AROSA, the High Mountain OCR Challenge by X-WARRIOR
The X-WARRIOR Team Arosa already wanted to present this high alpine OCR Race last year. But everything turned out differently, as everyone knows. The crew is even more motivated to plan this year’s AROSA premiere and to go the extra mile in terms of courses and obstacles. But first, let us introduce the local framework:
AROSA, located at about 1,800 metres, surrounded by a majestic mountain world and nestled in a lush greenery, crystal clear mountain lakes and rushing streams – an overwhelming backdrop: Just start the Google image search and and very quickly it’s clear that Arosa is an ideal starting point for a 360° outdoor adventure of any kind, pure mountain inspiration for sport.
In short, there are no limits to an “adventure in nature” here. A perfect terrain for a challenging X-WARRIOR OCR RACE. The starting point is the lido at Untersee at an altitude of 1,700 metres and for X-FULL athletes it goes up to 2,228 metres. Challenging trails, natural obstacles during a breath-taking mountain panorama. Our motto: Nature sets the course and the obstacles are individually fitted under the attentive eye of Charles Franzke, OCR professional and X-WARRIOR’s supervisor. The principle is simple: no artificial pools on grounds or metal scaffolding that damages nature and the overall picture – everything comes from nature and is made out of wood and hemp, for example.
As for the course length, you can choose between the X-LITE with approx. 7.6km, 28 obstacles and 372 vertical metres and the X-FULL with 16.4km, 36 obstacles and 893 vertical metres. And for the OCR enthusiasts among you, there is the possibility to complete two races in Arosa: X-Lite plus X-Full. Because that’s the only way to become the X-TITAN of AROSA.
But it is also worth spending a few extra days in Arosa before and/or after the event. With the Arosa Card you can access various activities and transport facilities free of charge – examples of this are the mountain railways, the local bus, rope park, lido and many more. You can find more information on the website.
But now let us talk to the people behind the X-WARRIOR Arosa who also represent the quality, the hospitality and the atmosphere at the race. Roland “Roli” Schuler, Vice Tourism Director and Event Strategist in AROSA, and Marco Mazenauer, Event Coordinator, X-WARRIOR Project Manager and “Fingers Crossed”, a Swiss clockwork in terms of race management, answered our questions in an interview.
Hello everyone and thank you for taking the time for an interview. Maybe you would like to introduce yourselves to our followers?
Roli: With pleasure. My name is Roland Schuler and I have been working in tourism in Arosa for 11 years. As a father of 3 children, I am out in nature with my family as much as possible. It doesn’t matter if it’s about skiing, biking, hiking or whatever. Unfortunately, my best sportive results are a bit behind me, but who knows, maybe after the first edition of the X-Warrior Arosa I will be fully inspired and sign up for 2022 😉
Marco: My name is Marco Mazenauer, I am originally from the beautiful Appenzellerland and fell in love with the beautiful and unique landscape and lifestyle in Arosa more than 10 years ago. That is why I have now been lucky enough to live in Arosa for a little over 2 years in total, working as an event manager for Arosa Tourism. For me, it is an absolute dream and a privilege to be able to leave the house with my skis, bike or hiking equipment and the next Arosa adventure has already started.
Thank you very much. Many people are very hopeful about the 2021 sport season – considering last year. How do you see the current development and what are your expectations based on?
Roli: It is not easy to make a forecast. But we keep getting small signs that make us feel positive. We have hold various sport events in Arosa last summer. Accordingly, we are confident that the X-Warrior Arosa will take place in mid-June.
Marco: I am also confident and believe that thanks to valuable event experience from the past rather difficult times, we have everything we need to be able to hold a safe and eventful event in this time.
Let us talk about AROSA in detail. When you think of Switzerland and mountain sports and tourism, you immediately think of lush green meadows, blue lakes and striking peaks. Would you say that this also applies to Arosa? And what makes the place so special – even all year round?
Roli: I think Switzerland has adopted Arosa cliché :-). Just kidding. Arosa is a real natural paradise. You drive through this wildly romantic valley and then you come across exactly these striking mountain peaks, crystal-clear streams and lakes and beautiful, lush alpine meadows. We are convinced that we live in paradise. I can therefore only say, sign up and come to Arosa!
Marco: And that is not all. In Arosa we also completely fulfil all the other clichés. Cows on the paths, the best alpine cheese and much more. Here, all the beautiful dreams become reality. It is worth it. The special thing about Arosa is its location at the end of the beautiful valley Schan-figg. The journey to the filled nothing and the peace and quiet in the beautiful nature, far away from all the everyday stress.
This year AROSA will host the X-WARRIOR Natural Obstacle Race for the first time. What did you like about the concept of the run, also in comparison with other providers?
Roli: Every concept is only as good as the people behind it. The X-Warrior team was our direct contact right from the start and convinced us completely with the idea. Arosa is known for its many events throughout the year. A running event in this format had been in our sights for a long time. Finally, the sustainable aspect of the X-Warrior convinced us.
Marco: As Roland says, it is above all the X-Warrior team that convinced us. It is simply a pleasure to organise this event with them. You can just feel their passion and ambition. This captivates and motivates us, and we know that the X-Warrior belongs to Arosa just as the bear belongs to Arosa Bärenland.
What can the participants expect at the X-WARRIOR Arosa? What are you particularly proud of and what will be the biggest race obstacle?
Roli: The participants will really experience a unique natural landscape. Even the start at Untersee has something special. A small bathing lake completely embedded in nature and yet with a view of urban Arosa. Or those who reach the top of the Meisser Hütte and have climbed all those metres will be overwhelmed by the unique view.
Marco: Maybe it’s the 360 curves from Chur to Arosa? No, just joking! Apart from the general landscape in which the race will take place, my highlight will be the waterfall obstacle. But I do not want to reveal any more about it yet. You must see it.
Besides the X-WARRIOR races, AROSA has much more to offer, so it makes sense to spend a few days in AROSA before and after the event. What would you recommend to the athletes, what should they see before and after the race? What can or should you do without fail?
Roli: If you stay one night or more in summer, you automatically get the Arosa Card. This includes many services, such as the Arosa mountain railways, the entrance for therope park, the pedals boat on the Obersee, the bus service, etc. It is easy to spend a few days in Arosa. You can quickly add on a few days to explore the mountain peaks and other activities. Not to forget our Arosa Bärenland. This is where tourism and animal protection come together. Bears from bad husbandry can still spend a nice old age in over 2.5 hectares. From my point of view a must for every Arosa guest.
Marco: If you are not yet sufficiently exhausted after the X-Warrior race, you will find many more activities to discover here. A racy bike downhill ride, almost 7 km long Hörnli Flowtrail by bike is not to be missed here.
Arosa is part of an X-WARRIOR trilogy this year, the Alpine X Series, together with Molveno and Stuben am Arlberg. How do you follow the development of the OCR sport and what is the special attraction?
Roli: As an organiser, you can only profit from such series. Know-how transfers are always guaranteed, and every location can create the best conditions for the participants. Of course, we will also visit the other two destinations and look over the shoulders of our colleagues. As a newcomer to the scene, we want to learn a lot and then put it into practice in Arosa.
Marco: I agree. But why only visit and not participate, Roli? I’ll follow the whole process and learn something new, and you’ll gain experience from a participant perspective. How about it?
Finally, what would you like to share with our followers?
Roli: Every real X-Warrior must put a pin on Arosa in the race calendar. Because only real warriors will be able to prove their X-Warrior qualities at over 2200m above sea level!
Marco: At the moment the tracks are still under a thick layer of snow, our bears are still in the winter break but in about 4 months we will be ready to start our summer season with you and make Arosa steam. We are looking forward to every registration and your visit.
Thank you for your time. Stay healthy and we will see you at the start and finish area at Unter-see in AROSA … see you soon!