Interested but apprehensive?
So you're interested in doing the Falls Creek Mountain Raid Adventure Race but also a bit apprehensive. How difficult is it? What does it involve? Is it within your ability levels? In short... yes... you can do it.
The race is designed to be achievable by someone of average fitness and ability levels, not 'world beaters', and not by the 'crazies' you read about who scale Everest in a day (although each of these people are also most welcome!).
How does it compare to other Adventure Race events?
If you consider the two different extremes of Adventure Racing, we'd say that the Falls Creek Mountain Raid - Adventure Race (FCMR – AR) sits somewhere nearer the middle. At one end of the spectrum is your short, 3-6hr adventure race, with a range of disciplines on a marked course – like the Augusta and Lorne Adventure Races. At the other end of the spectrum are the full-length expedition style races like the XPD that go for 6-10 days non stop. The FCMR – AR is within the grasp of both types of competitor and represents an ideal environment for learning.
The similarities to the shorter Augusta and Lorne Adventure Race style of races include:
- You get to stop! This is a stage race with a defined start and finish to each day, meaning that you get to sleep in a bed, eat a proper meal, interact with other teams and say hello to your friends.
- Each leg is an achievable distance. There are no 'epic' legs that involve trekking or riding for 20hrs straight.
- The course is 100% quality in each and every discipline. By breaking the race into stages, we've tried to avoid long and boring 'linking legs' that just move you from one area to another.
- Support Crews – Supply your own, or contact us and we can help (link to Support Crew page). Support crews help with logistics, move your equipment, provide encouragement and sympathetic massage at transition points just when you need it!
The similarities to the longer expedition style of adventure races include:
- It's a journey! This event will lead you on a terrific journey of exploration that never fails to inspire, from exposed mountain summits to tumbling creeks filled with wildlife…
- This event involves navigation, requiring the use of a map and compass to reach each checkpoint. Whilst an added challenge, the rewards of navigating your way through some remote areas of wilderness are terrific.
- It's slow moving! This isn't a sprint event. You'll soon find your own rhythm and discover the meaning of the old saying, 'slow and steady wins the race!'
- You're in a team – so you'll have your teammates with you at all times. Rather than sweating it out by yourself, you can share the decisions, the navigation and the fun and rewards of completing an awesome course together.
So how fit do you have to be? How difficult is it and is it within your level of ability?
Being a 'two-day' or ‘one-day’ race with stages that consist of between 1 – 3hrs of racing, the Falls Creek Mountain Raid Adventure Race requires a mix of speed and endurance with the ability to make decisions on the move.
To be comfortable completing the long course event you should be 'capable'' in all disciplines, running / trekking, mountain biking, kayaking and not bad at navigation. To be 'capable' at a discipline does not mean 'fast' or 'world's best', but it does mean comfortable and consistent being on your bike or in a kayak for a few hours at a time going slowly. This is a level that anyone who applies their mind to it, plus a couple of months of preparation before the race can easily achieve. The short course is less so.
What about the navigation – what does 'involves navigation' mean?
We will give all competitors a map at the race briefing the night before, and marked on this map will be a number of checkpoints that define where you have to go in each discipline (in boats, on foot, on bikes…) as well as where the transition areas are. It's then up to you to determine the easiest and fastest way to each point. This navigation will include:
- The mountain biking legs will involve navigating along single tracks, 4WD tracks and roads all of which are marked on the map (no off track riding).
- Following the edge of a lake in your boat, reading what is a bay vs a headland and knowing which is what so you know where you are on the map.
- Some 'orienteering' navigation on foot, requiring you to navigate along obvious land features such as gullies and spurs in open bush land.
This event does require experience and skills reading a map and using a compass but all are skills that can be learnt easily by spending time out in the bush and practicing. Both Orienteering and Rogaining have a number of events on their calendar that cater for all levels of ability in a social non-competitive environment that are the perfect way to improve your skills and pick up a few expert tips from the pros.
The first step is often the hardest
Often the hardest part to chalking up any milestone is getting started, making the commitment to progress your thinking from “that would be fun, I’d be interested in doing that” to throwing your hat in the ring and saying, “I'm in no matter what it takes because that is going to be awesome”. So show us what you’re made of and sign on for a real adventure.
Admittedly, sometimes the hardest part can also be finding like-minded team mates, in which case the Team Mate Finder is a great source for finding team mates and training partners. Put your name on the list and I’m sure you will find some adventure buddies!