Looking for multi terrain adventure thrown in with a dash of challenge, endurance and fun…..you must be joking! Well if you really want all of this and more then you have the coolest race on the circuit being run annually near Rishikesh by the Aquaterra Adventures Team – extremely well managed, responsible and great people team at Aqua Terra .
It is not a race against time or against competitors, it is a race run together with all the participants (non participants too at times- Candy).
Candy – The gift from Kandi
That does not mean that it is not competitive – consider someone running a 25 km mountain trail in less than 3 hours – consider more than 1/5 of competitors doing it in less than 4 hours, what about someone cycling the same distance in 1 hour and 9 mins. Competitive enough by all standards.
It is the true test of woman and man against the inner voice of doubt – “tumse na ho payega”, if you know what I mean. Limits are pushed, elbows, knees even egos are bruised, muscles are tested, mind stops and your heart pounds in ears. Why did I come here is what one might ask at some point in time – but believe me it is worth it, it is worth it because through all of this the indomitable human spirit shines, it shines through the people who complete and also on the people who see them come home towards the lovely you did it boards. It shines in the hearts when though tired people want more of the adventure and inspire all around them to be more than what they have been till then. The enormity of what one achieves is impossible to be put in words, for some it is a record which needs chasing, some come to complete, some for fun and some for pure winning – the cutting edge of fitness and tough regime. The confidence that everything is possible, the gift of being able to help others on the way to finish the course, the camaraderie, the smiles, the helping hands, the jokes on one’s own expense, the high of rushing winds and water, the games that temperature and light play is all that one signs up for when there is a calling for this challenge – I feel it is a great bargain to learn so much about one’s self in just 3 – 4 days.
When asked what keeps you going most just plain said Bagrry’s Muesli, honestly I liked the oats as well if not more, it is always desirable to have something which is healthy and tasty at the same time and helps when you need all the energy that you can get. Perfect health partner for people who care for themselves and their loved ones.
Day 1 begins when people from all over the world and such diverse and interesting walks of life descend upon the AquaTerra camp in Atali – 30 kms from Rishikesh. Meeting and greeting done, settle down with nice home cooked food and gear up for the evening briefing where Vaibhav, Sid and others let them know what they are in for (first timers still do not get it, and the repeaters exchange sly smiles).
Day 2 Run, walk, run, walk run and reach the top; treat yourself with energy drink and the most lovingly welcomed back pack of noodles……this is what we all did for most of the morning. Choose cycles (super bike from best in class manufacturers), get on the cycle with safety gear (not even trial is allowed without the safety gear). Get another tasty meal in your belly and lights out.
Day 3 paddle on the ground and then paddle on the water – sounds easy, does it not?….surely you must try my dear friend. I am sure we will meet there next year and we will become friends as I did with so many of adventure junkies this time around.
Evening is nothing short of any starry awards ceremony which we have seen on the tube, all stars who were tired and resting in the day after the race come out shinning bright and the ones who found the walk to the camp from road tough could be seen dancing away all the bodily pain albeit with a bit of help from the delicious rum punch.
To me it was nothing short of a revelation, the atmosphere being charged up at all times and keeping the human spirits high through pain and struggle done with smiles and friendliness, what more could I want from the sky above – a weekend spent with new friends (some seemed to have always been there for me) under the blue sky and close to a Motherly river.