Multisport and Adventure racing are sports of extreme endurance, often combining at least two of the disciplines of cross-country running, mountain biking and paddling – and not seldom with an ingredient of navigation and/or orientation. Adventure race directors add their own unique set-up of disciplines, including sports such as climbing and related rope skills, as well as in-lines, swimming and other surprising and challenging disciplines. All in order to make their race unique and exciting.
Multisport has seen a tremendous development since the start (in most athletes’ opinion modern Multisport started with the Coast to Coast race in New Zealand 1982) and today an athlete can compete all over the world in races stretching, from 1 day solo races, to team expedition races that can go on for 10-11 days. They all have one thing in common, all competitors are propelled only by themselves.
One of the fastest growing race forms for the really serious competitors are races with different stages (2-24 hours) every day for 2-6 days. Abu Dhabi Adventure and Wulong Quest are good examples and are the two biggest competitions when it comes to prize money and the competition. This racing form, with planned breaks, allow teams to compete many times a year, in contrast to non-stop expedition events, that take a long time to recover from.
The Multisporter, by Christian Godden
Is there such a thing as a typical multisporter? Well, if you meet a team and look at each and every individual, you will of course see that the team members differ in personality and expression. But if you look at them as a group, and even more enlightening, compare them to other people that you know, there are a few characteristics that most of them have. Background for example. Most successful and highly ranked adventure athletes have a sturdy background in other athletics and sports. And, not so surprising, they often spring from different stamina sports. If you look at their curriculums you’ll also find that these people have competed at a high level, for a long time. They have the personality of a fighter and are very conscious about their goals and ambitions. So what does it take? Well, determination is a good word. The money in multisports can’t be compared to soccer or tennis. These people have a profession, and many of them have day jobs, partly or full time. So where does the determination come in? Well, as well as handling a job, the very best typically train for 30-40 hours a week in order to reach and stay at the height of their profession – whatever the weather. Why do they do this? Well, I think they have to. They are fitted with a drive and a passion for pushing their limits and they are immune to the normal definition of fatigue. Add to this their need for adventure, nature and the reward of the adrenaline rush, and it’s at least easier to see why adventure races and Multisports as a discipline can help them fulfill themselves.