Eco-Challenge is an American reality competition television series created and produced by Mark Burnett in which teams race non-stop, 24 hours a day, over a rugged 300-mile (500km) course, participating in such disciplines as trekking, whitewater canoeing, horseback riding, sea kayaking, scuba diving, mountaineering and mountain biking.
The series aired in the USA on USA Network from 1 April, 1995 to 8 May, 2003.
Eco-Challenge premiered in South Africa on SABC3 on Tuesday 27 March 2001, at 19h00.
The brain-child of Mark Burnett, Eco-Challenge, brings to the TV the gruelling and highly-competitive sport of adventure racing.
Teams of 4 must get through tough terrain, racing for 6-12 days, for hours on end. Teams complete the race as soon as all 4 members pass the finish line. If a team loses a member they are unable to carry on.
On Eco-Challenge, teams are required to have both males and females. Racers have to be ultra-fit to race through the forests, mountains and rivers and to deal with all the weather that is thrown at them.
In addition to physical strength they also have to have good navigation skills and the will to go on through injuries and seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Also thrown into the mix are struggles with team dynamics and personal relationships which are tested under the extreme conditions.
The first season saw the race in Utah, USA.