain bike, or they can hire one from the event shop upon registration, while the kayaks, paddles, and buoyancy aid will be provided by the organisers and are included in the registration cost. Besides these, all competitors must bring and carry the mandatory kit, which includes a back pack, a race bib belt, basic first aid kit, map of the route, survival/foil blanket and a whistle, appropriate food and drinks, a cycling helmet, spare tube, a pump or CO2 canister and suitable footwear, with trail runners being recommended.
There will be no road closures for the cycling stages, so competitors will have to follow all road traffic laws, make sure they are not listening to music on their headphones, and have their helmets on when they are cycling or when they are pushing their bike. However, 95 per cent of the route is off road.
Participants must adhere to all COVID-19 safety measures put in place by the authorities like social distancing and wearing a mask at all times when not racing. Littering is strictly forbidden and any anyone found doing so in any section of the course, will be immediately disqualified.
All competitors and routes will start from Hatta Wadi Hub, and the participants must be present at the hub 60 minutes before their wave start time, with the first wave scheduled to start at 7am.