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Usshers Retain Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge Title

Usshers Retain Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge Title

Kiwi multisport powerhouse Richard Ussher and his team retained the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge title beating a fellow Kiwi team by seven minutes.

Ussher captained the four members of Team Desert Islands, which included his wife, across the finish line in 39:18:20, to secure their second victory in the gruelling six-day 400km multi-discipline endurance race.

Second place holders Team New Zealand finished in 39:25:23 with French team Sport2000Vibram Outdry taking third spot.

“We’ve led from start to finish so we’re very happy,” Ussher said. “It was very close for the whole race which made it pretty nerve wracking but also very exciting. There were plenty of times where we were wondering if we were going to be able to maintain our lead.

After fighting off 35 other teams, Ussher said going for a third straight Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge title was Team Desert Islands’ priority for 2009. “We’re determined to come back next year and go for a third Challenge title. This is one of only two adventure races we are looking at doing next year.

“It’s been great exploring Abu Dhabi again seeing new parts, like Sir Bani Yas Island, has been brilliant. We recognised a lot of the mountain stages from last year and I think that helped push us home today,” added Ussher who is sponsored by SUBWAY®, along with his wife, Elina.

“However, we’ll need to be in top physical condition because this event is getting harder every year. More and more world-class teams want to win because Abu Dhabi is now seen as the world’s premier endurance race.”

Event organizer Shaikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan said the Challenge shows off Abu Dhabi’s natural assets and ability to host a world-class event. “The Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge has, in just one year, grown to become one of the world’s leading multi-discipline races. It is a key facet in our continuing strategy of utilising top-tier sporting endeavours to illustrate Abu Dhabi’s destination credentials to the watching world.

“We are looking to further evolve the event for 2009 by fostering increased participation from the UAE community, so that the country can become solidly engaged in what is now the globe’s most international adventure race,” added Shaikh Sultan.

Thirty-six teams competed in this year’s Challenge, which was designed by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority to showcase the emirates as a tourist destination.


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