Adventure Racing. Just like it sounds, a race that is also an adventure! There is a start line, and a finish line, but no clear path between the two. The race course usually consists of a body of water (or more) some trails, some forest with no clear trails, dirt roads, and sometimes paved roads. Your mode of travel is a combination of canoe, mountain bike and your own two feet. You need to be able to read a map, and work as a team. I love it. With 6 races under my belt, I feel I can now say "I am and Adventure Racer" rather than "I have done a couple of adventure races."
I just ran Storm the Trent, Ontario's (if not Canada's) biggest and most popular race. (This is my opinion...I have not confirmed that statement) This race offer three levels of length and difficulty, to date I have competed in all three levels. This past race weekend I competed in the Elite Trek (the longest and hardest, covering about 80km) with my race partner Candice. On Sunday we were joined by two other ladies; Polly, who I have now raced with for 5 years, and Meghan, who is new to the sport; and competed in the Hike course (the "easiest" course, covering about 40km)
I can honestly say that this was the hardest, coldest, and most humbling race weekends I have ever experienced. Candice and I earned our first gold medal win, and our first DNF (did not finish) together. We experienced defeat, a win, pain, hypothermic conditions, elation, discouragement, and pride. I had a moment of not wanting to come home and tell my sons I couldn't finish.....I was afraid they would be disappointed. I learned SO much about my strengths and my weaknesses. I learned that Mother Nature sometimes, really is in control. (She proved it on Sunday with hail, sleet, snow, ice pellets, driving rain and fierce winds....30-40% of the teams on Sunday also DNF'd) My confidence riding my bike on trails got stronger as the kilometers slipped behind me. I learned that not making the time cutoff, while devastating at first, doesn't mean all is lost. I learned that you must drink and snack while on the trail. I learned that sometimes you just have to let it go. I learned tape on the ends of your toes prevents blisters. I learned my body can do amazing things. (Well...I already knew that from child bearing, it just needs a reminder sometimes)I learned that training is very important. I learned that bruises show up days later. I learned that I cannot wait until the next race! Candice and I did this crazy back to back race to see if we have what it takes to compete in a 24 hour, 150km Adventure Race. We decided we do.....and we're taking along a man 11 years our junior to race with us.....hope he can keep up ;)