Thoughts About Competition

I've had a nice email exchange with one of my Canadian friends and fellow ENDracer recently that I thought bore comment.  She was responding to one of my FB posts (on the END-SPAR event page) that seemed intended at creating a rivalry between canada and the US by alluding to a mythical 'adventure racing crown' that was up for grabs at the event.  Although i will admit to being a big smack talker (see below) myself and someone who has alot of 'fun' with competition - after the discussion i realize i may have been over-emphasizing the competitive aspect of endracing events. 

ENDracing talks smack before 2012 Swamp Donkey


The beauty of the type of races that we aim to bring to the region is that they really appeal to folks who are 'self-competitive' - who strive to see what they are able to accomplish in relation to their own inner ideas of what their limits/capabilities are.  My experience has always been that traditionally competitive people often fare worse at brutal events that contain a high degree of uncertainty - and that pretty much sums of what we aim to include as an ingredient (at least in some measure) for every race we put on.  In particular our Adventure Races fit in to this category, where navigation and teamwork - both of which increase the level of uncertainty - are key elements. 

So yeah, it can be fun to race race (see if you can figure that one out!).  It's nice to look at results afterwords and see how fast you went and how the teams you were 'racing with' fared - or even to analyze your race and figure out where you 'would have placed' if you hadn't made that nav error or gotten those three flats (I love doing this last one!).  But what is the most fun is just to 'race', period (raise your hand if you understood that important distinction.  Ok, good!). Our goal is really to challnege everyone and to create a fantastic and tough experience that both veteran and rookie racers will come away from with a sense of significant accomplishment - whether or not they are able to finish and regardless of where they find themselves in the results. 

Happy 'racing' everyone (:


Dave Ogren's picture
Submitted by Dave Ogren (not verified) on Tue, 03/05/2013 - 21:57

I LOVE the smack talking almost as I love the racing! The best thing about adventure racing is that it really is just a race against yourself for fun. You can't even compare your time each year to see if you've achieved a personal best like you can in marathon or triathlon because the course is always changing. Adventure racing is all about the joy of being out there just to race for the sake of racing.

Of course, coming in ahead of an American would be gravy (though last year, this rookie wasn't even close to matching you veterans). Swamp Donkey 2013: Game on!