By Claire Sykes
By the time you read this, the “Godzone” Adventure race based from Akaroa near Christchurch, this week may be all over… As you may, or may not know if it is not your passion or interest, the annual adventure race started with just under 100 teams last weekend. Racing in 3 different categories the teams of 4 cover a total distance of about 600km by the time they finish. Race disciplines are made up of kayaking, pack rafting, coasteering, trekking, mountain biking, caving and can include other interesting things such as in-line skating, horse or camel trekking!, abseiling…depending on what sort of terrain or country the race in held in.
Teams of 4 are compulsory and interestingly enough, at least one woman is included in this mix, over the years different teams have varied the mix to include teams of at least 2 or even all woman teams are almost expected now. Whatever mix you choose, it does have to include basic but fundamental rules and personality factors for functioning properly, in a week of potential physical and mental challenges mixed in with stress, fun and craziness!
Any age works for successful team…BUT, remember it is age in these long events that does pay off in the end… or experience is the other word can be used. These two usually go hand in hand and work finely together, especially after the physical challenges have reared their sometimes ugly head, the mind will pop up and give some instant feedback!…whether we want it or not…
On this subject I should add here that these races are usually continuous, meaning you have to plan how much you sleep as a team in small increments, around all the other factors that a race can throw at you like weather, daylight, time, energy of the team. This is a whole other subjectable diversion of which I would have to plan for, and as it’s a race! I had better keep going!
Someone questioned me last week, what I thought about adventure racing and if I thought it was a healthy option for exercising and lifestyle? This question has led to a lot of thought and discussion on my behalf and I remember some years ago a somewhat notable athlete replying on being asked what foods should I be eating when I train? I was taken aback to hear… “training is great you can eat all the crap you want you will just burn it off!”
I also, like many of us, grew up with…..”Sleep is over rated”, “No pain no gain”
So I guess yes, loads of reasons to wonder about the sanity of these races, but my short answer to this person would now be, if you look after yourself mentally and physically and spiritually….and you have a constitution which lends itself to getting pleasure and fun out of what you do, YES it’s a great option.
For those who think it’s a bit crazy or are misunderstood, go and stand at the finish line of an adventure race and watch the action, emotion, satisfaction and the elation of the people who are absolutely loving life and the challenges it brings!
Have a look at the link below and get a closer look at what the race this week was all about…and see how times are changing, for the better!…the team featured were the winners and have a plant based diet and do not eat rubbish, junk or limited processed food even when they are training!