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Adventure Racing 101 (Part 5)

Adventure Racing 101 (Part 5)
Submitted by admin on April 21, 2010 – 8:03 amNo Comment


You may not have to worry about doing any climbing in the sprint races, but you will more than likely have at least a rappel in the longer races. In expedition and 24-hour races, you may also have to do an ascent with jumars. Both are very fun and relatively easy to learn.

*Head to a local gym or adventure racing camp to learn how to rappel with an ATC/Figure 8 and ascend with jumars (a jumar is a device that clasps around the rope and allows you to shuttle it forward, but not backwards–so you can actually climb “up” the rope, supporting your feet in attached “foot loops”).
*Practice with a number of different ascending techniques to discover what works for you. I find that I use two different techniques, one for low angle and one for vertical (“Rope Walker” system and “Frog/caving” system, respectively). It’s just a matter of practice and personal preference.

*Buy lightweight equipment. You may be running with it on your body or in your pack for long periods of time
*When ascending, remember to use your legs to push yourself up, versus your arms to pull yourself up.
*Tie a hair band or rubber band around the bottom of your foot loops to keep your feet from sliding out of the loops. Put your foot in the loop underneath the rubber band and then just push down on the rubber band to tighten the webbing across the top of your foot.
*Learn to not only ascend, but train to transfer from one rope to another (around a knot) and continue ascending. This is very common in adventure racing. You may also be asked to do an ascent to rappel transition, which you should learn to do suspended mid-rope. It’s not hard, but there’s definitely a method to the madness.
*If you are new to rope work, sandwich yourself between your teammates in the line-up for ascending or rappelling on your designated rope. That way you have a coach at the bottom and at the top if you need one.
*Tie your hair, maps, compass and the waist strap of your backpack behind you before you get to the rope. Anything that can be caught in your equipment WILL be.

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