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ADVENTURE RACING You can never fully master the forces of nature. But challenge them, and you may learn to master yourself. Introduction to Adventure Racing What is AR? History of AR Types of Discipline Equipment Training Nutrition/Hydration Safety & Risks Getting started

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adventure racing

You can never fully master the forces of nature.

But challenge them, and you may learn to master yourself.

introduction to adventure racing
Introduction to Adventure Racing
  • What is AR?
  • History of AR
  • Types of Discipline
  • Equipment
  • Training
  • Nutrition/Hydration
  • Safety & Risks
  • Getting started
  • Races around this region
  • Singapore’s participation
what is adventure racing
What is Adventure Racing
  • Adventure racing can be defined as a non-stop, multi-day, multi-sport team event
  • A race which pushes competitors to and beyond their physical and mental limits
  • The goal of the competition is to be the first team to get all members across the finish line together
  • The course usually take competitors through remote wilderness where they must travel without outside assistance
  • Each team must use strategy to determine the best route, equipment, food and pace to maintain to win
  • Race course is usually not known till a day, or just hours before the race
  • Only disciplines involved, total distance, distances breakdown by major discipline such as mountain biking, trekking, kayaking, are made known prior to race
  • Sequence and distance of discipline usually not known prior to race
history of ar
History of AR

First started

  • Coast to Coast in New Zealand, founded in 1980
  • Raid Gauloises held in New Zealand in 1989
  • Southern Traverse in New Zealand founded in 1991
  • Eco Challenge founded in 1995
  • Mild Seven Outdoor Quest founded in 1997, China
coast to coast
Coast to Coast

Founded in 1980, New Zealand

Discipline: Running, Biking & Kayaking

Total Distance 243km

Only race to have a fixed race course since its inception

raid gauloises

First race held in 1989, New Zealand

Need to qualify since 2003

10 days of non-stop racing

Held in countries around the world, including Costa Rica, New Caledonia, Madagascar, Oman, Patagonia, Sarawak, South Africa

southern traverse
Southern Traverse

Founded in 1991

Race held locally in South Island, New Zealand

6 days of non-stop racing

Support crew required

eco challenge

Founded in 1995, Utah, USA

An Expedition Race

12 days of non-stop racing


mild seven outdoor quest
Mild Seven Outdoor Quest

5 days Stage race

First started in China, now held yearly in Sabah

Total prize money $250,000

subaru primal quest

Started in 2002


orienteering navigation

Plotting/planning the shortest & easiest route by studying the map

Reading contours, elevation and vegetation


Alpine trekking

Harsh climate and treacherous terrain

trail running jungle trekking
Trail runningJungle trekking

Through primary jungle

Expected to bash through thick vegetation, thorny bushes

kayaking rafting

Proficiency in moving/white water usually required (class 2 certification)

Navigate through rapids and obstacles

mountain biking
Mountain biking

May range from easy, flat and wide trails to narrow hilly single trail with steep ascent

4 wheel tracks to technical single trail with switchbacks

ropes abseiling jumaring tyrolean traverse
Ropes abseilingJumaringTyrolean traverse

Most exciting and fun element of adventure racing

Rather technical and minimum level of proficiency required for ropes skills

May be considered the most life-endangering discipline

horse riding camel back riding
Horse ridingCamel back riding

Horse handling skills required

in line skating skate scooter
In-line SkatingSkate Scooter

Another fun element

Drafting (staying close behind each other to block headwind) to maximise efficiency of teamwork

swimming coasteering

Important to waterproof equipment, especially race map/passport/emergency radio


Lighting equipment usually required as it may be pitch dark

Fear of darkness must be overcome


Bladder, energy bars, energy drinks

Objectives :

Plan your training around the following 4 aspects :

Technical – mountain bike, ropes, kayaking skills, navigation, obtain necessary skills certification

Tactical – race strategy, building teamwork, apparels/nutrition/hydration testing

Physiological – fitness, endurance and conditioning

Psychological – mental attitude, race simulation, pre race visualisation

Proper warm up and stretching

Keep a training log to keep track of distance or duration of training sessions

Rule of thumb : do not increase distance/duration by more than 10% each time

Adopt a 4 weeks cycle : 3 weeks increasing distance/duration, 1 week recovery training with reduced intensity to let body recover and rebuilding of muscles/tissues damage from training

If training is more than an hour, take a sports drink that replenish body salts and provides carbohydrates to help body to metabolise fats

Cool down stretch to remove/reduce lactic acid build up so as to prevent DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)

Stretching helps muscles and tendons recover and may reduce injuries

Take a recovery drink (high protein with carbohydrates) which helps to speed muscles recovery

Eat and rest well.

Sleep is vital aid to recovery. When you sleep, your body replenishes and repairs itself.

nutrition hydration
  • Hydration is critical to athletic performance and is key to maximising your performance
  • Research shows that athletes who drink fluid may last up to 33% longer per session than athletes who don’t drink
  • As little as one to two % dehydration can cause a drop in endurance by increasing fatigue
  • If athletes lose too much sweat without replacing what they’ve lost in both fluids and electrolytes (sodium, potassium), they risk becoming dehydrated
  • A sports drink is recommended to help ward off dehydration and muscle cramps by replacing fluid or electrolytes
  • For long training sessions or long adventure races which last from a few hours, to days, proper and adequate nutrition, on top of proper hydration is very important
  • Body will be undergoing stress, need to ensure sufficient calories to meet body’s demands
  • Power gel, energy bars make good nutritional snacks for short races, as they are designed to be easily adsorbed by the body
  • Drink every 10-15 minutes
  • Do not wait till thirsty to drink, it will be too late
  • Eat every 30-45 minutes, in small quantities
  • Do not wait till hungry to eat, it will be too late
  • For races lasting more than 90 minutes, carbohydrates loading is recommended, 2-3 days before race
safety and risk

Safety and Risk

Travel insurance that covers emergency air evacuation strongly advised

Being fully aware of your body and personal physical and mental state

Communication to keep all members aware of each other’s state

Knowing your own limits

getting started
Getting Started
  • do your own research
  • Volunteer in a race
  • Acquire the necessary skills
  • Form a team of like-minded people who shares same racing objectives
  • Sign up for a short race and Just do it!
races around this region
Races around this region
  • Mild Seven Outdoor Quest in Sabah
  • Sabah Adventure Challenge
  • Eco-xtreme in Malaysia
  • Action Asia in HK, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore
  • Adventure Quest, ACE Adventure Challenge in Singapore
singapore s participation
Singapore’s Participation
  • 1994 Raid Gauloises in Sarawak
  • 2000 Eco Challenge in Sabah
  • 2002 Southern Traverse in New Zealand

Eco Challenge in Fiji