One of the most difficult questions I’ve ever been asked is “What is an Adventure Race?” The question is difficult, not because I don’t know the answer. It’s difficult because the full explanation transcends words. An Adventure Race with Team In Training is not just competing in an endurance sport event. It’s not just gaining awareness of and doing a lot to fight cancer. An Adventure Race requires relying on others to complete the event—and allowing others to rely upon you.
Adventure Races are usually set up in 2- or 3-person teams and the Adventure Race in which we will be competing this summer cannot be completed without your team. You and your teammates will succeed because of each other. Unlike running a marathon or completing a Century bike ride, you cannot complete the race without your teammates. How else will you get over an 8’ wall covered with soap?
Another reason the question is so difficult to answer is that each Adventure Race tries—excuse me—prides itself on being different from every other Adventure Race. Not only that but they make it a point to change things up from their own event last year. Last year the Team In Training Adventure Race team competed in the Siege At Fort Yargo. That race required using a map and compass to find as many control points (numbered flags) as possible within 5 hours. There were no obstacles (or in Adventure Race speak “special tests”) involved in the course.
This year we will be competing in the Greenway Adventure Challenge. In the Greenway race, there are no control points to find. However, you have not completed the race until you have completed every obstacle along with your team within Team In Training.
Adventure Races usually involve canoeing, biking, and trekking. It’s definitely done in a non-urban environment. Another aspect that sets Adventure Racers apart is their willingness to enter into an event with a flexible mindset. When you compete in any other sport with Team In Training, you know exactly how far you will have to go. You will have a carefully prescribed route and you will perform in a carefully rehearsed fashion.
With an Adventure Race, you won’t find out what your route is or the obstacles involved until race day or the day before. Unlike a triathlon, where you know you will swim this distance, bike this route, and then run; in an Adventure Race you don’t know which one you will do first. They usually split the participants into thirds and have 1/3 start on the bike, etc.
So, I’d like to ask you:
Do you feel alive when you fly by the seat of your pants?
Do you enjoy those team-building exercises at work? Like falling backwards and hoping your partner will catch you before you hit the ground?
Would you like to get some exercise while making a serious impact in the fight against blood cancers?
Then welcome to the Team!
Curtis is an active grandfather who has completed six TNT events. He has earned the Triple Crown, is a Georgia Rock Star, and has mentored for the cycling team. In the 2010 Summer Season, he will be the assistant coach for the Team In Training Adventure Race team and will be returning to the first TNT event he ever did—America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride at Lake Tahoe. His cousin, Sid Boutwell, traveled to Thailand in search of relief from Leukemia. Curtis races in his memory.
Team In Training Georgia Chapter is now recruiting for the Greenway Adventure Race in Chattanooga, TN on May 8th, 2010. Contact the TNT staff for details, (404) 720-7842.