Most folks haven’t heard of adventure racing – while it’s been around a while, the logistics of putting one on compared to say, a triathlon or a 10k, boggle the mind. Race directors don’t typically make the bank with such ventures, and it can cost a lot for the participants to get involved as well.
So why do we do it?
Maybe you’re not a racer but it sounds like an adventure.
Maybe you’re bored with tris or just mountain biking.
Maybe you’re looking to bond with a friend or partner.
Maybe you just need an escape from the rat race.
The thing is, how do you get into it? If you’ve never been initiated, it can feel pretty daunting. Even the sprints: we describe ours as 2-4 hours of running, mountain biking, kayaking, and special challenges. Depending on the intensity, 2-4 hours can seem like quite a lot when it comes to a multidisciplinary activity.
Can I really run for 2 hours? Okay, first, very few people actually run the course. I more accurate term is “trek.” You might jog some parts, but at least for our races, trying to run the whole course is pretty impossible.
Can I kayak across that lake? I’ve never done that before. Yeah, yeah you can. It’s not a specialized skill, holding that paddle and stroking. There’s definitely a technique, but most people’s worst discipline is the paddle. It’s supposed to be fun, remember?
How hard is the mountain biking? Sometimes it’s really technical, but you know what, you can get off your bike and walk it. No one is going to point and laugh. There’s that “fun” thing again. Many races only offer dirt and paved roads. Ours try to incorporate single track, but most sections are doable by anyone who can ride a bike with confidence. And if you don’t have that skill, isn’t it time you got it? This is one area where consistent practice or even attending a riding clinic will make the sport more fun.
Navigation. Eek. Yeah, I know. Not a skill you usually pick up on your own. Happily, for sprint races, we have arrows telling you where to go. And when you’re ready – read books, the Interweb, and join an Orienteering club that will love teaching you the ins and outs – and make new friends at the same time!
Ropes? That means heights! Double Eek! Yeah, many places of height/rope options. But note we said options. In AR, there’s always another way. Are you as scared of poison oak? You could always go down that way!
Pack some on-the-go nutrition for when you’re hungry, stay hydrated, and wear clothes that are breathable. But try it.
There are a million reasons people try AR. What’s yours?
Still not ready to get your feet wet? Remember we have the Central Coast Adventure Camp coming up in April! Come learn from the best AR racers and enthusiasts out there.