Ready To Put Yourself To The Ultimate Test?
Adventure Racing is a sport that is carried out by teams and involves several disciplines.
Among these disciplines are cross-country running, trekking, rowing or canoeing and mountain biking.
There are also adventure races that include rappelling and other rope-based challenges.
The origins of Adventure Racing have been traced with the Karrimor International Mountain Marathon in 1968.
This race required a team of 2 to navigate mountainous terrain which measured the length of 2 marathons while carrying their supplies.
Its popularity is tied up with the reality show “Eco-Challenge” which ended its run in 2002.
Since then many other events have sprung up that mirror the features of traditional Adventure Racing.
For purists, to qualify as an adventure race, it must involve teams.
They are given a map to the finish line and the journey requires them to overcome many interesting challenges or obstacles.
The first team to arrive at the destination point wins the adventure race.
Adventure Racing Types
Sprint – Usually completed in 2 to 6 hours; features minimal navigation and mostly physical challenges.
6 to 12 hours – Minimal navigation; several tests of teamwork and physical challenges.
18 to 30 hours – More complex courses; includes UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) navigation, rappelling and a support crew to help transport gear.
36 to 48 hours – Involves advanced navigation and more complex course challenges. Competitors have to deal with bouts of sleep deprivation.
Expedition – 3 to 11 days or even longer. This is the ultimate adventure race. It features interesting course challenges such as horseback riding and unconventional rowing events.
The rules covering these adventure races may vary but contain similar provisions.
Among the standard rules are as follows:
- No use of motorised vehicles;
- No use of GPS;
- Teams must travel together and should not be separated by more than 50 meters;
- No outside assistance;
- Teams must carry their own gear.
Adventure Racing has grown increasingly popular over the years. There are more than 50 Adventure Races all over the world.
Given its incredible physical, emotional demands and the importance of maintaining sharp mental focus throughout the race, why are so many people into Adventure Racing?
The Thrill Of Victory
Of course, in every competition there will always be a winner. But in Adventure Racing you win as a team.
There are other team sports and victory will always be sweet. What makes a victory in Adventure Racing sweeter is the feeling of overcoming different obstacles which you may not believe you could beat.
And you are able to do this with the help of your team. Adventure Racing helps foster greater trust among friends and fosters stronger relationships.
Have you ever joined a marathon? There are thousands jockeying for position at the start of the race.
Even in Obstacle Course races such as “Tough Mudder” there could be hundreds participating with thousands more cheering you on.
With Adventure Racing, it is just your team and others into the wild! This helps competitors strategise without being pressured by the usual frenzy that accompanies a race.
The Challenge Of Navigation
Adventure Racing is not just a physical challenge. You have to use your intellect and navigate through tough, often treacherous terrain with only your wits about you.
It will also place you in situations where you will have to solve problems or puzzles.
Thus, it is not just about the physically fit but requires competitors to work together and overcome natural obstacles with their understanding of basic survival techniques.
There Are Many Surprises
When you do an adventure race, there are no marked courses. If you had just done an adventure race a few months ago, today might be present a different course.
Did you practice your knot-tying skills? Well, maybe you should have because your team would need those skills in this race.
No two adventure races are alike. The course may feature a challenge which may require you to learn a skill on the spot!
The pressure is on but you have to deal with it for your team to win.
The Great Outdoors
Why do so many people spend thousands of dollars and risk lives for the climb to Mt. Everest?
In addition to the prestige, the view atop Everest is a sight to behold. There is strange beauty in all its snowy splendour!
The same goes for Adventure Racing. You could be going through many dangerous obstacles and tricky terrain but despite the pressures, you will better appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature and the Great Outdoors.
Adventure Racing is a fast growing sport. But it is more than just the adventure that lures people into joining one.
It is the opportunity to build better, stronger and long-lasting relationships with people you care about the most.
If you can overcome an adventure race, you can overcome anything in life. With Adventure Racing, there are no losers!