Over the past six years, the event has experienced considerable growth as well as the addition of new distances. According to race founder and director Tiago Valois, the courses of RUNNING DAVENTURA 2014, came up from some necessities of adaptation of the last few years, due to the urban growth in the greater Salvador area.
“Until 2013, the running had courses of 5 km, 8 km, 14 km and 21 km,” said Valois, “This year, we’ve decided to include the marathon of 42.2 km, a kids’ event, and we reduced the 14 km to 10 km. The courses will go through touristic places, paradisiacal beaches, trails on Mata Atlântica forests, and others natural obstacles. Our goal is to offer routes with beautiful views, and an excellent experience, which is far from monotonous.”
Valois is thrilled with the participant numbers which have grown considerably since the first race. Valois says, “We started in 2009, with only 300 athletes and last year we had 1,318 runners. This year, we have already enrolled more than 1,500 athletes.”
The majority of the participants, 60 percent of whom are men, hail from Brazil, others are from other countries in Latin America. According to Valois, at least 40% of the participants are first-time runners.
Valois started his race directing career in 2002, primarily with adventure and nature races. “I started here in Bahia, with adventure races that include mountain bike, trekking, vertical skills, rafting, orientation, and kayak. In 2009, feeling the market fragility about the adventure races, we decided to mix the “RUNNING DAVENTURA” event with the trail running.
“So the idea of realizing the “RUNNING DAVENTURA” came up. This race of 2009 took place on Ilha de Itaparica, the biggest island of Bahia de Todos os Santos. I was also the technical director of Ecomotion/Pro, between 2004 and 2011, organizing adventure races with around 500 km.”
For this year’s event, Valois looks forward to a quality edition, security to all, and the hope that athletes have a wonderful experience enjoying Praia do Forte trails. Through the new kids’ event, he would like to see children learn to like doing exercises and sports.
Looking to the future, “My hope is that RUNNING DAVENTURA can be a nature race known worldwide, with athletes from all over the world,” said Valois. “That in 2015 we can some challenges, like the Ultra Trail of Bahia: RUNNING DAVENTURA 2015 in Chapada Diamantina!”
Asked what he would say to someone from the United States who is thinking of traveling to Brazil to race on trails, Valois said, “Come and try the Brazilian nature races, that are realized in environments with diverse ecosystems, like our beautiful beaches, restinga, mata atlântica, and more. The running is well planned, with international standards. We are the only firm in Brazil that organizes trail running with ABNT / INMETRO certificate about safety management system. We always try to have the place of departure and arrival with entertainment, music, crafts, children's activities, among other possibilities to stimulate the experience of the athlete and their families.”