Wild Endurance, Tough Bloke Challenge, Angry Doctor...not as scary as they sound!
A couple of years ago, I had never heard of these events. A challenge for me was an 8km fun run. (which still challenges me by the way – just differently!)
I then stumbed upon “adventure racing” at a visit to my chiropractor. The flyer showed a team of three on a kayak, mountain bikes and trail running. It looked exciting and despite not owning a bike I thought, “I can do this!”
I rallied a couple of friends, borrowed a bike and registered for the “novice’ category. We were so nervous we hardly slept, but we completed the race in 1 hour 50 min and were ecstatic to find out we had come 2nd in the Novice Women’s category! We were hooked and since then we have done about 7 races.
Through contacts and friends I have met at races, I have discovered that Sydney not only offers great adventure racing but also fantastic endurance hiking and trail running events, mountain bike events and loads of ocean swims, kayaking races and triathlons.
A team of four of us did the 100km Wild Endurance in the Blue Mountains last weekend! It took 31 hours and exhausted me for days but what an adventure! At least a few of us want to go back next year and try for under 24 hours!
The great thing about these races in Sydney is that so many of the organisations now cater for novices as well as the more experienced racers. There is a challenge for everyone and with training you can set yourself a goal and go for it!
If you want to do well, training for these races is obviously key. I raced with Jefferson Taylor from AddVenture Training in my last adventure race. He gave me some great advice which meant for the first time at the end of the race I didn’t feel like collapsing! Although simple, his strategy of eating small portions of nuts, bananas, muesli bars etc, drinking small sips throughout the race and taking smaller steps really helped me! I learnt that it’s what you do in the first part of the race gets you through to the end with your body in tact!
Jeff and his team train people specifically for “adventures” – so if you are thinking of adventure racing, mountain bike racing or trail running/hiking take a look at his website www.addventuretraining.com
It’s a shameless plug really, because what Jeff and his team do is inspiring and he is a great guy – be warned though – once you join his gang your weekends will be spent biking, hiking, running, orienteering, kayaking and so on!
For my pick of the bunch when it comes to races: (also check out sites like www.sleepmonsters.com.au – as by no means is this a complete list!)
www.arocsport.com.au – offers both Novice and Classic courses in Sydney and Canberra
www.maxadventure.com.au – offers corporate options as well as 12 and 24 hour races
www.kayakforkids.com.au- this one is held end of summer each year– you get to paddle across Sydney Harbour in solos, doubles or relay teams.
These are popular and have some now go to lottery for entry so organise your entries early each year:
Mountain Biking events
AROC Mountain Bike events:
Angry Doctor - Mogo, Eurobodalla Coast
Also check out www.oceanswims.com
For a full list of upcoming NSW Triathlons see www.trinswrace.org
Also check out www.andersonevents.com.au for their summer Biathlon series in the Domain & Andrew Boy Charlton Pool
Max Adventure has some different type of challenges for you – generally involving obstacles, mud or both!