Pioneering adventure challenge company Rat Race is expanding to the US, with the launch of two high-end endurance experiences in New York and Florida.
Having staged its first event in Edinburgh in 2004, today Rat Race provides the largest selection of mass-participation adventure challenges throughout the UK. It is now setting its sights on the American market, following the success of its 'Bucket List' series – a selection of one-off endurance events in the Panama jungle, an icy lake in Mongolia and the Namibian desert.
The US events, set to launch in autumn 2019, are a ‘City-to-Sea’ event from Miami to Key West along the famous Florida Keys and the ‘Source to the City’ event from upstate New York to Manhattan, following the entire course of the Hudson River. Both involve a multi-sport challenge of cycling, kayaking and running or trekking.
Rat Race founder Jim Mee told runABC Scotland: "Our two new American events are a bold addition for the company, but our market research tells us they can become popular annual fixtures, with the capacity to attract significant participation from across the US and around the globe.’
But the company won’t be turning its back on ‘home’.
Rat Race Adventure Sports has won praise throughout the Scottish tourism industry for its success in exploiting Scotland's attractions as a world-class destination for adventure challenges, making the best of its stunning scenery, and its wilderness and urban playgrounds.
Since the legendary Edinburgh Rat Race, the UK's first urban adventure race, in 2004, over 500,000 people have taken part in their Scottish events – 65% percent of whom have been visitors from out-with Scotland.
Participant numbers in Scotland have doubled in the last five years with 20,000 entering Scottish events in 2018, with at least 75% of those coming from outside the country.
Chief amongst Rat Race's Scottish events is the Coast-to-Coast, first staged in 2007. To date, more than 10,000 adventurers have taken up the challenge of running, cycling and kayaking across the country.
Image: Coast to Coast 2018 (courtesy Rat Race Adventure Sports)