Desert Wind 24 – the hardcore adventure race which is run in a weekend is scheduled for this weekend (2nd/3rd May) in and around Lake Mead National Recreation Area – within an hour or so of Las Vegas, Nevada.
14 teams are already entered for this extreme form of weekend entertainment, and it promises to be a fantastic race with Mountain Biking, Trekking/Running, Swimming and perhaps one other surprise discipline.
We’ve talked about Adventure Racing before, but you might be interested to know how and why the sport was originally invented.
It began when a French journalist, Gerard Fusil, whilst covering the Whitbread round-the-world yacht race, thought: “why not have an overland race that requires as much commitment and fortitude…?” and so adventure racing was born.
He started the renowned ‘Raid Gauloises’ , otherwise known as the ‘Raid of the Ancient French Warriors’ and the first ‘Raid’ was in 1989.
So what’s it all about then?
Adventure racing is all about crossing natural terrain by muscle and wit. Traditionally it is a team sport although occasionally solo’s are allowed. The disciplines involved normally include trekking, running, mountain biking and paddling kayaks or canoes, but they can also include sailing, white water rafting, big open ocean crossings, swimming, jungle travel, desert crossing, horse riding, camel riding, elephant riding, glacier travel, skiing, snow shoeing, skydiving, inline skating, rappelling, rope ascending – the list is endless.
Therefore, the adventure race athlete needs to be open minded, smart, tough, determined, and a team player. Need we say it… an adventurer!
Almost always, adventure racing requires the use of map and compass. Like adventure explorers of the past, the AR team must be able to navigate – a GPS is almost never allowed.
You do not have to be the best athlete. Your team does not have to be a team of the best athletes. However, you must be a team that likes working together, is willing to try new things, and never, ever gives up.
And it is important to remember that winning the race is not the main criteria – just completing the race is considered a ‘win’. As Theodore Roosevelt said:
“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”
I am showing, here, a video from gravityplay , of the Adventure Xtreme Race in Moab – the next AR race in this region will be on 9th May. It is desert-type topography which is similar to (but not the same as) the Desert Winds Lake Mead region. However, it is a great video on what adventure racing is all about…
So remember, this weekend it’s: