Bentonville Strikes Again: ‘Expedition Ozark’ Joins Adventure Racing World Series

Northwest Arkansas continues to emerge as one of the nation’s premier outdoor recreation destinations, now joining the elite ranks of the adventure racing circuit in 2023.

Mountain bikers, hikers, and fly fishers—among others—are already claiming Bentonville, Ark., like a kind of external hub. And last week, the Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS) also officially recognized the prestige of the Heart City.

Starting in 2023, officially April 3-8, the Expedition Ozark race will join the ARWS family as a World Championship qualifier. In doing so, Bentonville will become the fourth stop on the ARWS World Tour in North America.

“We are thrilled to make this announcement, as we believe the Expedition Ozark race will showcase the rugged beauty of the Ozark region to the world’s best adventure runners and bring global attention back to the northwest once again. Arkansas after the success of the 2022 Walmart UCI World Cyclo. -The cross country championships put our region on the international cycling stage,” said Ozark Outdoor Foundation President and CEO Michael Spivey during a a press conference on Friday.

Currently, 17 destinations host races on the ARWS qualifying circuit, including Canada, Panama and Oregon in North America. Each qualifying round defines a unique expedition course of 500 km or more. There, mixed teams of four compete for 3-7 days of non-stop racing in the disciplines of trekking, mountain biking, kayaking, sailing, and more.

The Ozark Expedition joins the Adventure Racing World Series

The announcement will further elevate Northwest Arkansas into the limelight as it attracts both runners and fans from around the world. More than 300 teams compete on the ARWS circuit, representing six continents.

Many details regarding the Ozark Expedition race will remain under wraps until the day before the event. But race director Danny Collins confirmed that trekking, orienteering, packrafting/paddling and rock climbing/rappelling will be required to complete the 5-day challenge.

“We strive to make our races unique by showcasing the most beautiful parts of every country in the world,” said Heidi Mueller, CEO of ARWS, which selected Expedition Ozark to join the series in 2023.

“Whether it’s ocean coastlines or river banks, forests or jungles, sandy deserts or rocky mountains, runners are always thrilled to take on the unique challenges of each course, and in doing so, they will provide thrilling entertainment for viewers around the world.”

Look for Expedition Ozark on the world stage from April 3-8, 2023. Learn more and register! – at ExpeditionOzark.com.

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