A man who would always put his ideas into action and others would follow is Gerald Fusil. The founder of the Raid Gauloises, The world’s first expedition race is always on the lookout to expand the sport. The cost of competing in adventure racing has reached a level that few teams can even now afford. Adventure racers and the organizers are faced with high travel and insurance costs. One way to get racers is to offer large sums in prize money, and top teams can make a living, but what about the average racer.
During the annual Reunion D’Aventures race, Gerard Fusil added a bike and run discipline which needed the four-person team to share two of the mountain bikes during a couple of leg races. The trial was successful! Teams were forced to think of strategies to complete the legs in the fastest possible way. Some teams doubled up on the downhill sections, others stayed, while the more successful set up a relay system with the rider going a set distance before leaving the bike on the edge of the track for their teammate, who would get on and then leapfrog them.
Gerard Fusil saw an opportunity to come back once again to the basis of Expedition Adventure Racing. Providing teams the chance to explore a country, interface with the local population and race in exotic locations without the need to transport large amounts of gear. Gerard Fusil announced his ideas at the Reunion D’Aventures prize giving and the world waited with bated breath.
In September 2005, Gerard Fusil Launch the Bike and Run Concept to the World with the Oman Adventure. Details were brief, two-person teams to share one bike with only one person to be on the bike at a time. The race would be run in a number of stages including a night stage and teams had to be ready to camp in the wild. Time was short, Gerard Fusil used the course notes from the 1992 Raid Gauloises for some of the course.
Gerald Fusil made one other departure from the norm by announcing the lengths of each stay and the names of the overnight camps. The race was to take place on the East Coast of Oman, but some of the place names were only known to the locals . . .