If you are feeling a little bored with your health and fitness program or just want to try something new in 2020 then the Maximum Adventure Race Series that is coming to Lake Macquarie next month could be for you.
Described as "short, fast and fun, and suitable for anyone and everyone with a real sense of adventure", the event will be staged out of Cams Wharf on February 15 and has been designed to be the perfect introduction to adventure racing.
Designed for teams of two, the races put the emphasis on fun as well as adventure and require participants to change between the three core disciplines of mountain biking, trail running and kyaking.
Kyaks are provided and bikes can be hired on site. And the word running in trail running is used loosely with walking more than acceptable as well. How else are you meant to take in all of the picturesque scenery of the course, which is kept a secret until race day.
Teams each receive a map on race day then have an allocated time to study it and plan their route of attack. So the challenge is mental as well as physical, which might appeal to some.
The races are expected to take between two to six hours to complete with rarely a dull moment.
The Classic Course consists of 15 to 25 kilometres of mountain biking, five to 10km of trail running and two to four kilometres of kayaking across several legs.
The Novice Course is five to 15 kilometres of mountain biking, and three to five to five kilometres of trail running and one to two kilometres of kayaking.
There are multiple legs of each discipline and the opportunity to go cross country rather than stick to tracks and paths for those who are focused on making good time.
For those wanting to claim bragging rights over their friends or perhaps colleagues, organisers can oblige by pitting mates against mates in teams on the same courses. Depending on numbers, different participants will find themselves on different courses with the disciplines in differing order,
Kyaking is done on Lake Macquarie and some of the trail running involves coasteering - travelling through rock platforms, inlets and tidal pools and this year includes the option of going through Shark Hole. You also have the option of taking another route.
The event has been running for several years now and annually attracts local and out-of-town participants.
You can find out more at maxadventurerace.com.au.
If you would prefer to try some trail running before tackling a full-blown adventure race, the Coastal Ascent is being held on February 16 and has courses ranging from 5km to 25km as well as a kids run.
For those needing more time to prepare, Raffertys Coastal Run is on this year on July 18. It has 12km, 22km and 36km courses and also has some beautiful scenery and challenging trail sections. That is six months away, which is ample time to train up for any of those distances with regular commitment.
Upcoming Fitness Events
Nobbys To Newcastle Ocean Swim, January 25: A two-kilometre ocean swim from under Nobbys Lighthouse to Newcastle Beach.
Across the Harbour Swim, Newcastle harbour, January 26: Choose between the 700-metre single crossing or 1.4km double crossing of the harbour.
Maximum Adventure Race Series Lake Macquarie, Cams Wharf, February 15: Suited to a range of fitness levels, this event involves mountain biking, trail running and kyaking in teams of two.
Coastal Ascent, Dixon Park, February 16: A trail running event that has 5km, 11km or 25km courses.
Summer Sessions Week #8
Get a total body strength and cardio workout with this 30-minute session. Dividing your session into parts means you can work harder for shorter periods then enjoy a well-deserved break before the next set. Mixing these parts around will give you a range of different workouts as well.
For example, try these three sets of 10 minutes:
Set 1: 15 squats, 15 dead lifts, 20 walking lunges, 20 mountain climbers. Repeat until time is up.
Set 2: 12 push-ups, 12 bent-over rows/pull-ups, 12 shoulder press, 12 burpees. Repeat until time is up.
Set 3: 45 second sprints x run, cycle, row and skip. Repeat until time is up.
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Renee Valentine is a writer, qualified personal trainer and mother of three.