This post on is the fourth post and the last one on the What You Should Know Before Joining Adventure Race Series. In this post, the guest blogger, Ee-Van, shared his experience in different adventure races with us.
Most of the time, the race would involve Running, Cycling, Technical Rope work and sometimes kayaking or river boarding. The race organizers have usually planned the route months before the race itself. There is a lot of safety and margin of error which they allows when they plan for the race. So, I would say, single-handedly, it is better to enter a race which the organizers has experience with! My worse experience is at this race in Gopeng where the organizers were so unsure themselves we all know the race would be a disaster. And true enough, they did not even have enough finisher to actually claim the prize as the race started an hour later but the cut off time remains. Read about it here.
A good organizer would also brief you on all safety aspect and could easily answer all your worries without any doubt. I would highly recommend you joining any races done by Nomad Adventure and even Core Zone as these bunch of race organizers are the most sinister of the lots while ensuring you race with confidence and having tonnes of fun.
You would usually be given a race map, a passport and a checklist in the morning of the race. These are the three most important items you must guard. The race map will give you a rough idea where to go. The passport verifies you and your teammate’s arrival at checkpoints and the checklist gives you guideline on what to do and which route to take. You must try to follow the checklist to the tee if you could as it might prove fatally embarrassing (like getting lost) should you decide not to. Such experience I have learned from this Eco-X race here and here.
Another advice I would give is to respect nature. Don’t underestimate nature and its forces. A lot of accident happened when you do so. And oh yeah, open your eyes when you are trail busting, more often than not, route markers are there for you to see, just that we are sometimes too blind to actually sees them. Listen to your teammates and respect each other. Your team is only as strong as the weakest link. Choose your teammate wisely, try to make sure all of you have about the same level of fitness, that way, the weak won’t feel that they are a baggage and the strong won’t get frustrated.
Keep in mind that adventure races are not just about brawn or how fit you are. More often than not, brains will play a part too. Imagine that you just ran the whole 10km inside the jungle, trying to find the next Check Point, then you were ecstatic when you saw the marshals waiting, but before you could get your passport chopped and signed, you need to complete some task, usually known as mystery test. Some could be hilarious and some could be tiring. The thing is, you have to be composed and use your head! The last adventure race i enter was last year in Ulu Langat, and I tell you, till today, I still laugh when I think back about that one particular mystery test. Read about it here.
Since I believe not all adventure races are organized in the jungle, the AXN series, is a good example. The chances of someone getting lost in the middle of KL are pretty unfounded, unless you are a Singaporean or not local. These races also give you the opportunity to do things you normally won’t get to do in the middle of the city. I am talking about abseiling down the flagpole in Dataran Merdeka, Abseiling down Berjaya Times Square, Doing rope traverse in the middle of KL Bird Park, eating worms as part of the mystery test, going around Federal Hill looking for obscure JKR numbered home address, counting light poles in some historical mansion along Jalan Ampang. It all spell fun, apart from pushing yourself to the limit.
While I do enjoy the nature races more than the urban landscape, I can’t help it but hope that AXN series will come back in the near future. Amongst the most outrages things I have done in adventure races was to abseil 2 rope length (that’s almost 200meters) in the middle of the heavy downpour looking over the Kinta Valley, Flying Fox inside Gua Kandu at breakneck speed, river boarding down Sungai Kinta with class 3 rapids and hoping no monitor lizards would come nibbling your toes, caving in total darkness and submerging 90% inside the cave’s river system to get to the other side.
Now, if you do not want to race, you can always start off by being a marshal. Being a marshal is not as easy as you think it was (or so i thought in the beginning) as there is a lot of things a marshal needs to do and it’s even more tiring and fun compared to the race itself, sometimes! I have a number of race marshaling experience but the best so far was last year’s Perhentian Island Challenge. Read about it here.
It has been a year since i took hiatus from Adventure racing as I am preparing for the biggest race of my life, this year’s IronMan at Langkawi. Do I miss adventure racing? Hell Yes, and that is with a capital F. But as luck would has it, I would want to concentrate on triathlon alone this year. Maybe after next year’s IronMan, i would start the adventure race again, and I know when that happens, it will just be like my first time. Orgasmic.
I hope this entry satisfy some of you that might be thinking and wondering what to expect in adventure races. Like I said, I am not any champion racer, I am just an average person like all of you, if I could do it, I bet all of you reading this could, and get hooked on it in the process!”
Look at the fellows standing behind. They were puzzling what the heck these two were doing!
You gotto know how to fix your bike when the worse happens.
But, you still can have great time running together with your good friends.
And not forgetting to pose for the camera.
Mun’s comment: Knowing Ee-Van is my honor indeed. Having him as the guest blogger is the icing on the cake. If not him, I probably will not have the insight of the adventure race. I spent about eight hours to select, edit and putting the pictures in these articles, but I bet Ee-Van has spent even more hours than me to get it done. Thanks, man!
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The series of What You Should Know Before Joining Adventure Race:
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