There’s no wonder Perth’s Robert Lim is the Act-Belong-Commit ambassador for the Augusta Adventure Fest. He embodies everything it means to be active, be part of something bigger than yourself and commit to challenges.
Rob is a long-time member of IOAR - Indian Ocean Adventure Racing – a dedicated local paddling group who contest a series of events throughout the season, with the Act-Belong-Commit Augusta Adventure Fest their ‘Grand Final’.
It’s truly inspiring to learn of Rob’s love and dedication to life, pushing yourself, and being part of the exciting sport of adventure racing.
We sat down for a few minutes with Rob in the lead-up to the event.
Q) You’re heading into your 11th Augusta race, and you’re the only one who can say they’ve raced each and every one, that must feel pretty good! Does that ever get old?
It does feel good to have achieved something no one else will be able to replicate. Not too many of us get the opportunity to achieve this in their lifetime.
Q) How has your training been going recently and what has it involved?
My training has been going well to date and is on track for Augusta. As with most competitors, you have your little set-backs on the long journey to Augusta. My training regime is quite time consuming and generally involves a morning session and an afternoon session in any of the 4 disciplines with a rest day each week. Barring illness/injury there is no reason I shouldn't achieve my goals at Augusta.
Q) How do you feel in these final couple of weeks as we count down to race day?
I am feeling excited and can’t wait for Race Day. I must admit I do get a bit spooked when anyone around me is sick and coughing. Like most competitors you want to perform to your potential. You can’t do that when you are sick. It’s a long road to Augusta and you don't want your months of training ruined by illness/injury in the weeks leading up to the race.
Q) Will we see another great contingent of Indian Ocean Adventure Racing (IOAR) members racing again this year, and what do you guys look forward to the most about the event? It must be cool to know other racers out there on the course!
The guys in IOAR are what keep me motivated to do well at Augusta. I believe finishing at the "pointy end" of the field and beating each other is what we look forward to the most. For those who may not know, IOAR was originally formed to fill the gap of no lead-up races to the event. The Augusta Adventure Fest is known as the Grand Final for IOAR and is the last race in series of about 12 races we do in the lead-up to the "GF". Points are awarded at each race and at the end of the season a "very big and heavy perpetual trophy" is awarded to the IOAR member with the most points. We even have a "CEO", Leigh Willison (Unit). I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Unit on behalf of us all for all the organising work he does during the year.
Q) You initially crossed over to adventure racing in the winter season to keep your fitness up for triathlon, how did that first adventure race go, and was it what you had expected?
This is true. I will digress a bit if I may to recognise the person who got me started in this race. I have Wade Kelly to thank for this. He got it all started for most of us back when the race started in Dunsborough (2006). Unfortunately Wade took his own life in 2011. To recognise Wade's contribution to the race and the people he encourage to race, Rapid Ascent have been good enough to present the "Wade Kelly Cup" in his honour to the top placing male in the 30-39 age group. It always put a smile on my face when an IOARer wins it.
I performed quite well in my first race. I got on the podium behind Phil Williams I believe, and still have what I believe is the best ever trophy which was "an engraved burl cut-out".
Q) What are the best parts of adventure racing?
For me finishing is the best part. Especially if you have achieved the goals you have set for yourself. Next is hopefully beating as many of your IOAR mates as you can. Then it is recognising and celebrating all the great performances of the day.
Q) What would you say are the biggest challenges to overcome at the Augusta Adventure Fest?
The ability to run your own race and race to "your" plan. The majority of us have our strengths and weaknesses over the 4 disciplines. It is very easy to get "suckered" into another person’s race as they pass you. Unless you are talented enough to be strong at all 4 disciplines, you could ruin your day by not sticking to your plan. For me personally the biggest challenge is the run leg. Unless it’s dead flat I'm pretty useless. Especially now the run is last, if you "çook' yourself it’s going to be a long, long day.
Q) For people who have never done the event, why should they give it a go?
Everybody needs to challenge themselves. Participation in any of the events at Augusta will positively influence a person physical and mental wellbeing. Healthway under the banner of "ACT, BELONG, COMMIT" have chosen to sponsor the Augusta Adventure Fest as participation helps achieve their message of maintaining and improving your mental health and wellbeing.
Q) After Augusta, do you have any events on the horizon?
After Augusta I plan to relax a bit and sleep in. But that won’t be for too long as I will start to prepare in December for the X-Adventure race in Dunsborough next year, 25/26 March 2017. Hopefully the rumours are true that the Adventure Fest is going back to Dunsborough. I've got my fingers crossed.
Q) How did the role of Act-Belong-Commit ambassador come about and how much does it mean to you?
I actually approached them with the idea I might be a good advertisement for the "ACT, BELONG, COMMIT" message. Hopefully I am living proof of what can be achieved if you follow the "ACT, BELONG, COMMIT" message.
Q) Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
I would like to thank these people, in this order -
1. My beautiful partner Deb and my great kids Zoe, Charli, Laila and Toby who support me through the highs and lows while I'm training through the year.
2. My IOAR friends and family.
3. "ACT, BELONG, COMMIT" for sponsoring such a great event and getting out the message about the importance of protecting and promoting one's own mental wellbeing.
4. Rapid Ascent for putting on great events.
5. All the participants and spectators who make it such a great weekend.
We’d like to thank you too Rob, and congratulate you on an amazing feat. See you on the start line next year!