The Element of Luck in Adventure Racing
Does Luck play a part in Adventure Race performance?
Teams that are not physically strongest sometimes place well in races. How is this possible?
Adventure Racing is all about physical fitness, right? Well, not really. Shit happens out there.
When Shit happens to you, its a Cock-Up.
When Shit happens to someone else, it could be your Lucky Break.
Performance of a team in an Adventure Race depends on the cumulative result of minimisation of Cock-Ups and maximisation of Lucky Breaks.
2004 Ace Adventure
Team Slackers Winnie/Ken/Ming - 3rd place, Mixed
Cock-up - Left map on bridge at first abseil.
Lucky Break (Big One) - Team Angels took the entire field of leading teams and brought them through a wild goose chase through thick bushes and rat infested drains.
2006 Nomad Hulu Langat
Team Slackers - Andrew/Ken/Ming - 3rd place, Mens
Lucky Break #1 - Being strong bikers, we were among the first teams up the long hill
Cock-Up - We missed a turn at the foot of the hill
Lucky Break #2 - And so did everyone else!
Lucky Break #3 - We made a call and turned back before anyone else.
2006 Action Asia Singapore
Team MingLing - Ling/Ming - 3rd place. Mixed
Lucky Break #1 - Running in the dark at Butterfly loop. Yahooo!!
Lucky Break #2 - Plenty of biking! BT + KT + Road
Cock-up #1 - Ming drops energy meal on Keppel Viaduct while biking.
Lucky Break #3 - Competitor offers Ming a bite of his energy cake
Cock-up-> Lucky Break - Ming misunderstands offer and eats the whole chunk of cake.
Cock-up #2 - Ling forgets Fig 8, so Ming had to run back up highway viaduct to pass Fig 8 to Ling
Cock-up #3 - Ling borrows Fig 8, so Ming has to run back down highway viaduct. Grrrr...
2007 City Chase Singapore
Team WTF - Ming/Ling - Top 3, Mixed
Lucky Break #1 - 4th Team to reach KR check point
Cock-up #1 - Ran off to Science Park before realising there's 1 more task at KR
Cock-up #2 - Running down downhill instead of up to reach CP2 at KR
Lucky Break #2 - Making friends with another team, who led the way to the Chinese Temple
'Cock-up' - Lost Ling's camera during the Trishaw ride
Lucky Break #3 - Watched a Discovery Channel program on "how to make a Jasmine Garland"
2007 Penang Eco-Challenge
Team Slackers - 6th Position Overall
Cock-up #1 - Moseyed along, far behind lead vehicle, thinking that race will start when everyone gathers.
Lucky Break #1 - Winnie and Angela took off like a shot and pwned the muddy downhills and slick concrete slopes, scaring a few teams into cocking-up.
Lucky Break #2 - CP2, Oops, no Tyre levers! Desperate bare hands can remove tyre even faster!
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Cock-up #6 - Gave bonked member of Team PenUkBel a Crank Gel, which promptly revived him.
Cock-up #7 - Frolicked in waterfall pool, waiting for Nik and Wayne, thinking that we were quitting once we hit camp.
Lucky Break #5 - Angela winning the debate with Winnie on whether to continue.. by ignoring Winnie's pleas.
Cock-up #8 - Believing the organisers that the last biking leg was just an 8km sprint... which turned out to be a 1 hour full-out leg busting ride!
Lucky Break #6 - Ming watched a Discovery Channel program on how to husk coconuts, and Angela finished them off with her bare hands.
Yes! Lucky Breaks are what you need to do well!
For those that are contemplating their first A.R., go for it, enjoy yourselves and make sure you have good Karma during the race.
Life's full of Cock-ups and Lucky Breaks too. The strange thing is, that the more Breaks you give, the more Lucky Breaks will come your way. Something about Karma........