One of the most important all terrain races in Mexico, and possibly worldwide, is held every year under the scorching Baja California sun. A well-known and highly respected event for "off-road" enthusiasts, the popular "Baja 1000" is a grueling race that puts the endurance of man and machine to the test across the desert trails and dirt tracks. The usual route runs from the city of Ensenada to La Paz, making it an epic 1,000 mile challenge for competitors.
The event was first thought of in the '60s, when two Americans, Bill Robertson Jr. and Dave Elkins, wanted to go on an adventure, and decided to take their motorcycles for a ride through the desert from Tijuana to La Paz. This began a tradition that would slowly grow to include friends and relatives, and in 1967, with the participation of 60 people, they realized that the race had become really well known, and registered with the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA). Thus was born the "Mexican 1000", which soon after would become the "Baja California 1000" or "Baja 1000" for short.
Nowadays, the Baja 1000 is a world-class event that attracts the best all-terrain racers looking to experience pure adrenaline and an emotional ride. The participants compete in different types of vehicles, that include motorcycles, buggies, trophy tucks, quad bikes, and others, each of which has been designed to cope with the difficult landscape and extreme conditions they encounter along the way. The race has two forms: "loop" (a circuit) and the traditional "point-to-point" format.
The next Baja 1000 is the 47th annual race and will take place on November 12, 2014. Shorter versions of the race have been created over the years, including the Baja 500, another event that you can enjoy live. Two main recommendations for spectators of these events are to bring a lot of water, as the heat can be very intense; and keep off the marked track to avoid any accidents with the competing vehicles.
This is, without a doubt, one experience not to be missed during your vacation in La Paz or Ensenada, or even if you're visiting Los Cabos and the attractions in the area.
Written by Gabriela López