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Steve Morris – How I got hooked on AR

I live in Eastbourne with my wife and two daughters near the foot of the wonderful South Downs, my outdoor playground! I have been a regular runner for around 5 years and quickly realised that I preferred running off-road rather than pounding the pavements! I have been competing in local orienteering events for a few years which I always enjoyed, finding the combination of fitness and technical skills required particularly appealing. I was looking for new events to enter and ways to improve my fitness and endurance when I came across adventure racing by chance while chatting with a fellow competitor at an orienteering event in 2009. My first event was a Dynamic Adventure Racing event in the new forest in the spring of 2010. This was a six hour event with 2 hours of running, 3 hours MTB and an hour of night navigation. To say I enjoyed it would be an understatement – I was hooked! I entered a few more events to gain some experience with the idea being to graduate to the longer events such as 12 hour, 24 hours and beyond. Around that time Tri-Adventure came along and started their series of 2 hour sprint events on the North Downs, I quickly entered as many of these as I could. The 2 hour races are achievable for beginners and provide great training for more experienced racers.

I find these shorter races are a chance to practice important skills such as navigation, planning and time management while not straying too far from base. If I could give some advice to anyone considering entering an adventure race for the first time it would be to just bite the bullet and enter! Remember that there are always plenty of friendly faces around to talk to on the day. The marshals and other competitors will always help a newbie out and it’s a great way to meet other friendly like-minded people.

My top three tips

  1. Read the race details and kit list before you go to make sure you are prepared and know what to expect.
  2. Look at the map and plan out a rough route before you start bearing in mind your level of fitness. Be realistic!
  3. Keep an eye on the time. Being late back is a great way to lose loads of your hard-earned points!

I always aim for a top ten place and usually find myself there or thereabouts! My best result so far is 9th out of 40 competitors in the 5 hour Tri-Adventure ‘Challenge’ event held in July 2011. The longest events I have entered so far include the Open 12 held in June 2010 in the Yorkshire Dales and the Open 24 in the Lake District this year. Moving on to a 24 hour non-stop event felt like quite an undertaking and although I am very fit it did occur to me – how DO you train for 24 hours of non-stop physical activity?! If I ever come up with the answer I’ll let you know! The Open 24 was a fantastic exhilarating experience and has only made me hungry to try a longer race! My goals for the 2012 season include regularly being in the top ten at Tri-Adventure races and to enter the Adidas Terrex Swift race which is a 48 hour non-stop adventure race to be held in the Yorkshire Dales in June 2012.

Name:                                                  Steve Morris

Twitter:                                                @smilersteve

About me:                                          Adventure racer, runner, mountain biker, general outdoor-type, father, husband, coffee lover. Get out there – life’s too short!

Age:                                                       39

Other sporting activities:              Trail running, orienteering, mountain biking

Best result so far:                             Tri-Adventure Challenge 2011, 9th out of 40


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One Response to Steve Morris – How I got hooked on AR

  1. Jayde says:

    Kick the tires and light the fires, problem offcialliy solved!