XPD extreme challenge… Success is in the planning and preparation…
When people decide to take on outdoor adventures, good planning and being prepared is the key… Dan Barry, who trains people to be leaders in outdoor recreation, together with his other team members, Tim Gill, Dan Coletti and Justin Farrell, show how this is done as they take on the XPD race / expedition in August 2015. Hear more about the event and what such a challenge brings… It was in a general conversation with Dan about his own fitness training that we discovered he had a goal… and that was to compete in the XPD race in August that will finish in Townsville, Queensland for the 2015 event. Claudine and I became curious about what it takes to be successful in such an event. It soon became clear it wasn’t just about the fitness… This is a challenge on so many levels… One thing that stood out for us… were his key words… Good planning and preparation… We saw the parallel for people facing their own life challenge… that is – being more prepared for what lies ahead can make a difference. Thanks Dan for sharing your experience around the XPD event… Oh! and by the way there will be a live streaming of the event in August… in ‘real time!’… Something you might like to be inspired by… We’ll certainly be keeping up with your reports from the challenge…
|Your Name||Daniel Barry|
|City of Residence||Adelaide, Australia|
|Occupation or Experience||Lecturer, Outdoor Recreation and Adventure Tourism TAFESA|
|Web Links||www.xpd.com.au and click on live tracking|
|Your Passions/Interests||Adventure outdoors|
|Team Name||Adventure Systems|
What is XPD and what does it involve?
XPD is Australia’s premier expedition length adventure race. Teams of four competitors from around the world trek, mountain bike and kayak for 5 to ten days. You race day and night over a 700km course. There are a number of other activities thrown in but you don’t know these until closer to the start date. There are 45 teams in this year’s race which will finish in Townsville, Queensland and you have 10 days to finish. Some of the international teams will take 5 days and we are hoping to finish in 7/8 days. The race is unsupported and you don’t know the course until 24 hours before the race start.
What types of challenges does this type of event bring to those who enter?
There are a number of challenges along the way to the start line, it’s certainly not all about the fitness, so much to do before the race start. What you put into the planning and preparation determines what kind of race you are going to have. This race is unsupported and you don’t know where the race goes until 24 hours before the race start. We must meticulously plan all our equipment and sustenance before the race and this is all pre packed into 5 plastic trucks and one bike box which are moved to various points on the course by race organisers.
What is the key to success with this type of challenge?
For this challenge there are a number of keys on the key ring and all need to be given due attention. Having a good team around you. A team that is committed, an understanding and acceptance of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, a lot of patience and encouragement, honest with yourself and to the team when you are not going well and having fun and seeing it for what it is! Planning and preparation would be the main challenge and it is an area that needs constant attention. There are two parts to the planning and preparation, one at the macro level where you have a nine month lead in time and at the micro level where you have 24 hours to plan and prepare the detail. It is a difficult task to regularly commit time and energy over a nine month period because it is easy to put things off. A committed team to planning and preparation will mean when you are on the start line your only thoughts are on the challenges ahead. Preparing yourself and the team to the physical aspect of the race. It is important to have a regular training program covering the three main activities not just to increase your physical fitness but to increase your mental fitness. To get to the finish will require mental stamina as it will be the mental determination of the team to push through those barriers that will no doubt pop up along the way. Overnight training sessions are important to do. What do you gain or in what way can you benefit from taking on something like this?
If you have a goal, in my case the XPD race, or something that has come up which is of a challenging nature and you commit to this goal the benefits are many. Being a team member and understanding what that means, it’s not just about you, know your team’s strength and weaknesses. The ability to communicate your thoughts in a team environment. To be able to be flexible in your planning and preparation but at the same time knowing when to firm so that things actually to place. Since we are a team of 4 delegate tasks, don’t take on everything.
For anyone looking to commence some outdoor adventure type activity, what would be some worthwhile first steps?
Adventure racing normally requires you to do more than one activity and whichever these activities are it is important to be competent in the skills to perform the activity confidently in the terrain you are doing it in. Get some friends together to join a club or organisation that provides training. There are a number of adventure racing events here and interstate, ranging from a couple of hours to a number of days. These events cater for the novice and the experienced.