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© Red Bull Content Pool
© Red Bull Content Pool
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Row, Ride, Run and Abseil all in One Incredible Race

Picture of Luke Bradshaw
Sports Editor
Updated: 26 January 2017
There’s a particular race that combines a variety of disciplines, on land and sea, in some of the planet’s most beautiful surroundings. Red Bull Defiance is a competition that combines incredible stamina with spectacular scenery.

Red Bull Defiance is a unique race format in the Wanaka region of New Zealand that combines off-road running, kayaking and mountain biking, all as disciplines of endurance. In addition to this, stages are spiced up with creative extras in undisclosed special stages, such as climbing and abseiling. The event is the brainchild of Braden Currie, a native Kiwi and one the country’s most recgonized adventurers and multisport racers. The race is over two days of competition, with a course designed to test different skills.

Elite Mens winners, Braden Currie and Josiah Middaugh tackle the ever-changing terrain | Courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool
Elite Mens winners, Braden Currie and Josiah Middaugh tackle the ever-changing terrain | © Red Bull Content Pool

Two-person teams are split into three different categories (mens, womens & mixed) and each day is split into a series of disciplines with a well-marked course and designated transition areas. Simone Maier, one of 2017’s competitors describes the race with nothing but adoration: “Personally I think this is one of the most beautiful race courses I have done since I stared racing. It feels kind of unreal, at time [sic] during the race I feel like I’m a bubble, I love the mountains, the scenery and the challenge that come with it from the weather. It is so unpredictable.”

Held across the 21st and 22nd of January, the race offered, as ever, a unique and original challenge to those competing. Wanaka is a popular ski and summer resort town in the Otago region of the New Zealand’s South Island, and as a result the terrain includes huge lakes, glorious mountain ranges and a glacial valley – all of which must be conquered by the teams competing. And while so many endurance races allow athletes to get lost in their own thoughts and focus, the two-team aspect of the event ensures that cooperation and communication are essential if a team is to succeed.

Elite Mens winners, Team Red Bull, Braden Currie and Josiah Middaugh | Courtesy of the Red Bull Content Pool
Elite Mens winners, Team Red Bull, Braden Currie and Josiah Middaugh | © Red Bull Content Pool
Team Torpedo7 Pete Smallfield and Mitch Munro abseil during the race | Courtesy of the Red Bull Content Pool
Team Torpedo7 Pete Smallfield and Mitch Munro abseil during the race | © Red Bull Content Pool
Team Chiru Magura races during the mountain run | Courtesy of the Red Bull Content Pool
Team Chiru Magura races during the mountain run | © Red Bull Content Pool
Team Racers Edge, Marcel Hagener and Simone Maier, on the lake | Courtesy of the Red Bull Content Pool
Team Racers Edge, Marcel Hagener and Simone Maier, on the lake | © Red Bull Content Pool
Mens Elite winners, Team Red Bull, Braden Currie and Josiah Middaugh | Courtesy of the Red Bull Content Pool
Mens Elite winners, Team Red Bull, Braden Currie and Josiah Middaugh | © Red Bull Content Pool