Our team finished Raid the Hammer which is a 25 plus orienteering adventure run just outside of Toronto in the Burlington area this year. The course features some large ups and downs and is a great blend of trail running, mucky trekking, technical scrambling, and road running.
Our team is still getting better at navigation, so we had to maximize our team strength which was speed.
I always ask people when we are putting on our adventure racing training courses “How fast can you travel on your team in AR?” and the response that I emphatically get 99 percent of the time is “As fast as your slowest person!”.
In adventure racing you can travel FASTER than your slowest person because you can tow, you can push, you can share weight, and you can draft.
It still surprises me in a longer team race such as this one that we just finished this weekend, that more teams don’t tow. There were 100 teams that lined up for the start of the longer race and I only saw one other team towing. Ironically enough it was our neighbours, long time adventure racers, and sometime training partners from the team Beowulf. There is no rule against it, and it is a potent aid to maximize your teams efficiency!
Benefits of Towing
- Makes your team go faster!
- Keeps your team closer together / better for communication
- Movitates all members of the team because they are able to help
- Psychologically comforting knowing that you aren’t going to be dropped
Detractors of Towing
- Carry extra weight
- Cord sometimes gets caught up
- Requires practise with your teammates
- You get silly comments from everyone (mostly because they want to be on tow)
I don’t know about you, but for the weight, I’ll take this little piece of race insurance in my pack any day! Try it and I think you will like it. You will make race more enjoyable for everyone on your team.
What you need:
7 feet of thera-band, surgical tubing, or stretchy cord.
2 non-locking carabiners
Just tie off the carabiners with a double overhand knot and you are ready to rock.