This 1,000 Mile Race Is 100% AerialBy: Grant Marek
According to HolyCrapIsThisARealThing.com, this is a real thing:
From the same Brostbusters behind Mongol Rally, Icarus Trophy is a 1,000-mile race that takes place entirely in the sky -- racers strap into paramotors (basically motorized paragliders) and navigate a course with a handful of checkpoints (think super tall mountain peaks), before circling back to the start at speeds of 90mph+.
This sounds fuggin' rad. Thing is, I've never flown a paramotor though...
Uh, me either. But luckily, it's totally feasible to go from "I've never flown a paramotor though" to "GUYS I'M FLYING A PARAMOTOR IN THE ICARUS TROPHY." You just have to read this thing, hit up a training event in the US, and get your rig.
Wait, I need to buy my own paramotor?
You do. But good news, then you'll own A PARAMOTOR.
True, true. So how does the actual race work?
Well, there are a bunch of divisions, some are supported (meaning you've got ground support) some aren't, some are timed some aren't. Whichever one you're in, you'll be in the air for at least a day's worth of flying (last year's winner was in the air for 20 hours and 48 minutes), but since your paramotor only holds 3ish gallons of gas, you won't be able to do it all at once. Which means a lot of taking off, flying, landing, finding gas, napping, buying Slim Jims, then taking off again -- which begs the questions "wait, but where do I find gas?" and "am I just, like, napping in some forest or something?" Well, according to the Icarus dudes "probably the key part of any adventure is the adventurous bits." Which means you'll pack food, clothes, a way to sleep, and a few tools in case you need to maintenance your aerial stead, but the rest will be left to chance, your bargaining skills, and the sky gods.
OK, F it, I'm in. Where and when does this start?
Well, first you'll want to sign up here for specifics (they're still testing the Western USA course), but it's scheduled to go down from Sept. 30 to Oct. 15, and the course looks like it'll be somewhere in Oregon.
Tally friggin' ho.