Adventure Racing is one of the fastest growing multi-sports in the UK and is quickly gaining momentum as more and more people discover it. It combines different outdoor sports, but the three main disciplines in the majority of races are:
Trail running • Mountain biking • Navigation
None of these will be of a highly technical or difficult nature, so anyone can have a go. Many newbie adventure racers still have practically no idea how to read a map and some of the best began by borrowing a bike, but they thought; “I could give that a try”, and they did. If you’re thinking the same you’re an adventure racer at heart.
One defining factor that makes the combination of these sports an adventure race is navigation. You have to navigate from checkpoint to checkpoint and there are some advantages to this for the beginner. The quickest don’t always win for a start, but more importantly courses are often designed so you choose which, and how many, checkpoints to go to.
So in your first race you can just do a few, and gradually build up. Everyone competes together, but at his or her own level, and there is always lots of incentive to raise your level and get one more checkpoint.
You can race solo, in pairs or teams of three & four, so teamwork is vital. The locations change every time and most courses are off-road on woodlands, heaths, moors and mountains, though there are some urban races too. For those who love the outdoors it takes you to all the best places! So, it’s an outdoor sport that lets you go anywhere and do anything with any number of friends. No wonder it’s so popular!
Who gets involved? And Why?
There is no such thing as a typical adventure racer. They come from a variety of sports; running,mountain biking, team sports, orienteering, triathlon, climbing and mountaineering. The sport attracts people from a huge variety of backgrounds, with vastly differing fitness levels and a wide range of ages that come in all shapes and sizes. Adventure racers tend to have a base level of fitness, enjoy the outdoors and have a taste for doing something different, fun, challenging and adventurous on the weekend!
What will you get out of it?
Where to start?
There is only so much research, reading, talking and procrastinating that you can do! It’s time to stop yapping and take that leap of faith. Tri-Adventure offer a fantastic platform of races for the beginner adventure racer, use the quick links below or check us out at www.triadventure.co.uk
Spice up your weekday run home: Unlike road running, trails are uneven and unpredictable So to spice up your training when not out in the wilderness try adding a little unplanned detours in. Turn your city environment into a trial by jumping over tree root on the pavement this will help with your awareness, running on and off the sidewalk to vary your stride height and hope onto low walls to do a few meters will work on your balance.
Loss as a goose: Just a few stretches a day will lower the risk of injury (and months of recovery). Really is worth a couple of min a day and pre & post race.
Goooooooooooal! Trail running is a great to keep fit and get the body moving, but to really get the benefit of any training we need goals. One way of doing this is by testing ourselves, and a race is great for this. Entering a race keeps you motivated and brings likeminded people together. Most importantly it gives that sense of satisfaction that a training session just misses.
Love your map – Your map is your main navigational tool and you have to be able to read it as if you were reading a book. By being able to interpret every colour, line and symbol you will be able to fully understand how the land will open up in front of you….hills, streams, valleys…
Compass - The second navigational tool. Being able to take accurate bearings and check your direction of travel accurately will allow you to be confident in your position and always correctly orientated.
Always have a plan – It is critical to invest time at the beginning of the race to build your overall race strategy but each individual leg should also have a plan. This will help prevent mistakes but will also allow you to flow from control to control.
For more tips from Dave see his Top 10 Navigational tips Blog.
For forums, race calendars and AR news we would recommend the following websites:
For AR events in the North:
For other AR events in the South:
Other AR events:
For training and guided rides:
Web designer and photographer:
Mountain Bike Riding - North Downs Area (£30 for the day quote Tri-Adventure)
Nirvana Cycles - North Downs
Wellington Trek - Swinley
Sarah Elvin photography - Sports and weddings
Kimberly Blondell - Bumps to toddlers
Sara Carter - Theatre, music and corporate
James Steer – firstname.lastname@example.org