Adventure Racing


On May 16th I competed in my first ever adventure race. What a great experience. The race we did was Storm the Trent and it was a well attended and organized event. My teammate in this challenge was Brent, a  long time friend, that was up for the challenge. We had a successful race for our first attempt and after a good crash Brent continued where many other would have packed it in. Think our paddle was very strong and the rest of the course we were steady.

End stats  for our team were:

Out of 263 racers or 127 teams we placed 28th out of 127 top 22% or 9th out of 28 for our category.

So needless to say I’m very happy with our effort and ranking.

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So since I have sent my payment in for my first adventure race, I have been busy doing some research into training, hydration, clothing, and equipment.

I have been official training for this race since March 9th, and the weather is still tempramental so my outdoor training has been limited, but I have gotten out on the bike couple of times. My research into this race has netted some helpful information but also some less than helpful. I have decided on the following training plan for myself, not sure of my partner’s plan but we will plan some group training soon.

My training is consisting of 5 days per week, it breaks down like this:

  • Three cardio days and weight days: Cardio is either tread-mill or elliptical or a combination of both, with some weight training.
  • One day strictly cardio: This will be a bike day but when weather is crappy will be tread-mill or elliptical.
  • One day of event or distance training: This is the day I will do long training in one event or a combination of two to push myself and get used to going the length and distance.

I found last Sunday’s training ride of 23km very satisfying, it gave me some confidence that yes I can do this.

So whats next? Keep training and schedule a group training for next week. I also need to get on the water and work on  paddling. My partner hasn’t been in a canoe since we did a river run in spring of 88. I also want to experiment with kayak paddles vs traditional paddles.

 So far it is going good and I have been able to do the bike distance and felt I still had gas in the tank to do more.

So I have finally done it! Yes I entered my first adventure race. This is something that I have thought about for three years. It is one of the items on the bucket list, or 100 things to do before you die list, just depends on how you look at things.  I have successfully convinced one of my oldest friends to do the race too, so it should be fun, a challenge and an experience. We are signed up for Storm the Trent it is a local race. It is a couple of hours format that should be challenging but allow us to get our feet wet and be successful.

So know is the challenge of getting ready for it physically, looking at equipment needs, seeing what we may need that we don’t currently have.

So you might ask your self what is an adventure race? It is a combination of three sports, Trail Running, Paddling, and Mountain biking.

For that reason we need to venture back about three years. I was starting to realize that if I wanted to stay in generally good shape I would need to make an effort to work out. To me being in good shape means being able to do a sport and perform reasonably well when doing it  and not be sore the next day. I’m fortunate to be a person that has never had a weight issue to challenge me and for the most part I eat whatever I want and don’t concern myself with putting on weight. But due to an active life style of ski racing and manual labour when I was younger, I do have some aches and pains, and these pains seem much more manageable if I’m in reasonable physical condition. So I set about looking for a workout program or some guidance that would allow me to workout without spend a fortune in gym memberships or fitness equipment (if you haven’t figured out yet I’m cheap) and be resonable on my time. So after reading several web sites I came across a program from outside magazine that seemed to fit what I was looking for.  I set about working out using this program as a guide, while working out I realized couple of things about myself:

  • I need to have some varity in a workout, using a machine or repeative routine caused me to get bored of it quickly.
  • I need a goal to get me to workout.

So the idea of an adventure race came to me while brain storming for something to be my goal to work out to. What appeals to me about the adventure racing is the combination of activities I enjoy. Most adventure races have a core group of activities and sometimes others depending on the race. The core groups of activities are mountain biking, paddling, orienteering or trail running. All of these I enjoy except trail running which I’m not a fan of but will try to learn to love it.

Now I have had the desire but was concerned about what to expect, cost, equipment, and can I do it. I spent some time looking at different web sites, blogs, and race websites trying to get a feel for this sport and to help address my concerns. I was still on the fence about how to proceed, so I decided this year to attend a clinic offered locally to help get me off the fence and it did what I hoped.  I’m committed to competing next year and it is time to learn some more, so will post my progress and findings here, and maybe help someone else get off the fence. Posts for the future:

  • How to get started
  • Training
  • Gear and cost of adventure racing
  • Skill development
  • Team locating
  • Adventure racing goal

Thanks for reading.

Mark