On Friday, August 14, Amazon Video is premiering the first season of Eco-Challenge since 2002. It features 60+ teams racing across over 400 miles for 11 days of grueling hiking, rafting, mountain climbing and more as they compete for the title of World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji winner and the prize money.
Here’s what you need to know about the filming dates, locations, prizes, rules and more.
Filming Dates & Location
The race took place from September 5 to September 25 2019. It was filmed on the South Pacific island country of Fiji.
“The Fiji course is truly epic. It’s incredibly demanding and will force our Competitors far out of their comfort zone as they race against themselves, their competitors, and the fiercest elements of mother nature,” said executive producer and host Bear Grylls in a press release. “Only the teams that work together can ever hope of making it to the finish line.”
The winning team earns $100,000, 2nd place gets $50,000, and the third-place team gets $25,000.
Each team is made up of four racers and must have at least one member of each sex. Each team also has one assistant crew member of either gender who “responsible for driving their own assistant crew vehicle between designated transition areas. They must make their own camp and prepare their own meals. The assistant crew member will provide all customary support services to their team, such as supplying competitors with fresh clothing, food, water and other supplies. The crew member must be prepared to maintain and organize all team equipment including mountain bikes and climbing gear.”
The teams race under the flag of one country, therefore three of the four members must be citizens or continuous legal residents for a period of 5 years in the country you wish to race under. The assistant crew member may be of any nationality.
How Does the Race Work? Do They Sleep?
The race is non-stop, which means teams can stop to sleep but stopping lets other teams catch them, so teams often take very short sleeping breaks. Over the 11 days, they have to hit over 30 different checkpoints and retrieve five hidden medallions.
In the premiere episode, host Bear Grylls explained the race thusly, “”Teams travel 671 KM over 11 days. Each day will present a new array of relentless challenges designed to break them down phyiscally, mentally and emotionally. They’ll endure some of the most extreme conditions they’ve ever encountered. Along the way, they will pass through 31 checkpoints and locate five hidden medallions. This is an expedition with a stopwatch and the clock is always ticking. If they sleep, they lose time. If they get lost, make mistakes, fall behind and miss the cut-off time, their race is over. They must do it all without the help of modern technology, relying only on their wits, their experience and each other.”
The first episode also talked about the professional teams versus the amateur teams, so it sounds like the pro teams have a different (presumably harder) course than the amateurs.
World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fjii is out now on Amazon Video.