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Looking for a novel I read as a child (probably during the 70s). I don't recall how the three main protagonists ended up involved in a brutal race on some planet, or what the prize was - however they were alien to each other, one was human, one communicated with squirts of flavoured liquid. I believe the ending is where (after each alien returns home) one has their mind transferred into a body that allows them to reunite with the other.

The race was on a different planet than the home planets of the main characters. The third one I don't recall - may be reptilian? The race resulted in death unless you won, and I seem to recall that cooperation between competitors was unheard of.

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Welcome to Stack Exchange! Anything else you can remember about this story (how long was it, what language was it in)? Did the three protagonists all come from different planets to the one where the race was? Can you remember anything about the third one (not human, didn't communicate with flavoured liquid)? You may also be interested in our guidance on asking story-ID questions. – Rand al'Thor Mar 27 at 13:59
    
It was a novel, race was a different planet than the home planets of the main characters. The third one I don't recall - may be reptilian? The race resulted in death unless you won, and I seem to recall that cooperation between competitors unheard of. – Gail Rosalez Mar 27 at 14:07

Thousandstar by Piers Anthony?

Book cover

On the world called Eccentric a new Ancient Site has been discovered, and unlike others which are "dead" this one appears to be active and functioning. To determine which Sphere has the right to explore it and investigate its secrets, a competition is being held. Each competing team consists of a carefully-matched host and transferee pair, chosen for their complementary skills and knowledge. The tasks test all of the competitors' abilities to their limit and range from word puzzles to navigating past a black hole. However, both Heem of Highfalls and his transferee Jessica of Capella have deep dark secrets that may cost them not just the competition but their lives.

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Yes! That's it! Thank you very much indeed! – Gail Rosalez Mar 27 at 14:09
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@GailRosalez +1 to you both. Don't forget to click the checkmark on the left to mark this answer as correct! :-) – Rand al'Thor Mar 27 at 14:11

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