The CEMS Blog

The official blog of Chennai Event Management Services

Home for the Holidays? Not this fine group of travellers… December 29, 2009

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This year, 45 participants from 11 countries will be spending New Year’s Eve on the road to Pondicherry in the first of seven stages of the fourth annual Classic Run Rickshaw Challenge. From Chennai to Kanniyakumari, these participants will experience an autorickshaw adventure that will take 11 days and 1,000 kilometers to complete!

The idea is for every participant to travel to Chennai, learn how to drive anautorickshaw, and then personally drive their custom-made autorickshaws along a pre-charted route through Tamil Nadu. Participants will be allowed only one break, which will be on New Year’s Day to recover from what is anticipated to be an incredible beach party in Pondicherry.

This annual event hold significant importance for its founding company, Chennai Event Management Services. In 2006, founder Aravind Bremanandam introduced autorickshaw expeditions to India in response to the growing trend of adventure tourism. His first route and only route in 2006, an event called the Indian Autorickshaw Challenge, started in Chennai and finished in Kanniyakumari. Today, four years later, that route has been renamed to the Classic Run and three more unique routes have been introduced into the Rickshaw Challenge franchise.

Despite what appears to be a quickly aging adventure, the Classic Run remains the most popular Rickshaw Challenge event as it explores the unique and often underexposed culture of South India. Further, its appeal as a winter getaway for many Westerners and its dedication to ultimate adventure and a sense of a true getaway remind participants of the importance of travel, challenges, and intrepidness in a time of fresh starts.

Representing countries from Australia, Japan, Hungary, the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Belgium, and Brazil, the 43 participants of the Classic Run will compete to win free entry into another of Chennai Event Management Service’s global events, the Caucasian Challenge. Participants will earn points through a series of daily challenges, by contributing toward charity efforts, and through miscellaneous recognitions, such as best costume, most bizarre autorickshaw design, and even fellow participant and organizer nominations. Participants are allowed to bring maps, GPS units, and any other items that they think will help them compete, but ultimately, the culmination of each effort of participation – small and large – will determine the Classic Run 2010 World Champion.

The Classic Run provides for mechanical and medical assistance for participants, though the adventure still remains highly participant-based. It remains up to each individual to explore, enjoy, and embrace the experience of South India, which has so much to showcase to the world.

But more than just an adventure tour for internationals, Chennai Event Management Services plans to work with governmental and non-governmental organizations in efforts to improve the livelihood of India’s autorickshaw drivers and their families through welfare and developmental initiatives. Previous CEMS events have already drawn more than 25 lakhs over the past three years for Round Table India, an organization known for its “Freedom Through Education” initiative. Rickshaw Challenge participants were able to witness firsthand the efforts being made by Round Table India to improve the education of underprivileged children and were able to contribute on a personal level that yielded successful and bountiful results.

With a growing number of followers, fans, and participants, despite the continued growth of imitation events, the Rickshaw Challenge will continue to be a major force in the growing response to adventure tourism in India.

The Classic Run kicks off on December 29th, 2009 in Chennai and is expected to reach Kanniyakumari by January 6th, 2010.


To: You, Love: The Trans Sahara Rally December 19, 2009

Filed under: CEMS — c @ 1:52 pm
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Join the African Adventure… and get incoming calls free

Tunisia to Benin. 6,000 kilometers. A 17-day, drive-anything adventure. And when you sign up by December 26th, we’ll give you a free AirBaltic card so that your phone conversations to your friends and family in Europe, America, Australia, Asia, and the Middle East will be uber-affordable and always draw jealousy.

‘Tis the Season to be Giving…
Imagine calling your best friends, who are at home or stuck at work, from the heart of the Sahara, where you are teamed up with 40 other international participants as thrill-seeking as you are, to tell them you wish they were there with you. Let mom and dad know they can reach you anytime. And even better, hang on to your card for the next time you travel abroad (say, perhaps, on a Rickshaw Challenge adventure through India?) since your AirBaltic card will stay valid for 2 years from the moment of your last call!

We want you to be social. We want you to make new friends, but keep old ones. We want you to stay in touch. And we want you to have the time of your life doing it!

Tell me more about this Africa adventure…
The Trans Sahara Rally will be the adventure of a lifetime. Coming this March, you will have the extraordinary opportunity to drive any vehicle off the beaten path through the Sahara, starting in Tunisia, passing through Algeria, exploring Niger, then traversing Benin to finish in Grand Popo. We’ve set this up to be a “minimal assistance for maximum effect” event, which means that it’s all about exploration and discovery. Kind of like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book. We’ll be checking out the Penjari Biosphere Reserve, “W” National Park, incredible rock formations, ancient villages, and endless seas of sand as we traverse a continent known for its origins of life, journeys, and unyielding histories. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul.

Drive what? Should I bring my own car?
The Trans Sahara Rally is a drive-anything event. Motorcycles to motor homes, as long as it gets you from point A to point B, you’re set. If you need help finding a ride, leave it to us! Your Car In Budapest will be able to locate a car to suit your needs as early as a week before the event. Even if you have a ride, our YCIB team can help you with any fix-ups, upgrades, or customizations before you make your way across the Sahara!

Free calls, great company, adventure of a lifetime… what are you waiting for?


The Classic Run: Get in on it, already! December 12, 2009

Filed under: CEMS — c @ 6:56 am
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It’s December, travelers, and that means the fourth annual Classic Run is just right around the corner. Though registration is still open, the rickshaws are being painted, the stereos are being installed, and the teams are getting ready for the adventure of a lifetime!

But why should you travel to Tamil Nadu after Christmas and spend 11 days driving 1,000 kilometers in an autorickshaw? Check out this article for a good argument, then proceed directly to the registration page to get in on the action!

Time is limited to join this awesome journey, so say yes, find some friends, pick a team name, and book it to India, ’cause this is going to be unforgettable!