Biliran province will host the La Routa 2023 adventure race to be participated by 160 local and foreign competitors, the organizers announced on Monday.
The event, in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT) Eastern Visayas regional office, Biliran provincial government and Bukid Outdoor Shop, will be held on Nov. 20 to 24, 2023.
Jason Garido, La Routa organizer, said choosing Biliran as the venue for the international adventure race is a consensus between the organizers and the DOT-Eastern Visayas.
Biliran is the smallest province in the country with only eight towns and a land area of only 536.01 square kilometers.
“The safety feature of Biliran is very high because it is an island. We don’t have an insurgency problem here. Even if the team got lost, they will only be within the boundaries of Biliran. When they go down, they will immediately find the highway because there is a circumferential road. The safety feature is one of the very nice things in hosting events like this,” Garido said in an interview.
The island province’s terrain–from rugged mountains to rolling hills, beautiful beaches, and numerous waterfalls– is ideal for an adventure race, the organizer said.
Biliran’s hosting will also support the province in its branding as an adventure tourism destination in Eastern Visayas, Garido added.
The province was also one of the venues of Elf Authentic Adventure Race in 1999 that was participated by teams from different parts of the world.
Garido said hosting the event will greatly benefit the province because it will attract not only competitors, but including their supporters and spectators, which will result in financial gains for local businesses.
Participating foreign racing enthusiasts are winners of qualifying rounds in India, Thailand, Malaysia, and Nepal while local competitors are winners in previous adventure races held in different parts of the country.
Two teams from Australia and New Zealand have also signified to join the adventure race.
The international event is the Asian qualifying round for the 11-day Adventure Racing World Championship Series to be held in El Salvador in 2024.
The race is divided into three categories – beginner, advanced, and elite. Only the winners in the elite category will advance to the world championship.
The competition involves discipline in trekking, swimming, paddling, biking, rappelling, navigation, and special sections.
Lasting for about 74 to 96 hours, the four members of each team will need to walk, run, and swim even at night or a total length of 300 to 350 kilometers to reach the finish line.
Each team is provided with a GPS tracker to monitor their location throughout the race.
Teams have the option to sleep at night during the entire four-day race.
Teams composed of four members are mix-gender depending on how many male or female members are included in the team.
To signal readiness of hosting the adventure race, Biliran Governor Roger Gerard Espina, DOT Eastern Visayas Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes, and Garido signed on May 12 a commitment for the official launch of La Routa adventure race. (PNA)