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Endure

Lumicycle Sponsee

ENDURE UK

Performance lights sponsorship for adventure team such as Endure UK is not just restricted to mountain biking racing. Endure UK is a leading endurance adventure team

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The UKs top adventure racing athletes, previously racing as the infamous Team 9feet.com, have now been split between Saab Salomon and Team Endure. Adventure racing has an immense reliance on the teams mountain biking abilities. In some cases having to traverse upwards of 200 Km in a single race.

In 2002 and 2003 the Team Endure members raced internationally under many different team names, for sponsors as varied as Gore-tex, Go-Lite, The North Face and Lumicycle Lights. The race and sponsorship experience gained was phenomenal and not surprisingly, we have been kicking butt in 2004!

The first big scoop was when Anna was ASKED BY THE BBC to use her athletes and friends in four of the new but highly acclaimed 'THE CHALLENGE' series.


Endure adventure racing - On top of the World

 Anna chose the 'experts' (and brought a few other racers into the mix when availability necessitated) to race alongside novices of the BBC's choosing in a number of extreme endurance challenges.

The programme was rated top 15 in the BBC's programmes of 2004 and went live on October 14th with a race to the North Pole, followed by the Mild Seven Outdoor Quest, Everest and then the Yukon Kayak race. This series is destined to be one of the best mainstream and primetime promotions for AR, ever.

It will be interesting to see the BBC take, given that they went through the filming process and many seemed to come out the other side still not having understood the dynamics. When Iiro Kakko and Pasi Ikonen went through the Canadian winter Ukatak race with Noel Hannah and the 'novice' Kath Joy, and managed to win it, I am sure that the BBC will ignore the fact that each time these strong Fins have taken part, they have used a novice female and, by hook or by crook, reached the finish line first. With two Brits in the team, the winning margin was a little smaller this year, but will the experts get the credit they deserve? We will see.

In 2004 we are ranked 1st in the INTERNATIONAL EXPEDITION RACING LEAGUE.

In December, we are one of only two UK teams that qualified for the Raid World Champs in Argentina. With a previous 5th place finish in that race, (the best UK result so far), we are in good stead to take on the giants in the sport. In that race we will race as Nike ACG Endure since Nike ACG approached us and asked us to set up an elite European wide team. Here's hoping we continue to do our sponsors proud!

 

Anna McCormack

Pasi Ikonen

Red Bull Northern Exposure 1st

5 x 1st X- Adv Raid Series



Maciek Olesinski


Adventure Trophy (biggest Polish AR)
2001, 2002, 2003 1st

Norman Dunroy

 

2003 Mt Isobel Challenge NZ 1st

 

 Norman is a nation-wide renowned
mountain biker with an incredible
array of wins.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes is also a member of Team endure


After a stint with the SAS, and 2 years with the Sultan of Oman's forces,
Ran (as he likes to be called began a series of extraordinary expeditions,
now standing at more than 30, including:

  • Ascending up the White Nile in a hovercraft
  • Parachuting onto Europe 's highest glacier
  • Forcing his way up 4,000 miles of the mightiest rivers of Canada and Alaska
  • Trekking on foot and unsupported to the North Pole
  • The discovery of the lost Arabian city of Ubar
  • The great Transglobe expedition, which took 3 years,
    in which Fiennes and his companion Charles Burton became
    the first men in history to achieve a polar circumnavigation of the Earth
    (covering 52,000 miles)
  • Making the first unsupported walk across the Antarctic continent with Dr. Mike Stroud,
    each man dragging a 500-pound sledge.
    This ninetyseven day trip was the longest polar journey in history.
  • Running 7 marathons, in 7 days, on 7 continents

 He was awarded an OBE in 1993.

What it's like - by Anna McCormack

The races vary greatly.

You have to have world class athletes within the team in four key sports: running, biking, navigation and kayaking, if you want to have any chance of doing well internationally. However, for the international races you must be a competent ropes person (one section inFiji took most teams 8 to 12 hours to ascend a rope section) a horse-rider. In French races you nearly always in-line skate. You often have to horse-ride. In most races you canoe. You often coaster and canyoneer. My longest swimming section with Finns was 27km and without, maybe 5km. Cross-country skiing is important in winter races and in most races, you will encounter something new that you have never tried before.

(In theUK, if you are reasonably fit and a reasonable navigator, runner and biker, that is generally enough, but the girls team always picks up major points by being relatively ace kayakers cf to the mixed teams who don’t compete internationally). I would say that biking is the weakest sport for the girls team but that the international team are fairly equal across all disciplines once the strengths and weaknesses within the team are balanced out.

 

Maciek "Ski" on Jungle route 

Team Endure in Nepal

The longest race I have done, distance wise, is probably the Raid Gauloises, Vietnam, with over 1000km covered (by us; we were fifth that time) in 7 days. (I think Pasi covered a similar distance in 5 or 6 days when he won the RG Himalayas the previous year.) InVietnam, I clearly remember that there was over 400km of trekking / running, which surprised us since we had presumed that most of the distance would be done on the bike. I don’t know how much biking there was. Maybe another 400 km? (I remember that the last paddle was 120km non stop and that there were three other boat sections but that the others were much shorter. Rope work can be significant time wise, but obviously covers little distance. The third image is fromVietnam. I think I remember two sections which were clearly ‘joining’ sections when the organisers including lots of road biking just to get organisers from one nice bit ofVietnam to another. Another section was full on single track but most biking is something in between. Road biking in AR totally sucks. Your bikes are kitted out for technical biking, you may have slept no more than 7 hours in as many days and you can’t go much faster than e.g. 35km / hour and no matter what you do, you start to fall asleep without stimulus. (e.g. the red eye photos from when I fell off the bike and hit the ground with my left arm and eye first). Good eyes are pretty important since the wider the beam, the more you can stimulate yourself with what is in front of you, as well as with the more obvious benefits, like actually being able to see. Some of the single track can be pretty dangerous. In one section in the jungle, for instance, we came out into a clearing and paused to make sure we were all together but realised that Pasi had disappeared off the path. To our right had been a huge drop to a dangerous river 100s of meters below. His walking poles had become caught in a branch and pulled him off the slope but the foliage had caught him and once we had found him again we were able to get him and the bike back up.

The longest race I have done time-wise was EcoFiji. We were out on the course for 10 days and were one of only 10 teams out of 81 starting teams to complete the full course. Biking wasn’t a determining factor in that race since the roads were so appalling that most of the time on the bike, I seem to remember pushing it (or trying to persuade local kids that pushing it for me was really fun). Sometimes the bikes simply don’t last too long and start to fall apart due to the conditions we are in, the number of rivers we have to swim with them etc.

I would guess that something between 4 and 500km within a race is the most biking we have done, but that is always split up into smaller sections. I have no idea what the longest bike stage I have done in one go was, maybe 18 to 24 hours? Maybe inSouth Africa, last year, when the conditions underfoot were so sandy that we more or less pushed for about 8 hours on one path…

Biking is generally a rest for the feet, which are the most painful aspect of any race. However, you get a pretty sore ass pretty quickly when peeing wild, without much hygiene etc so that can get pretty painful too. Don’t look at the last picture unless you are brave! Navigation on the bike is generally easier than on foot since there is less chance for major route choice. However, inBrazil last year, we took 12 hours out of other teams on bike sections during the bike leg in the first photo and I have never seen a race in which so many teams were criss-crossing each other in opposite directions. It was amazing.

Trying to think of some memorable moments on a bike:

In my first race, I remember being swept away downstream in a river, trying to hold onto my bike and rucksack, alternately going under the water and gasping for breath. A Nepali jumped into the rapid from the bank to try to help me and we managed to get to the side. I also remember the first night in that race, on the bike, somehow separated from 3 of the guys I was with. Only one, Ski, remaining. And I remember being totally scared that he would somehow disappear too. It was -15. High on the Tibbetan plateau. We were both so sleepy that we could hardly make sense of the map but knew we had to cross a river and couldn’t tell how wide it was and so were scared to wade in with the bikes. (This was our first race, remember). I remember finally just going in and Ski having to follow, since I was simply too tired to think of anything else to do. In that race, we had only small head torches. By the last night of the race, when going along a mule track in the Terrai, most of the head torches were failing badly. We had to keep calling out to each other to make sure that we were all together since we could only see the person ahead (and only then if they were close). I remember that the bridges often had no central ‘bit’ and that Ski twice fell off to the field below since he couldn’t see that the road had abruptly ended (a sad legacy of Nepal being an aid-dumping country). I also remember Dickie literally biking off the road and falling 5m down a bank since he hadn’t been able to see where the road ended and edge started. It was pretty tough.