If you thought roughing it out couldn’t get any bigger than last month’s Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, you haven’t heard of the NECC-NEF Enduro3 adventure race.
The race’s seventh edition, which flags off from Pune today, will see each three-member team traversing 220 km of Sahyadri mountains, Panshet backwaters and the NDA campus non-stop before hitting the finish line in Pune on Sunday morning.
You might think an adventure race like this would be a niche affair, with few participants. But its the opposite. About 175 teams from all over India are participating. “The participants are from diverse backgrounds. We have amateur athletes, IT professionals and even armed forces’ personnel,” says Ajinkya Kari, race director.
“I got to know about the race through other people who are into adventure sports,” said Calvin Vaz, whose training included 15 days of jogging on flat land, five days of incline jogging, a trek to the Borivli National Park and two nights of cycling a distance of 90 km.
The race, which demands great physical endurance, is sprinkled with adventure sports like mountain biking, trekking, river crossing, paddling, rifle shooting, rappelling. Orienteering will also be an integral component of the race and will be done using a compass, map and route book. “It’s a tough race to handle. Participating teams will have to tackle all kinds of terrain to make it to the finish. And while there will be support crews trailing the teams to help in emergency situations, there will be no assistance from them otherwise,” adds Kari.