RAF Adventure Racing team

When was the last time you hiked up mountains, kayaked, caved and mountain biked across severe terrain all with only 8 hours sleep over 6 days?!

In 2018 the RAF Adventure Racing team took on 2 of the most demanding adventure races possible. GODZone Adventure is widely recognised as one of the toughest events in the world, taking on the depths of New Zealand’s inhospitable terrain in a week long epic adventure. Raidaran, the European Adventure Racing Championship, saw the team take on 580km of some of the toughest terrain in the Spanish Pyrenees in the heat of summer.

The RAF Central Fund have been our sole source of support in making these events possible.

“Adventure Racing requires a huge amount of team work, it is both physically and mentally demanding on a level hard to describe. So, if it’s so difficult to describe then why would your attempt this sort of event at all? The best answer I can come up with is this; a challenge of this scale provides an arena where you’re truly stretched beyond your limits as an individual and you fully appreciate what it means to be in a team.

On a hot summers Sunday evening in the Spanish town of Balaguer the RAF Adventure Racing team were one of 28 teams about to commence on an adventure that would genuinely test them all to their limits. Our team of 4 from across the RAF is comprised of Sqn Ldr Jamie Buckle, Sqn Ldr Rob Hurcomb, Flt Lt Laura Frowen and Flt Lt Dom Sanderson. We’re all accomplished athletes with a multitude of skill sets which would all be needed and tested for the event. Over the next 6 days we took on multiple disciplines including orienteering, mountain biking, kayaking, caving and hiking up and down mountains! The course was unforgiving; the climbs were steep and relentless, the descents were steep, tight and technical. We helped each other through our ups and downs to finally reach the finish line with a few minutes to spare. Covered in 6 days of mud, sweat, scrapes and scratches we were a sight for the well-dressed tourists and commuters! The sense of achievement was huge. We had covered over 480km across some of Europe’s most rugged terrain. Our elevation gain totalled over 52,000ft. This was accomplished in roughly 5 days and 20hrs with no more than 8 hrs sleep, having burned around 80,000 calories each. The team work required was immense, but really can’t be quantified quite so easily.

The RAF Central Fund have been our sole source of support in making these events possible. As we seek to make this sport more accessible by working in conjunction with the Army we can only hope for continued support, thank you.”

Flt Lt Dom Sanderson on behalf of the RAF Adventure Racing team.

 

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