The fifth edition of ‘Race The Pearl’, a 24-hour race that covers the entire length 600 kilometres of Sri Lanka from bottom to top, will take place on the 5th of November, 2022. Setting off from Point of Pedro in the south, ‘Race The Pearl’ will see six international cyclists, one from the United States of America, three from Great Britain one French and two Sri Lankans, lead the challenge of covering the distance, with over 50 more participants expected to join teams and in, relay-style.
Beginning from Point Pedro , the route will consist five stages before it reaches the finishing point in Dondra Head , The Southern tip of Sri Lanka.
Significantly, ‘Race The Pearl’ has been included as a qualifier for the upcoming RAAM (Race Across America), a globally renowned ultra-distance road cycling race that covers over 4,800 kilometres of the USA from west coach to east coast. ‘Race The Pearl’ is one of many high-octane mini ultra-distance road cycling races RAAM organisers have found as a fitting event to name as a qualifier besides many other races, which covers similar distances as the local event.
According to the Race Director and Organiser of ‘Race The Pearl’ Yasas Hewage, the six riders – one from the USA, two Sri Lankans and the three British – will cycle from start to finish without a break as they are in pursuit of earning qualification points for the RAAM.
“Other cyclists, perhaps 50 or more, will join the ‘Race The Pearl’ as relay participants. They will race in phases and in different groups or as individuals, through the course of 24 hours,” revealed Hewage.
The organisers will provide a ‘Visit Sri Lanka – White Rider Jersey to all registered participants prior to race day, but what follows depends on the achievements of the competitors. All those who complete the race within the cutoff time of 30 hours are guaranteed with a Finisher T-shirt, and all competitors who reach the finishing line within the race time (24 hours) will receive a medal of grit. The 24-hour Solo and 24-hour Team Race athletes are eligible to earn the prestigious Pearl Jersey by beating the race time, which is considered the ultimate achievement by the organisers.
During the course, the riders are set to endure the challenges of head winds of Elephant Pass, the elevation of Laggala, exciting downhills, sun and rain as well as possible elephant encounters while pushing through the final part of the race in the night. The ‘Race The Pearl’ will be an unforgettable experience to all riders, mainly from overseas, who are guaranteed of diverse natural terrains and riding textures in this island nation.
‘Race The Pearl’ is organised by Spinner Cycling, the organising and mechanical partner of Ironman 70.3 Colombo and ‘Around The Pearl in 10 Days’, another similar cycling experience. ‘Race The Pearl’ is endorsed and supported by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau, which expects to farther their #VisitSri Lankcampaign to the world through cycling experience. Over the years, ‘Race The Pearl’ has had cyclists participate from the United Kingdom, USA, Australia, Mexico, Kyrgyzstan, Germany, France and a growing participation from Sri Lanka.
Hewage added: “The Ironman 70.3 franchise brought a US$3million economic impact within a week setting the benchmark for sports tourism and through ‘Race the Pearl’ expectations are afoot to build the segment of ‘Race Vacation’ as part of promoting ‘Cycling Tourism’ in Sri Lanka.”
‘Race the Pearl’, an authentic Sri Lankan event has partners to promote the race internationally, with MAS Kreeda providingthe rider jersey, and local products with international reach including ‘Samahan Swastha Amurthaya’ and ‘Sidddalepa Pain Relief Spray’ being a part of the event. ‘Race The Pearl’ also supports the Micro and SME sectors with over 200 room nights along the route as well as food and beverage purchases in partnership with ‘Genie’. Pulse comes forward as the Digital Partner and Yes FM will be the Radio Partner.
‘Race The Pearl’ can be followed on www.racethepearl.com on Facebook and Instagram.