Adventure Racing Championship India Asia Series ‘Goa Beyond Beaches’: Braving Monsoon Madness
Let's get into the thrilling world of adventure racing, where 20 fearless teams from India and abroad ventured into the heart of the Goan monsoon to compete in the Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary.
“Adventure Racing is a unique journey that helps you discover yourself, bond with your team, and embrace your connection with nature. It's a thrilling cycle of adventure where you truly grow.”, Ajita Madan, Race Director, NthAdventure
On a day when most people seek shelter from the relentless Goan monsoon, 20 fearless teams from India and abroad descended upon the Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary to embark on a thrilling adventure. Their mission: to conquer the challenging 60 KM and 130 KM courses and earn a spot in the Asia Regional Championships 2023, Philippines. While the yellow alert from the weather department added an extra layer of difficulty, for these adventurers, this was precisely what they had signed up for. Adventure Racing isn't just a sport; it's a test of mettle, an exploration of limits, and a pursuit of excellence.
"Adventure Racing isn't just about being physically fit; it's also about having a strong mind, working well in a team, and being skilled at finding your way. It's one of the most unique and challenging team sports out there.”, Akshata, Team Shershah, Bangalore
The backdrop for the start of the race was nothing short of magical: the Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary. The teams gathered at the starting point, with rain pouring from the heavens. It was a wet start to what promised to be a gruelling race, but the teams remained fearless, their eyes firmly fixed on the ultimate prize - the chance to represent India at the prestigious AR Asia Regional Series in the Philippines.
“It is a new terrain and a new experience for us. We will get to know more about Goa, its people, and its culture beyond the beaches.”, says Santosh Gowda, Team SkyRunners, Bangalore
Right from the flag off, the teams faced a barrage of challenges, scattered across courses through the enchanting yet exhausting Western Ghats. Over the next 24 hours, they would run through the Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary's lush trails before getting deeper into the dense heart of the Western Ghats, navigating rough terrain, hamlets, villages, scaling steep slopes, cycling through breathtaking landscapes, trekking to grassy plateaus, crossing rivers and rivulets while immersing themselves in Goan culture. As the race pressed on and fatigue set in, the challenges became tougher, leading the competitors through some of the Western Ghats' most demanding terrains.
“India's future in adventure racing is bright, as more young and fit Indians are embracing this exciting sport.”, Keith, Team Wild, UAE
Starting from the scenic South-East of Goa, traversing through the rugged yet mesmerising terrain, the teams ultimately reached the finish at Palolem, South Goa. In a brilliant display of determination and skill, it was Team Shershah who surged ahead of all competitors, sealing their well-deserved place in the coveted Adventure Racing Asia Regional Series in the Philippines.
“For the first time in Indian AR history, India will have representation at the Asia Championship 2023, a 350KM-3 days non-stop course consisting of an ocean swim, trail running, hiking, MTB, rope-works, Kayaking around the island of the Philippines. It’s a milestone we all have been waiting for and worked hard for the past few years.”, Ajita Madan, Race Director, NthAdventure
The Goan monsoon may have tried to dampen their spirits, but these adventurous individuals demonstrated that, in the world of adventure racing, there are no boundaries, and every challenge is an opportunity to push beyond one's limits. ‘Goa Beyond Beaches’ has once again proven that adventure knows no bounds, and it's not just about reaching the destination but savouring every step of the journey. It's not about beating others; it's about conquering yourself.