JASON Chuck’s main goal this weekend when he competes in the Kathmandu 24-hour adventure race is not to get lost.
A seasoned ironman triathlon competitor, Chuck said the night navigation component of the race was a new challenge for him and his race partner Stewart Lyle.
“That will be the real test,” he said.
The race will be the first he has done with a partner and he hopes to still be on friendly terms with Lyle at the end.
“The race organisers say that one of the biggest problems is conflict within teams. Hope-fully we can avoid that.”
Mr Chuck, of Cobden, and Mr Lyle, of north Queensland, will this Saturday tackle a 120- kilometre course that event organisers promote as ‘24 Hours of Hell’.
It involves about 70 kilometres of mountain biking, 30km of trail running and 20km of kayaking with numerous checkpoints to make along the way.
“It might be eight to nine segments,” Mr Chuck said.
“We do not know the course.
“We do not know the checkpoints.
“We are only told that at the race briefing the night before.”
The two will be among more than 100 of Australia’s fittest amateur and professional athletes who will put their mental and physical strength to the test in the race at Piper’s Bay in Forster, NSW.
The demanding cross-country course will take competitors through bushland, steep terrain, rivers, mountains, clifftops and even caves.
Strategy will play a big part with challengers needing to plan the fastest and most efficient route as they map-read on the move.
Taking on challenges is nothing new to Mr Chuck, 30, who has been competing in triathlons for about 15 years.
However, he decided to branch out into adventure racing because it offered more of a mental challenge.
“Competing with a partner adds another layer of challenge,” Mr Chuck said.
He hoped their personalities and fitness skills would be complementary.
Mr Chuck described his strength as having a good grasp of “the big picture” while Mr Lyle, 30, had good attention to detail. If the partnership worked, they were considering taking on an adventure that would raise money for charity, he said.
Mr Chuck has stepped up his rigorous training schedule in preparation for this weekend’s event, doing five to six gym sessions each week and running up to 30km on weekends, often on the Crater to Coast rail trail.
Swimming and mountain biking have added to his weekly fitness regime.
The Kathmandu 24-Hour is part of the Kathmandu Adventure Series held throughout Australia and New Zealand and involving more than 3500 competitors.