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There are a lot of hitchhiking races, mostly in Summer.
- Eurizons was a hitchhiking race through Europe with about 50 participants, which took place in 2006 and 2007. It was organized by GLEN (Global Education Network) and included some workshops about the Millennium Development Goals.
- Race to Riga was a race from Faro, Portugal, to Riga.
- Route du Soleil is an annual one week race for Belgian students organized since 2010, from Belgium to "one of the sunniest destination in Europe". In the summer of 2011 they will even try to break the world record of biggest hitchhiking race with 900 participants. To deal with the number of participants, the different routes have a one day shift so they don't all leave and arrive on the same date. The final winner is decided between the winners of each route during a later race. Several prizes are to be won and the organization also provides some entertainment, food and camping facilities along the way, but this all has go be paid for, the registration fee (for 2014) was a mindblowing EUR 290. And it seems you can only enter the race if you are a follower of the $uckerberg sect.
- The Big Belgian Hitchhiking Contest was an annually event, starting in Ghent. The race is 300 to 500 km long and lasts one day. The third edition took place in October 2008 and doesn't seem to have been repeated since.
- Mistorstvní ČR v autostopu is an annual race in Czech Republic organized since 2014 by travel agency jedu.cz situated in Prague and particularly by Pavel Zika. 12 teams from Czech Republic are chosen by the quality of video application and qualification round. Each year special direction is selected; in 2014 it was Prague - Gibraltar - Prague, in 2015 Prague - Athens - Prague, in 2016 Prague - Primorska - Prague. This year (2017) the route lies from Prague to Odessa through Kiev, Warsaw or Kosice and back to Prague through Sarajevo. There are several tasks which should be fulfilled during the race. For instance, this year tasks were: to participate in the housework of locals, to teach locals to sing traditional Czech song and to learn a traditional local song, to make a video report from one of the objects of Winter Olympic games in Sarajevo, to take a photo from 12 floor of some high building in Kiev and to take photo in clothes of firemen, policemen or doctors. Mistroství ČR v autostopu is also a charity race. Everyone (with Czech phone number) can vote for teams by sending sms. Money from this sms goes to support of handicapped people who are not able to travel. To win a couple has to be as fast as it can and collect as much money as possible during the race. There are also points for fair play and extraordinary vehicles. Race does not have a time limit, but usually it is less than a week - pretty fast as couples can hitchhike for 19 hours per day (sleeping is obligatory, but it is only 5 hours a day). In general, it is amazing, fast and furious race and all hitchhikers from Czech Republic are welcomed!!!
- LowCost Race is a 10day hitchhiking race across Europe starting in Prague. The race was founded by Milan 'Miky' Škoda, leader of LeapMakers, an organization dedicated to personal and societal development through travel. In teams of 2, the participants have to manage to visit as many checkpoints (25 in 2014-16, 40 in 2017) while spending as little money as possible. They start with 2 500 CZK per head and lose points for spending it. Teams can collect additional points for fulfilling various challenges such as: hitch a ride in an airplane, Yes Man (you have to say yes to everything for 24 hours), find a way to get to another continent etc. There are two categories teams can compete in, the Racepackers and the Joypackers. Racepackers category, where only 10 teams get to compete, are the main stars of the race and people can watch them online thanks to GPS trackers on the LowCost Race website, where there are also photos, videos and reports that teams produce. A selection of the best moments is published on the internet television Stream.cz as well as on the race's Facebook page. Each day one team did an Instagram stories takeover, so the viewers could spend a day with them. Joypackers category is open to everyone who just wants to participate and enjoy the race for fun. The competition runs annually each August and is open to all nationalities as long as you are able to start and finish the race in Prague.
- Hitchball 4000 is an annual hitchhiking race over a weekend around the beginning of June. It was first organized in 2013. It's based in Helsinki and so far teams have visited countries in northern and eastern Europe. The winning team is determined by the amount of kilometers they hitchhike and the distance to the farthest point they reach. Also a Spirit of Hitchball award is given to the most deserving team according to varying criteria.
- The Pouce d’Or is a yearly race over a week-end in the beginning of autumn (usually the first week-end of October). The winner is the one who manages to reach the furthest point and come back before the race is over. It is organized by "Ecole Centrale de Nantes" since 2003 and gathers up to 120 people. In 2012, 3 others schools joined in (Centrale Lille, Télécom Brest and Agro Montpellier). Note: it seems other French schools/universities organize similar races but without advertising or communicating publicly. In 2015, 23 schools in total participated to the 13nd edition of this contest (including Centrale Nantes, Centrale Lille, Centrale Marseille, Audencia, EM Normandie, ESTP, Mines Saint-Etienne). More than 400 students were on the roads during this week-end.
- The Hitchhiking Contest was an unofficial event, from Paris to Dakar in 2011.
- The Jack Kerouac trophy first organized in 2012 by the 'Binouze Hikers'. A one day race from Paris to a bar in Normandy, in which around 300 people took part. Another edition took place in 2014 from Paris to a bar in Morbihan (Bretagne) and another in 2015 in the Morvan (Burgundy). It may be replicated in the coming years.
- The "Mad Jacques" (https://www.madjacques.fr) starting from Paris, Nantes and Lyon on 10 & 11 june 2017 gathering 1500 participants on a hitch hiking race to a mysterious destination in France. At the arrival, the racers find big stages for concerts and a festival of adventure and journalism on the sunday.
- The Mines Télécom Express or MTE is a yearly race over a week-end in the beginning of autumn. The race is open to binoms formed by students attending an engineering school belonging to the Institut Mines Telecom network. Students start from their respective schools and are given an objective by the organizers, usally 100 to 200 km away. When they reach that objective, they are to send a proof to the organisers (usally a selfie in front of a city sign) so that they can be communicated the next objective. The objectives are following a set route for each school, with the last one being common to all. A party is held at arrival, wich is always an IMT network school. It was organized by "Mines Douai" sudents, and since the 2017 edition by "IMT Lille Douai" students as Mines Douai merged with Telecom Lille to give IMT Lille Douai.
- The German hitchhiking society Abgefahren e.V. was organizing the annual German Hitchhiking Championship end of May/beginning of June from 2008 until 2016. It was a one day race taking place in Germany with 80 to 100 participants. In 2012, teams had to choose 3 intermediate checkpoints among the proposed ones. It was to avoid having to many people following the same route at the same time.
- Tramperrennen is the unofficial/partly unauthorized successor of the Abgefahren race that took place in 2019 and 2020.
- Tramprennen is an annual hitchhike race across Europe, which takes place at the end of August since 2006. The race lasts usually two weeks and is divided into different stages. Step by step the participating teams (2 or 3 people) are getting closer to the common final destination. It also supports the charity organization [Viva con Agua] by raising funds for WASH (water, sanitation & hygiene) projects. 117 participants took part in 2012. Several other races are affiliated with tramprennen, mostly around the university Easter break period.
- The HungaroHitch is an annual hitchhiking race over a weekend in the middle of July. First event in 2015. The two person teams have to find points in Hungary and in the neighbour countries. They have to give good answers to questions, solve tasks and collect points. The winning team collects the most points and reach the final point before the deadline. ColdHitch is their winter race at the end of November. Next race is in summer of 2018.Facebook Page
- The Vilnius Hitchhiking Club has been organizing the annual Baltics competition since 1997. The competition itself pre-dates the foundation of the VHHC by two years. It takes place at the end of April, usually over a distance of around 1,000km, the last edition, Baltics 2012 attracted 33 pairs. (The record was set in 2010, when 44 pairs took part)
- Duimenrace is a yearly one day hitchhiking race around the IJsselmeer, the big lake in the centre of the Netherlands.
- AEGEE Groningen organises every year hitchhiking races to several cities in Europe, with a cultural program and a lot of going out in the night being there. Also other student associations organise or organised yearly hitchhiking contests with their (student) members.
- The BOC organized 11 occasional races just for fun, usually starting from Utrecht, Netherlands. Club inactive since 2009.
- Some Dutch people from Uden in the Netherlands were organizing a hitchhiking competition once a year, known in Dutch as the Liftwedstrijd.
- There was a yearly hitchhiking race in Wommels, Friesland, starting on January 1st of a New Year.
- Students from BIT The Travelers Club of the Wrocław University of Economics organize the biggest hitchhiking race Auto Stop Race with around 500-550 pairs. Since 2009 the race takes place every single year at the beginning of May (during Polish long weekend 01-03.05). The race starts in Wrocław, participants have to hitchhike to one of the European countries. After crossing the finish line – which is a camping entrance, all hitchhikers can expect great parties, lots of good music, sport's games, animations, and other events prepared by the organizing team – members of BIT Travellers Club. Auto Stop Race being the largest hitchhiking event in the world is intended for students and aims to promote an active lifestyle, building courage and passion for traveling. More information on: www.autostoprace.pl
- The Klub Przygody from Poland is organizing a hitchhiking competition once a year in the beginning of May. Mostly they start from Gdansk to some destination in Europe.
- Ruta Madrid - Lisboa is event for any backpacker around the world. This race is based on Pekin Express where you can travel doing different challenges. How much time do you need to do it?
- Swiss Hitchhiking Championship is a one day race taking place in Switzerland since 2014. It's based in the German speaking part of the country.
- Somewhere express is a multiple-day who-gets-there-first race to different destinations in Europe and based in the French speaking part of the country.
- Bummit is a charity hitchhiking society that has been independently run & managed by students from the University of Sheffield since 2003. It is part of the Sheffield RAG (Raising & Giving) society, which falls under the jurisdiction of the University of Sheffield's Students Union. Every year it organizes a hitchhiking race, the 2016 edition will take place in March and will go to Ljubljana in Slovenia.
- The Hitch 2016 - Link Community Development organizes an annual charity hitchhiking event from the UK to Morocco and Croatia, according to a spokesperson it is not a race.
- The Big Green Hitch first took place in march 2013. It supports the Friends of the Earth NGO by raising funds. This edition was a one week 1000 km hitch hiking race from Melbourne to the Mouth of the Murray River (near Adelaide) along the Great Ocean Road. 14 participants took part.
Know of any other contest? Add it here!
See also hitchhiking for charity