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Writer Peter Winkler

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  From the Field
  I Was an Adventure
School Dropout

Article and photographs by Peter Winkler

Anyone can send an athlete to an intensive training course, so did something different. We sent a couch potato, and he didn't suffer in silence.

Follow his misadventures, or read on to get the basics on adventure racing.

For more about adventure racing school, see "Endorphin Academy" in the Fall 1999 issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ADVENTURE.

 What Is Adventure
Racing Anyway?

Take a triathlon and stretch it out over a week or so. Add a few more sports, perhaps horseback riding or rappelling or ice climbing or kayaking. Or all of them.

Set the course in the most user-hostile terrain you can find, preferably in a country with plenty of parasites. Give the athletes only the sketchiest details of where they're going and make them navigate with wits dulled by pain and fatigue.

Now for the fun part. Make it a team sport and disqualify the whole group if even a single member drops out. Struggling together will solder the team—or shatter it.

Give the event a distinctive title—Raid Gauloises, Eco-Challenge, Southern Traverse, to name a few of the classics—and you have yourself an adventure race.

Fall 1999: Previews | Forum | Profile | Nick's Take 2 | From the Field | Trips 2000
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