Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge

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The Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge isn't for the faint-hearted – with teams made up of two or three people mountain biking, kayaking and trekking across more than 350 kilometres of terrain over five days.

The event kicks off in Launceston this year on November 28, moving to the north/north-east regions of Tasmania and visiting notable locations such as St Helens and The Bay of Fires before finishing on December 2 in the state capital of Hobart.

The Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge is organised by Australian Formula One driver Mark Webber, who says he loves the experience the event provides competitors.

"…for many of them it's will a life-changing experience and it's great to see them having a go," he says.

The adventure race isn't just about getting the bragging rights of being the winning team, but is also done in the name of a good cause.

The challenge raises money for the Mark Webber Foundation, which supports Australian charities that have included The Leukemia Foundation and Save the Tasmanian Devils Foundation, with 100 per cent of the money raised each year going toward foundations like these.

"I’ve visited a few hospitals in Australia," says Mark on his website.

"And it’s in those places that I’ve seen people who were much less fortunate than me. People for whom every day is a struggle. As I started to do well out of my own profession, it made me want to give something back and to help people back home. I don’t like to shout about it, but that’s my philosophy and that’s what I’ll continue to do."

The Mercury reported on September 14 that this year's event was a sellout with a record of 40 teams entering (up from 25 last year), including Australian Olympic athletes Ken Wallace – who won gold in the canoe sprint at the Beijing games – and triathlete Courtney Atkinson.

Mark Webber in last year's Tasmanian Mark Webber Challenge

Scaling rock faces at Freycinet in the 2011 Mark Webber Challenge event - image credit: UK Telegraph

No one ever said this event is EASY - Image Credit: Italian Internet Mountain Bike Magazine (Murrgia) 2011

Mark Webber and Guy Andrews in one of the kayak stages at Freyinet 2011 event

Scaling the spit on Bruny Island - the locations do not get any better than this (Mark Webber 2011) - Image Credit: Redbull

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