Adventure Racing: The Ultimate Guide ペーパーバック – 2001/5
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Written by two endurance athletes, Adventure Racing covers the sport from its origins in New Zealand 20 years ago through today. It delves into the nuts and bolts of navigation and orientation, mountain biking, trekking, rope skills, and paddling. Information on nighttime racing and training, how to prevent injury and illness, fuel and hydration, and what to expect after a race are included.
The layout of Mann and Schaad's work is good for those just starting--lots of sidebars, whitespace, and basics. Adamson has professional prestige and his book is filled with the opinions/wisdom of someone with hardwon wisdom. I sensed though that as a high profile professional adventure racer, he is obligated to sponsors. His gear recommendations, which I gobbled up at first, began to seem more like celebrity endorsements by the end and I began to wish there was a more objective equipment guide. I have no doubt that Adamson's equipment recommendations are excellent; I would have liked to have gotten a better sense of comparison, though, to help me better understand why a Paladin harness was the recommendation rather than an Alpine Bod-- ie. what are the little things I am really looking for when I go out and buy gear for a discipline I don't yet do?
On Siff and Caldwell, I think the text portrays fingertip wisdom as good as Adamson's and the color photo section is great. Having read all three a couple of times through, I find myself picking up Siff and Caldwell and browsing it more than the others.
Mann and Schaad are on the bottom of the pile. I think that has something to do with the layout--which hints of Idiot's guides. I've certainly not worn out their advise but the layout has gone stale.
Recommendations: If you are completely new to the sport, and to more than one discipline, get the Complete Guide and read it first. Once you are hooked, you have to have the other two.
One area that these books don't purport to cover well is land navigation. A great book for learning those skills is Burns, et. al. Wilderness Navigation. I have taught from it several times in college level classes and it is a better fit for adventure racing than for what I have been using it (fundamental map reading and compass navigation).
Barry Siff and Liz Caldwell, both experienced adventure racers with resumes that include 11th place finish in the Eco-Challenge in 2000, 9th place finish in the Raid Gauloises in 2000 decided to put together their collective experience and write a book to help introduce and educate people about adventure racing. The book was very good, educational and informative especially if you are interested in getting into adventure racing.
The Good: Great source of information for beginners and experienced racers alike. Good color photo's in the center. The section that detailed the gear list was very interesting. There isn't too much to elaborate on. If you are interested in adventure racing this is a good place to start.
The Bad: I wish they would have spent a little bit more time on shorter races.
Overall: This book is a good place to start for people interested in adventure racing. Pick it up and give it a try.
How do I eat? What do I pack? What kind of shoes? How do I train? What is a race like?
The questions are answered with their voice of experience but without alot of extra frou-frou 'all about me' inspirational stuff that makes some books by athletes hard to read.
For perspective, Liz and Barry include some gear lists from several large races and the training regimens of top adventure racers.
Don't expect this to be the only book you'll ever need to read to be an adventure racer - but it points you in the right direction so that you can figure out how to focus your education. In other words - it doesn't teach you everything you need to know about navigation, but if gives you some great tips, training advice, and points out things to pay attention to during your education.
I definitely recommend this for new and 'wannabe' adventure racers - not just someone bound for the Eco Challenge but also those with their sites on a 1 or 2 day race. If you were inspired from the couch watching exciting footage of the big races - this is a great start for your adventure.
I found this book to be more practical and answer oriented than Derek Paterson's 'Adventure Racing, Guide to Survival,' although it was good too, but in a story-telling sort of way.
PS: With my friends I started an adventure racing club for us mere mortals who want to be adventure racers. I've completed some shorter races and organized a couple - so, while I'm not an expert, I'm definitely part of the novice target market for this book. Wish they'd written it last year. ;)