you have completed your first Duathlon or triathlonâ€¦now what? On TV last week
you saw a trailer for that Eco-Challenge race, and you have seen ads for the MESP
Hi-Tec racing series coming to your city in a few months. What is all the hype
about these "adventure races" anyway? How do you learn the disciplines that are
required to compete in either a sprint adventure race like the Hi-Tec series or
even begin training for a multi-day expedition race like the Eco-Challenge?
How I Began
My adventure racing experience began in
1997. After finding information about the Hi-Tec Racing Series in the local bike
shop, I realized two thingsâ€¦first, I wasn't sure how to begin training for the
race and, furthermore, we needed another teammate. My husband and I had been roadies
for a long time, racing in triathlons and running in road races, but had not yet
ventured into the off-road events with much seriousness. In addition to that,
every race I had ever competed in had been as an individual. Having two other
people at my side during an entire event would be very differentâ€¦but I wanted
to give it a try. He thought it sounded like fun, also, and we set out to find
a third member for the race. We had two months.
a teammate is, in itself, a task. I quickly lost all inhibitions and started asking
anyone who would listen to me. After a few weeks, I was desperate. "Hey, you run
- would you like to do the Hi-Tec race with us?" That question was usually followed
by "What's that?" and I would spend the next ten minutes explaining this "new"
event. My lack of experience in the sport was overwhelmingly obvious and when
all was said and done, we competed in the Portland Hi-Tec race in 1997 having
kayaked once before with a teammate who didn't feel comfortable on a mountain
bikeâ€¦I was hooked!
Fast-forward a few years, and my
ignorance has grown into a love for not only the sport of adventure racing but
the training as well. I reached this point the hard way - on my own. Surely there
must have been a better way!
How You SHOULD Begin
The sport has evolved and is rapidly gaining media attention. By now, most people
who own a television have heard of the Eco-Challenge and the sprint adventure
race participants are growing in numbers every year. If you are new to the sport,
there are ways to enhance your training that don't include figuring it out all
by yourself, and if you are a seasoned racer, one of these options may be just
the thing to move you towards your next goal! In either case, an "Adventure Training
Camp" is a great way to boost both your confidence and knowledge of the sport!
Whether you choose to attend a basic camp or an advanced camp is dependent upon
your personal level of expertise, but the experience is amazing, and you may meet
potential teammates along the way - an added bonus! Now which camp is right for
In the world of adventure
racing, there are now many options for training camps and they are everywhere
- from New Jersey to Santa Monica and Miami to San Jose; however, their offerings
and philosophies on racing and training vary from camp to camp. Do your research
before you attend and you will reap the rewards of a great investment in yourself!
Following are two different types of camps:
As you venture into the sport of adventure racing, one opinion seems to stand
out among the spectators - "The girls are awesome!" Even with women like Rebecca
Rusch and Karen Lundgren participating in these events professionally, it seems
that people are still surprised to see them competing with the boys, side by side.
GirlTeams is dedicated to changing that attitude. At GirlTeams, in their 3-day
basic camp for women, participants learn mountain biking, kayaking, and orienteering
skills, develop a sense of teamwork, and build confidence. The weekend culminates
in an "adventure day" where they draw upon each of the skills learned during the
first 2 days of camp. The advanced camp, also 3-days, is designated as a learning
environment. A period of instruction and skills review and a basic orientation
on safety and equipment is provided, followed by an exercise requiring the use
of those skills and equipment over a long and difficult course. Skills learned
and/or used include, but are not limited to: kayaking, rock climbing, mountain
biking, trekking, and orienteering.
at GirlTeams are professional, caring individuals who firmly believe in their
endeavor. Teaching skills with patient instruction is their number one goal, followed
closely by instilling a sense of teamwork within each camper. Both camps are for
women only and the friendships forged during the course of a weekend can last
For those wishing to train within a mixed-gender environment, the actual format
in which adventure races take place, this camp choice may be right for you. One
such camp is Odyssey Adventure Racing Academy, located in West Virginia. Experienced
instructors train students in a variety of disciplines including navigation, rock
climbing, mountain biking and paddling. 3 and 6-day courses are offered.
The 3-day session contains discipline-specific training in navigation, paddling,
and ropes/climbing. The skill level of participants is determined and courses
are tailored to meet the needs of those in attendance.
In the 6-day course, participants work on a variety of skills and use them in
practical applications. The training culminates in a 48-hour race called the Endorphin
FIX. In addition to discipline training, participants in this course are also
treated to racing methodology, strategy and preparation techniques.
Individuals, teams, support crewsâ€¦no matter your capabilities or goals, this camp
has a program for you!
The above camps are just two in a vast selection. Research into any adventure
racing camp is not only recommended, it is necessary to ensure you are going to
get the best experience for your money. You can expect to pay anywhere from about
$450 up to $1,200 depending on the length of the session and complexity of the
Enjoy life - we only get one shot!
We might as well follow our dreamsâ€¦peace.
info on AR Camps