The racing itself is composed of foot travel, paddling, biking and navigation. If you compete in a longer race, you are most likely to have additional challenges such as climbing and rappelling. Don’t forget, the clock is ticking against both your team and another group who will be navigating an entirely different path than you.
You must be able to adapt to the forthcoming challenges. Whether it’s by paddling for miles across a river, brainstorming strategy to advance or staying in sync with your teammates during the hours, days or weeks that lie ahead. You will be hungry, sleep-deprived and worn out. It will take grit and stamina.
But the experience lies within the journey, not at the finish line.
So where can one join in on a race? Introducing, Rootstock Racing, which is a non-profit located in Philadelphia founded by Abby Perkiss and her husband, Brent Freedland.
Rootstock offers different kinds of races for adults and children who want to roll their sleeves up and challenge the authentic outdoors. It’s a great way to get in tune with both nature and yourself.
When asked to give her top three tips for racing, Abby says:
“Your body can do more than you think it can do. Signing up for a race that lasts for six hours—or twelve hours, or twenty-four hours—sounds daunting. But you’re not racing at a 5k or short OCR pace. You’ll be amazed at what you can do, when the main goal is simply to keep moving (ideally, in the right direction).
“On that note, pick up a map, and learn how to read it! Adventure racing takes teams from checkpoint to checkpoint on an unmarked course, which means using maps, compasses, and natural features to get you where you need to be. The more comfortable you are with navigation, the better your experience will be.
“Finally, make sure you like your potential teammates. The team can be the best part of adventure racing—but it can also totally derail your day, if you’re not clicking.”
To find out more about Rootstock Racing, visit www.rootstockracing.org or visit their Facebook page at “Rootstock Racing”.
Cover Image by Maico Amorim