PETALING JAYA: All three teams representing Malaysia made it to the top five podium positions at the recent Adventure Racing (AR) Asia Series championship in Biliran, the Philippines.
Malaysia’s Kamikaze Adventure Team emerged third, followed by KBS (Kementerian Belia dan Sukan) Adventure Team in fourth and Skomad Adventure Racing Team in fifth.
Over a dozen teams from countries such as the Philippines, India, New Zealand, Poland and Japan took part in the challenging race.
Team manager James Chee said the competition – La Routa Adventure Race – saw participants competing over a distance of some 350km with non-stop racing involving a mix of biking, trekking, sea swimming, abseiling and boat paddling.
Participants also spent days and nights in dense jungle and taking short naps, even when it was raining.
“Our three teams did well and took third to fifth placing in the Elite Category of the race.
“Among others, they had to navigate with a map and compass throughout the race without the aid of GPS.
“The routes were kept secret until hours before the race,” he said in an interview.
Chee said the map given dated back to the 1960s.
He said the race format was divided into two categories in which all racers started at the same time.
“From there, all team members – three men and a woman – had to search for checkpoints and transition areas where they would change from one discipline to another.
“The top five teams that arrived in the designated transition area were admitted into the Elite Category, which then raced on a tougher route,” he said.
The winner was Team Fear Youth from New Zealand while the second spot went to Team Nonstop Adventure from Poland.
Chee said that every year, a different country would play host to the competitive race.
He also said Malaysian team members had to fork out their own money to participate in the race for the thrill of the extreme sports and to make the country proud.
“They trained very hard over a period of six months prior to the competition.
“We hope the Youth and Sports Ministry can recognise their efforts and assist them in future championships,” he said.