.:Adventure Racing:.

My friend Steve introduced me to my first Adventure race on 02/09/2007 where we did the Dark and White Adventure race in the Peak District.

Paul running in the Ace Race round 1

Event Summary:

We weren't too sure of the format. All we knew is that it involved running (mostly off-road), mountain biking, orienteering and trailquest (navigating while on bike) and was expected to last around 4.5 hours! All this while wearing a fairly heavy backpack (2 litres of water, bike spares kit, first aid kit, food suppliments, gloves and waterproof jacket).

I didn't have much time to prepare for it - just 3 weeks! That composed of:

Week 1: 3 days where I ran around Willen Lake (I hadn't been running in years, so this was a real struggle!), snowboarding 1 day

Week 2: Gym 5 days, snowboarding 1 day

Week 3: Gym 3 days (and eating out 3 days!)

So I was a little concerned about the 4.5 hour event... but in the end I surprised myself. It was about 2.5km run (including one long, very steep section), 40km biking on/off road - mostly up steep hills (some very steep!), but with a few very nice downhill sections), then around 3km running over rough terrain. We did it in 3 hours and 50 minutes.

What I found strange is that I didn't feel exhausted after the 4 hours like I normally do after 2 hours of standard biking. Maybe because we were going at a slower pace (due to all the hills), maybe it was because we were able to stop briefly at around every 15 minutes (for checkpoints), maybe it was the excitement, maybe it was the food supplements (which I had not used before - and found that they really worked!) or maybe it was a combination of all these things.

Steve was wearing a GPS watch, so the stats can be seen here (see the elevation graph - so many hills!!!).

These are the race results (short and long formats - short is easier to read):

Steve and I came 3rd in our class (very nearly 2nd) and we comparatively beat lots of other people from other classes. So overall I was very pleased with the result, given that it was my first ever race of this type. I will definitely be doing more in the future!

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