Santiago hosts first extreme sports ‘Rat Race’ in South America

For three hours on December 5, the streets of Chile’s capital will throw up challenges for 250 teams taking part in the multi-sport extreme event made popular in the United Kingdom.

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The streets of Chile’s capital will become an urban playground on Dec. 5 for a group of competitors striving to be the first to complete the popular British adventure challenge The Rat Race.

250 teams of three will run, climb, abseil and more over a 30 km course through Santiago for a period of three hours. As they race to as many of the 50 checkpoints as they can, gaining points along the way, they must complete challenges physical, mental and occasionally bizarre.

The multi-sport event, which is making its South American debut in Chile, started in Edinburgh in 2004. “The Rat Race is totally unique in its format, scope of activities and sense of discovery and adventure,” says its website.

Indeed, the 2007 Edinburgh Rat Race saw competitors visiting a hairdresser for wacky cuts and chasing a bride through the streets, while in an unusual rock climbing challenge, people at the top of the rock face threw flour, eggs and bananas at the contestants trying to ascend.

The course in Santiago will be revealed only hours before the race begins at 4:30 pm on Dec. 5. However, challenges will be spread around greater Santiago, including the municipalities of Santiago Centro, Recoleta and Providencia, visiting landmark locations including the Movistar Arena, the financial district, Forest Park, the Plaza de Armas and the Mapocho river.

“Santiago is the ideal city to host the first season (in South America), because the competitors will find themselves in a city that has never before seen the style of the Rat Race,” said Dan Weitzman, Marketing Manager for Lippi, the company organizing the event.

“The race will be an incredible experience both for the hosts and for the public, who will get to see the various challenges taking place on the streets of their city.”

Eduardo Poblete, another of the event organizers, told Chilean newspaper La Tercera that the winners of the Santiago race will get to participate in the Edinburgh edition of the event.

Those interested in taking part can register up until noon on December 3 at www.ratraceadventure.com/chile

This post is also available in Spanish