The Drive… to achieve, to compete, to win, many people endured that thought over three hours of racing on Saturday at the Maximum Adventure Go Natural Multisport event. As competitors cycle the 32Km leg from Akuna bay out to Westhead and back, then jump in a kayak and paddle 12km to Bobbin Head to only then have to run 9km thru bush trails before stopping. What drives these people? I saw all age groups and all fitness levels competing so it’s not just the elite that are out there. Is it personal achievement then that drives these people to suffer the wind, the sun, the blisters?
I believe it is all of the above, a big Kudos goes out to all the competitors, the organizers and to the National Parks for allowing the use of the pristine land and waterways of Ku-ring-gai national park. As always, I find it immensely satisfying to have the opportunity to capture these moments. It drives me to try and visualize, locate and capture images that resonate what the competitor is experiencing.
It no longer amazes me how many people compete at these events, this was a smaller event with 400 people, thats 400 bikes, 400 kayaks and 800 shoes. The event would surely be even bigger if not restricted by the parks to limit wear and tear on courses. But what my mind does now lean to is what drives these people doing these events? I grew up in an outdoors / active lifestyle so I understand but everywhere around us in the news we are apparently becoming a more and more lethargic society…… well just sign up and come out to one of Maximum Adventures events and see how untrue that appears to be.
If you were a competior out there on the weekend, jump over to the gallery and search your competitor number to locate any images that you have been tagged in. Otherwise, browse away as many competitor numbers were not visible making identification impossible.
Sydney’s Royal National Park hosted the Kathmandu Adventure Series in perfect sunny autumn conditions on Saturday. The competitors were charged up to race, the course ready to be tackled and the event ran without a hitch thanks to Maximum Adventure.
As always, I love shooting these events. There are so many different people competing, all with different goals or factors driving them to finish, but at the heart of it all everyone is just there to have a great time. The event location could not be a better choice with the Hacking river providing the wet stuff for kayaking and canoeing. The maze of track, trails and fireroads provided the runners and bikers plenty of scenery as well. This is what adventure racing is all about. We may have not been in an extreme remote location but sometimes the best outdoor locations can be just out our backdoor.
On the weekend, I attended the Warrior Dash held at Peat’s Ridge, NSW shooting for Aurora Images. I am always amazed by these events and the turnouts they have and how there are always such a variety of people. But what I really noticed at this event is the laughter. Absolute contagious laughter. As I peered thru my viewfinder shooting mates racing across the ropes, friends laughing at one another as they slip and fall into the river below or as a group of family hang on for dear life trying not to slip and succumb to the challenge at hand, I could not stop smiling. So much so, that my cheeks were sore by the days end.
Adventure racing has become the new triathlon for the fitness minded and even just people who want to have fun. Warrior Dash is supposedly now the biggest adventure race of its kind in the world and amassed 800,000 likes on Facebook to attest to this. People are happy to pay good money and to run thru the mud and push themselves physically. I was situated about 5km into the course and people would line up 8,9,10 deep to have a go at the obstacle and come up smiling from the now frothy and stained water.
If you were at the event and want an memorable image of that perfect moment, head over to the Aurora Images website and punch in your competitor number, I’m sure some great images await to relive the day. Until next time, train hard or not at all if your goal is just to have fun.
On Saturday I was shooting at a new event, lucky number 1, The Valley Stampede. The inagural event which was held up at Glenworth Valley near Peats Ridge was a very fun day. Fun to shoot and definitely fun for the competitors judging by their laughter and dissappointment at getting clean? I was shooting the ziplines over a creek, rigged to stop only half way across forcing competitors to swim. Many people were dissappointed to be mud free again, not too worry they had more to come.
Valley Stampede 1
Lucky number 3? I had received some new gear on only Wednesday, three days before the event, the Nikon D3s. Now up until now I have been using the well equipped Nikon D300 without a single dissappointment. I havn’t sold or traded in the D300 as it will still serve as a great backup or second remote camera setup. As for the D3s, it performed flawlessly from its handling, better button layout, larger viewfinder and superb image quality. The more I shoot with this camera the more I discover features that were not even purchase points… Love it.
Valley Stampede 2
As for the lucky number 6200…. that was the number of registered competitors that took part on the day. My biggest event so far. This event was an absolute blast and if you are looky to get away for some easy camping at a easy location relaxing by a fire after running your guts out in mud, obstacles and laughing with your mates, this is the one to go to.
Valley Stampede 3
The guys over at SuperSportImages will have the official photographs of the day and covered all the major obstacles which will be available for purchase very soon.
To the competiotors thanks for putting on a show and making the day so much fun and the organizers, well done.
Over the weekend I had a great time shooting an event in a great spot, Jervis Bay, run by great people, Max Adventure for a great cause, The Starlight Foundation. The event was the Great Adventure Challenge (GAC Facebook Page) which is in its fourth year of raising money for this worthy cause. This year alone, the GAC raised it’s largest amount of $260,000 bring the four year total to $670,000 which will go towards making sick children feel better while they stay in hospital.
GAC 2011 - Competitors
As for the event, a great multi sport barrage of activities from trail running, snorkeling, kayaking, MTB riding, rogaining were tackled by teams of 8 people. Between leg changovers, the teams had to complete challenges of skill testing smarts and creativity. As for the location, Huskisson in Jervis Bay put on perfect weather with sunny skies and high 20′s.
GAC 2011 - Competitors
As for shooting, it was hard work just keeping up with the competitors as they raced one another over the 50+ Km course. Not only that but to reach some of the locations required driving on unknown and unmarked roads. All woth it though as everyone was having a great time and full of smiles and enthusiasm.
GAC 2011 - Competitors
My gear consisted of my regular Nikon camera bodies and lens choices from 24mm – 200mm. Every lens was needed as long beach shots, shots while standing/running in water and tight fire-road shots were called for. Fill flash light from speedlights helped balanced out the harsh sunlight. The sand was a challenge to keep out of the bag but thankfully it wasn’t windy.
To all the competitors and the organisers thanks for a great day, your hard work paid off with a very successful event. See you next year.