Adventure seekers will put their mind and body to the test as the Kathmandu Adventure Series returns to the region this weekend.
The seventh race of this year’s series will take place in the Lower Mountains on Saturday and Sunday with hundreds of competitors covering the 40km course by foot, mountain bike and kayak.
Springwood’s Dean Heke and Steve Timbrell are just one of the two-man teams looking to conquer the course, which remains a mystery to entrants until the morning of the race.
Heke said teamwork would be a vital ingredient if Team Harvey World Travel Katoomba were to improve on a personal best third-place finish in previous appearances in the race.
“Certainly making sure that you’re partner is just feeling good and feeling strong . . . those sorts of things are probably the keys to keeping on top of things,” said Heke. “At certain stages, especially in the longer races, somebody can get mentally drained or tired and just lose focus, and sometimes it’s just a matter of . . . keeping them motivated about what you’re doing.”
The importance of staying focused is heightened during adventure racing due to the importance of orienteering skills in navigating the course. Not only do competitors have to be fit and have command of the multiple disciplines, they also need to plan the fastest and most efficient route to locate hidden checkpoints.
Heke said managing the pressure to make the right navigation decisions could make up valuable time on opponents.
“As far as strategy, it’s making sure you’re clear on what each other’s function is and what each other’s strengths are and focusing on that,” he said. “What we’ll do is, once we get the map, it’s really just a matter of working out what’s going to be the most efficient and the best route to take and then just go for it.”
Competitors will cover approximately 15-25km of mountain biking, 5-10km trail running, and 2-4km kayaking with multiple legs in each discipline. For more information, visit www.KathmanduAdventure.com.au.