Posted on: 26 January 2023

Merrell Partners with the 2023 Adventure Racing World Championship

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Merrell, the leading outdoor footwear and apparel brand, has announced a partnership with the 19th Adventure Racing World Championship, to be held in the Eastern Cape in October 2023.

The race will be the first ARWC to be held in Africa, and the conclusion of the 2023 Adventure Racing World Series, which features expedition races in Australia, Croatia, Canada, Colombia, USA, Malaysia, Ecuador, the Faroe Islands, Mexico, Poland, Brazil and Paraguay.

Entries for the 2023 Championship opened on the 1st of November 2022, and reached capacity within 2 days, with 155 teams entered from more than 30 countries around the world and over 50 teams from South Africa.

“The Adventure Racing World Championship is the pinnacle of the sport,” said Liezel Jooste, Marketing Manager of Merrell, South Africa.

“Merrell is enthusiastically embarking on an equipment sponsorship of the event, and views this partnership as its key focus for 2023. The event, given the competing local and international teams, participants, marshals, staff, and media, as well as participant family members, plays straight into the wheelhouse of the Merrell brand manifesto of “to share the simple power of being outside with everyone.

She added, “Inclusivity is pivotal to brand success, and it is this aspect of the race that the brand is most excited about.”

Representing the brand, two Merrell sponsored adventure racing teams will compete in the 2023 Adventure Racing World Championship. Team Merrell Songlines are captained by Kelvin Trautman and include Jess Pollock, John Collins and Lance Kime. They are the current ARWS Africa champions. The Merrell Adventure Addicts have won Expedition Africa before and are captained by Graham Bird, racing with Craig Carter-Brown, Shale Biggs and Leo Sorensen.

Merrell will kit out the event staff in their new and tech-advanced Agility Peak 5, moisture-wicking shirts, and a shell jacket, while athletes can look forward to receiving a colourful ARWC and Merrell shirt.

In addition, the race website will market a beautiful range of men’s and women’s Merrell products for outdoor activities, casual wear and sports lifestyles. Merrell will also have an exhibition stand displaying products at the start and finish line.

The love for the great outdoors is inherent in the Merrell brand DNA and adventure racing encompasses many disciplines, for which the correct and fitting footwear and apparel are vital.

“Out the box” comfort is the key to Merrell brand footwear, and with its carefully considered product materials, specific design for function, and superior technical specifications the brand delivers on that product promise.

Fit-for-purpose product features include comfort technologies, durability, superior grip and traction, quick-drying material capability, secure fit, required flexibility, and shock-absorbing features. Merrell is the ideal footwear and apparel brand to partner with this multi-discipline and world class event.

Speaking at the Merrell South Africa offices the ARWS CEO Heidi Muller said, “I am overwhelmed by the love and support we have received from Merrell. They understand that partnerships and relationships are the foundation of Expedition Africa’s success over the past decade and share that belief.

“After many years investing in the sport in South Africa we are beyond excited to host the World Championship, and to do it with a brand that shares the same vision and love for the adventure world is perfect.

“Adventure racers, media, volunteers and visitors will all experience Merrell’s support and try their products first hand when they arrive here in South Africa. The Merrell partnership with Expedition Africa and the Adventure Racing World Championship is a dream come true.”

For more information on Merrell products visit

For more information about Expedition Africa and details of the 2023 Adventure Racing World Championships view the website:

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World Champs Qualifier

Expedition Africa Adventure Race is a multi-day, multi-discipline endurance event that takes place in different locations throughout Africa. Participants navigate through challenging terrain and face various obstacles, testing their physical and mental limits in a true adventure of a lifetime.

19 Oct - 28 Oct 2023 (Past Race)
700 km +
Course Open
9 Days
Mixed teams of 4