Tiny Mauritian island to host ‘the toughest race in the world’

Posted on 6 June 2019

Over 200 endurance athletes from 23 countries are preparing to tackle the Africa qualifier race for the Adventure Racing World Series. The venue for this year is the little-known island of Rodriguez, a tropical island in the Indian ocean.

Image: supplied.

Luckily, those not ready to brave ‘the toughest race in the world’ can simply watch the action from the comfort of their home.

In each qualifying race, teams of four endurance athletes from around the world race day and night on a course designed to stretch the limits of stamina, resourcefulness and mental resilience.

They paddle, trail run, mountain bike and navigate, and survive the elements for up to 10 days in the wilderness with no support.

They compete against other teams, the weather, exhaustion and the battle to find their own food, shelter and water. If one team member quits, the entire team has to pack up and go home.

Qualifier events take place around the world and winners get a coveted spot in the World Championship.





This year, the Africa leg of the competition will take place on the island of Rodriguez, over 500km east of Mauritius, and the islets around it. The island is a semi-autonomous region of Mauritius.

The island is small- it is just 18km in length, 8km wide and has a highest point of just over 300m. Yet, it is packed with turquoise waters, palm trees, caves, coral reefs, sea turtles and fishing villages.



Athletes will have to run, hike, mountain bike, abseil, kayak, cave, sail and snorkel to complete the 350km course in 72 hours if they are to win.

The teams will go through 100 checkpoints where they will receive a new map to plot the next leg of their journey. Besides this, the only support they will get is a fibre-glass boat which will house their bikes, food, water and gear.

The race can be tracked on the website under the Live Tracking section.

It costs R40 000 per team to enter the competition which runs in early September.


Feature image: Supplied.

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