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NEXT ROVING RACE IN SRI LANKA (Starts on 14 Feb 2016)


The format of the course of RacingThePlanet: Ecuador 2015 follows a similar format to all races in the 4 Deserts Race Series - 250 kilometer / 155 mile, 7-day, 6-stage, self-supported endurance footrace. In Ecuador competitors will go through a variety of terrain and scenery with many highlights along the way. This section includes an overview of the terrain, elevation, distances and checkpoints - the full course notes will be given to each competitor at the competitor check-in in Ecuador.

The course of RacingThePlanet: Ecuador 2015, "Route of the Volcanoes", is located in the Cotopaxi National Park, approximately 90 kilometers / 56 miles south of Quito. It is surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery in Ecuador. The course starts from the foothills of the Cotopaxi volcano and passes through highlands, a charming old monastery called Hacienda Tilipulo rom the 18th century, Camino del Inca (ancient Inca trail) and Culuncos (famous single trails with walls beneath the forest canopy that supported an impressive trade and communication network of ancient pre-Incan civilization), providing vast views of valleys, Quilotoa Volcano and its famous crater lake, tropical forests, crossing of the Andes with views of its snow-capped volcanoes and local villages of the Native American people. The host town of Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site and the highest capital city in the world.

The format of the course is below. More information on the course will be provided closer to the race on this page of the website and in monthly updates. Full course notes will be given to each competitor at the competitor check-in in Ecuador.

image Google earth course

image Google earth course
The total distance of RacingThePlanet: Ecuador 2015 is 250 kilometers / 155 miles. The format is similar to the prestigious 4 Deserts Race Series. Competitors should prepare for the following distances:

  Kilometers Miles Elevation Gain (meters) Elevation Loss (meters)
Stage 1 45.7 28.4 564 1,047
Stage 2 40.9 25.4 1,304 863
Stage 3 45.4 28.2 1,303 2,032
Stage 4 42.3 26.3 2,997 2,340
Stage 5 63.9 39.7 1,419 3,796
Stage 6 11.8 7.4 203 416
Total 250 155.3 7,790 10,494
*note these distances are approximate

image missing Ecuador is one of the highest countries in the world. The lowest point of the course is at 725 meters / 2,379 feet and the highest point is just under 3,890 meters / 12,762 feet. Due to the high elevation, it is recommended that you arrive at Quito a few days earlier in order to acclimatise prior to the race.

Lowest point
725 meters / 2,379 feet
Highest point
3,890 meters / 12,762 feet

The 250-kilometer / 155 mile course will take competitors through beautiful landscapes, rough terrain and unique cultures off the beaten track. The course is primarily on tracks, trails and off-road. Terrain will consist of a combination of grassland, fields, rocky terrain, gravel tracks, steep climbs and descents. The course does not include technical climbing.

Checkpoints are located approximately every 10 kilometers / 6 miles along the course. 

At each checkpoint competitors must:
  • Be checked in by the race staff.
  • Take a minimum allocation of drinking water with them for the next leg (you must leave a checkpoint with 1.5 liters of water)
  • Abide by any instructions given by the race staff including safety instructions

At each checkpoint competitors can:
  • Rest for a short time and take advantage of the shelter the checkpoint provides.
  • Seek advice and treatment if appropriate from the medical doctor at the checkpoint.

Please note that adverse weather and other factors can result in changes being made to the course.  

The Long March
Stage 5 is known as the "Long March". This stage is planned to be approximately 80 kilometers / 50 miles, roughly double the length of the previous four stages.

The stage follows much the same format as the previous ones: checkpoints are located about 10 kilometers / 6 miles apart; however there is a designated "Overnight Checkpoint". 

At the Overnight Checkpoint, there will usually be tents where competitors can rest as well as a campfire or stove where hot water is available for drinks and meals.   

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