With a cool beer in hand, I settled down on the sofa in order to look through a few emails before starting on the never ending DIY chores. My wife and I moved into our house in Romsey several months ago and there are still 101 jobs to do, most of which are now passing me by. One email that instantly jumped out from the page had a subject line that read; ‘Saab Salomon Mountain-X Race…Worth a Crack?’ The perpetrator of such a ludicrous statement, was Oli Mytton, good friend and fellow team mate in the Dynamic Adventure Racing’s (DAR) 8 hour event back in January.
Now, Oli had some experience with these events having raced in the Original Mountain Marathon last year in Scotland’s Lowther Hills as well as a previous DAR event a couple of years back. We both had a good endurance base from years of running and cycling and I thought that would stand us in good stead. Yet, I had to be mentally pulled round the event after starting the race due to the limited number of training runs and rides completed over the preceding months. Despite this fact, I loved my introduction into the sport of Adventure Racing and we were both keen to do more over the next few months.
However, time was moving on and the thirst to train wasn’t coming easily. The email was just the push I needed to kick start me into action. My answer was yes before I’d even had chance to have a look at the race site. Yet, it was even more so after reading up on the variety of activities, the social format and the amazing locations the race organizers had conjured up.
Once over the initial Alpine dreaming, the question arose of who would complete the team. We needed someone of similar ability on the running and biking front with experience in the hills and a slight craziness about them. The decision wasn’t hard to make. A phone call later and our good friend and training partner for too many years to remember, Phil Westmorland, completed the gang. Phil was a late comer to the world of multisport but has made up for this with enthusiasm and the desire to train and race hard. This enthusiasm was triggered by some high altitude Himalayan adventures in his University days before becoming fully engrossed in the trio of sports; swimming, biking and running.
Once the team was formed, we needed to find a sponsor. Without a proven record in Adventure Racing, we were going to have our work cut out even though we’d received sponsorship deals for the last few years in triathlon. Nevertheless, Alpkit very kindly offered to sponsor us for the race. The company makes an ideal sponsor not only because of its adventure gear (some of which we will be putting to the test) but also because of the friendly way that it operates and the passion they have put into the production of all their products.