Adventure Racing In India is Back With NthAdventure
Indian race company NthAdventure returned to adventure racing after Lockdown on Nov. 1st, staging a successful ‘Welcome Back’ event in the Karnataka region. The race offered two courses, 25km and 60km for teams of two (with a solo category in the short course), and was limited to 35 teams as Covid restrictions eased.
“Things are difficult in the field of sports, but we also cannot stay indoors forever. We had to start looking at new ways of getting people back outside and in the fitness game.” Said company Director Ajita Madan.
The courses included mountain biking (some hike-a-bike), trail running, hiking and orienteering, as well as swimming, abseiling, swimming and a zipline. The organizers packed a lot of experiences into the courses, and drew entries from elite and novice racers, ironman triathletes and ultra runners.
Explaining how they set the course Madan said, “While designing the courses we covered around 220km and had a great time scouting and connecting with locals, with their kind of hospitality and life during lockdown.
“Seeing this we had two checkpoints manned by locals. The whole idea was to involve them and let participants spend time with them. We also had an amazing hiking section where a few of the 25km teams got lost. We needed to guide them down to HQ, but they seemed happy to be lost as they visited the 60km hiking section and experienced higher altitudes. The teams had so many stories and experiences and that’s what our welcome back adventure race was all about.
“The courses were set in the Kanakpura area and the terrain was a mix of rugged woods, bamboo forest, scrub, farmland and lakes, with some steep climbs and downhills for the hiking section. During the MTB we had sections on Jeep roads with little tarmac, so only trained cyclists could ride it all, and the rest had to do some hike-a-biking.”
She added that a few of the first timers completely underestimated the course and some had to be short coursed, but all enjoyed their adventures.
Two teams from Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu travelled 320km to take part. One was “Madheswaran” from Team CSK KPM and he was the youngest participant, aged just 17. He raced with his Karate Coach and said; “I’ve never done anything like this in my life before. I was challenged at every stage and enjoyed the zipline and orienteering the most.” The he added’ “Btw ... when is the next race?”
Team FeetBees are triathletes and were the oldest participants. They said; “This is the toughest race we’ve done so far, and we completely underestimated the 60km category. Survival, skills, endurance and teamwork stand out as 4 pillars of this race. The happiness of completing it was immense. We will be back again for sure to better our time and WIN.”
Team Veera Kannadigas were newly-weds, married just 4 days before the race and said; “It was amazing, we are out of words. The cycling section was out of the world. We used to see this kind of races in Instagram and YouTube, now here in India it is possible. You get the raw form adventure. We are happy that we completed our first race as a couple and learnt so much.”
Team Cross Riders were Brother & Sister and said; “As a team we were supportive of each other as for us it was a very new experience altogether. The deeper we went into the woods the more we forgot about the ticking clock, though we scaled a different hill than we were supposed to and were the last team to reach some CPs! We understood the word “adventurous” for the first time. Though it was hard sometimes, we enjoyed the race to the fullest. We wish we could have finished the rest of the course!”
The winning team in the 25 km category took 6 hours 40 mins, whereas the 60 km winning team took just 7 hours 28 mins.
Race Director, Sayeesha Kirani commented, “It was an emotional and proud moment standing at start line with these amazing adventure racers who showed true grit. We were happy to be in outdoors and doing what we love, and stoked to hear the finish line stories. They experienced something amazing, which they never expected, and enjoyed the course, the wilderness, different sports and finding out about the importance of teamwork. It’s what Adventure Racing is all about and we are happy to share this passion.”
Now Team NthAdventure is gearing up to launch 2021 Adventure Racing Calendar and more exciting formats for upcoming Adventure Races in India.