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Endurance tests aren't just for the boys

The popular belief may be that extreme adventure is for men, but if the enduro is anything to go by, women aren't far behind

travel Updated: Feb 21, 2010 19:00 IST

You were wrong if you thought that an adventure and endurance race that brought the toughest of men down on their knees would be out of bounds for the female population: The Enduro3 had many women participants as well.

While some were state and national level athletes who were already used to the sort of rigorous training that the Enduro3 requires, others were collegians or professionals who wanted to take their need for fitness and adventure to the next level.

Most teams had at least one girl member, as having a mixed team is mandatory according to the rules of the race. In fact, the rules also stated that the rifle-shooting segment would have the female member firing the five rounds.

Vasanti Joshi, 48, the oldest member in the open category, loved the rifleshooting round the most. "All of my five rounds were bang on target!" she shrieked like a school girl as she got back on her cycle after the rifle shooting round.

Yogita Bhoir, 23, whose team was the runner up in the amateur mix category enjoyed every bit of the rigorous race, except for the trekking segment. "I practised regularly for the race and cycled up to 20 km a day. But I live in Pen, Raigad, which is in the plains. So I never got enough practice of climbing up steep hills," said Bhoir, who is also a state level athlete.

"The race is a great competition. Both men and women will be attracted to it. And in fact, more women will participate in the next few years," she added. Rutuja Ladkat, 19, who has been participating in the Enduro3 for the last three years, said the race's popularity
has "soared in the last three years".

"We have more women participating in it now," she said. She added that her athletic training held her in good stead for the race.

For Calvin Vaz, 27, his tough cookie teammate Reyna Farias, 27 was an inspiration. "I was proud of her for lasting through the tough stretch. She was always positive," he said. "We didn't have much practice for the race but I enjoyed every bit of it."