Overcoming Obstacles At AVventura 2013
By PEARLYN LAU
January 23, 2013
With quivering arms she pulled herself up the 25m rope ladder. Her partner remained on the ground level to belay her while he hollered words of encouragement. Within minutes she reached the top. ‘My arms are shaking!’ she commented in between pants of exhaustion. Her face was flushed red and glistened with perspiration. After readjusting her harness, she zoomed down the abseil. The moment she touched the ground, she tore off her harness. She and her partner sprinted to the finishing line. With that, they completed the race.
Pushing on as the going gets tough!
Those were the winners of the SAFRA AVventura 2013 Sprint mixed Category. Sumiko Tan and Tan Hong Haa completed the race with a timing of 4hrs:29mins:37sec.
A total number of 191 teams or 382 participants took part in the race this year. Participants of the Sprint and Youth Category had to endure a 31 km race route involving cross-country running, trail biking, kayaking and sport climbing. The Ultra Category was a longer 42km route.
Sumiko noted that kayaking was the most challenging part of the race for her. ‘I am trained in triathlons and marathons, so running and cycling aren’t an issue for me. However, it took me a while to get used to kayaking during the race because I don’t usually kayak,’ Sumiko explained.
Teams at the Punggol Waterway Checkpoint
One team wading their way through the challange, while another helps aid his partner's cramp!
To other participants, the gruelling 13km run and the combination of other sports disciplines was enough to challenge them. Benjamin Tan, aged 19, who took part in the youth category, commented that this was the first time he ‘suffered painful cramps’ in both his legs during the race.
The idea of giving up was foreign to most of the racers. Despite his cramps, Benjamin managed to finish the race. ‘I just wanted to finish the race with my race partner. I didn’t want to let her down,’ said Benjamin. Benjamin and his partner, Nur Sabrina Binte Rexak, 19, are racers representing Nanyang Polytechnic Adventure Club.
On the other hand, Sumiko’s motivation to complete the race was more intrinsic. Throughout the race she kept telling herself ‘we’re reaching soon, we’re reaching soon. One more step forward, is a step closer to the finishing line.’ This encouraged her to push herself continuously during the race.
Winners of Sprint Mixed Category : Sumiko Tan & Tan Hong Haa
Even though there were strong motivations to win and finish the race, Sumiko added that her team’s main priority was to reach each checkpoint safely.
Photos Courtesy of Pearlyn Lau