According to the Native American calendar, the 22nd of March will see the end of the Wolf Month and the start of the Month of the Falcon. Oh, it will also be two year to the day since I started this blog…
In honour of this tradition of naming months after kickass animals (as well as some disappointing animals like goose, beaver and salmon), I will have flown 10,000 miles to Townsville, Australia. There, I will be preparing to take part in the festival of awesomeness and multi-sport extravaganza known…as Adventurethon!
Held in what looks like paradise, Adventurethon is essentially an off-road, more badass version of a triathlon. It’s like a triathlon that can wear a bandanna without looking ridiculous and rides stunt motorcycles in its spare time, but doesn’t even bring that up in conversation.
I’m not saying Adventurethon can necessarily outfight a bear, simply by fixing it with a thousand-yard stare…but it has a better chance at that than a normal triathlon does. (The Month of the Bear is August 22 – September 21, by the way).
Instead of starting with a predictable old swim, for example, you kayak; 13km out into Horseshoe bay, where you complete a 4.2km circuit before racing 13km back again! When you’ve fallen out of your kayak and appealed to the Gods for strength, you then jump onto a bike…
Yet this isn’t a case of racing thin-tired road bikes along smooth tarmac roads; this is powering mountain bikes around Magnetic Island, along 29km of wetlands, dirt paths and mountain tracks – the Australian sun baking your helmeted head like an oversized, hairy egg!
Given the location, you could be forgiven for taking the strain off at this point and having a rest – perhaps even settling down for a picnic, or building a wooden hut so you never, ever have to leave…
BUT YOU WILL NOT, BECAUSE YOU ARE AN ADVENTURER!!
Instead, you complete the agonising cycle and, dropping your bike like the smouldering remains of your nemesis’ prized collection of tubular bells, you flee back into the island. This time a mere 16km through bitumen, sand and more rocky mountain trails, stands in your way…followed by another 2.4km of stumbling your way to Hawkings point lookout…where you pass out, knowing that you’ve done your duty as an Adventurer.
Of course, not everybody is capable of completing an event such of this magnitude and – luckily – they don’t have to! In the name of adventure, joy and inclusiveness (if that is a word), there are many versions of the event; from the full ULTRA-AVENTURETHON to the Dirty Duothon (no kayak) and the Taste of Adventurethon, and even a separate event just for those between the ages of 8 and 17! What’s more, each of the events can be undertaken alone, in a team or pretty much however you fancy!
I cannot think of a better ending point for Ed vs. Sport or a better starting point for the Chronicles of Adventure than this, most brilliant of triathlons. Exactly which event I will take part in…I’m not sure.
I’m not a good runner, have mountain biked exactly zero times in my life (I can ride a bike…so I assume I can ride a bike on a mountain) and my chances of learning to kayak on the Thames in Winter are slim to lethal.
Even so, I shall take part – FOR THE GUILD! (The Guild of Adventurers).