It seems that today we pay far more attention to our health and our bodies in general. In the past, there was not as much awareness among people about how to treat their wellbeing. It might have to do with the fact that life was far healthier back then – less processed foods, more fresh air and nature all around; nobody cared about living healthy because everybody was already doing it inadvertently. Nowadays, we have it all, the computers and the cars, the smartphones and the TVs, and we can do anything that we please, but we consequently have to take far greater care of our bodies. Fitness has become a household word; people do various sports in their free time to stay fit, in the gym or otherwise. However, some sports deliver a great dose of adrenalin and can easily enchant people who try them – adventure racing being one of them.
Is it like regular racing?
When we hear the word racing, we usually think of the slender athletes with incredible stamina, who are able of either producing great speed on the track, or running for incredibly long stretches of time without any major issues; we can also take into consideration the twist brought about by adding hurdles to the racetrack, which certainly made for a greater challenge. However, this is where the similarities with adventure racing stop – adventure racing is far different from regular racing. It is usually a team sport, and it requires the participants to overcome a plethora of obstacles in the course of a race.
How did adventure racing come to be?
There are various theories, but most point to the Karrimor double marathon as the original adventure race. The participants in the double marathon are expected to navigate through the mountainous terrain while carrying all their equipment along, which even includes an overnight camp and tent to sleep in; this race was first held in 1968, and after a few decades, adventure racing as a sport of its own was born. With such strong relatives as double marathons and Ironman competitions, it was destined to become a difficult sport since its first days. The first real adventure race was heavily inspired by the Paris – Dakar Rally, and it required mixed-gender groups to pass through four hundred miles of difficult terrain in a matter of days, relying on their strength and stamina.
What does a typical adventure race include?
First of all, there is no typical adventure race – the variety that this sport provides means that hardly any two races are the same. A single race can be short, lasting anywhere from two to six hours, or it can be very lengthy, lasting anywhere from three to eleven days. The duration of the race dictates how much stamina and navigation skills the participants must possess in order to finish it.
Secondly, the types of activities involved can also vary from race to race. When it comes to racing on wheels, it can be mountain bikes, scooters, or roller skates, among other things. Some races include an aerial element, which often includes hang gliding or parachuting; some races include riding a horse or a camel, and some include paddling in a boat or a kayak.
All in all, adventure races certainly put all the skills that we have to the test, and they are not for the faint of heart. However, if you like to push yourself to the limits, you should definitely consider enrolling in one.