Monday, January 12, 2009

Record 372 participants compete in one of the toughest adventure races in Singapore - the SAFRA AVventura, Rough Ramble

(Article from Redsports.Sg)

January 12, 2009
Participants crossing the water at Lorong Asrama. (Photo courtesy of SAFRA)

Sunday, January 10, 2009 - Participants of the SAFRA AVventura, Rough Ramble had to run, bike, kayak, scale a towering 25m rope ladder, sport climb, rope ascend, abseil down rugged slopes with their bikes slung over their shoulders, and clear a jungle trail and water crossing in one of the toughest adventure races held in Singapore.
The SAFRA AVventura, currently into its third edition, has also grown to be one of the largest adventure races in Singapore since its debut in 2006. A record 372 racers representing 186 teams competed in the race yesterday morning. This marked a more than 10 percent increase from the 336 adventure enthusiasts who had competed in the Coastal Challenge in September 2007.Chairman of the Organising Committee Mr Kenneth Tan commented: “The popularity of adventure racing in Singapore has been growing steadily in recent years. Besides that, the organising committee for the SAFRA AVventura has also put in extra effort to introduce new elements and new challenges to the race each year. With that, we have been able to draw an increasing number of participants.”
Organised by SAFRA Yishun Country Club and known by adventure enthusiasts in Singapore for its challenging race routes over rugged terrain, the SAFRA AVventura this year took participants from the dirt tracks of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve to new virgin territory such as Lorong Asrama where teams had to navigate, bike, run, rope ascend and abseil down steep rugged slopes together with their bikes.
For the very first time, participants of the Open and Novice categories also had to climb a record 25m and 18m rope ladder respectively, before abseiling down the SAFRA Adventure Sports Centre climbing wall. Participants of the Youth category were also surprised with a shooting challenge at the SAFRA Yishun Indoor Air Weapons Range.
The actual race route, which was only revealed to participants just before the race, covered a total distance of some 50km for the Open and Novice categories, and approximately 40km for the Youth category, which fully challenged the physical endurance, navigation skills and teamwork of the racers.
To inject some fun into the adrenaline rush, participants also had to clear two mystery challenges where they had to solve the Rubik’s Cube while being piggy-backed by their team-mate at Zhenghua Park, and note a series of markers planted along Lorong Asrama to crack a secret code.
Mr Kenneth Tan, Chairman of the Organising Committee, commented: “We took the race up a notch this year to be one of the toughest adventure races in Singapore for participants who may want to challenge themselves against a much tougher race route. Besides increasing the total distance covered, we also introduced new elements such as the 25m rope ladder climb which is the highest done thus far.”
Mr Alex Chan, Chairman of Singapore Sports Council, was Guest-of-Honour at the prize presentation ceremony held at SAFRA Yishun Country Club.
The Men’s Open category was once again won by defending champions Tan Yeow Chung and Eng Yew Kiang who took top place at the SAFRA AVventura – Coastal Challenge in 2007. They completed the race in just 3 hours 48 minutes 12 seconds, the fastest timing in the race.
Thirty-three-year-old NSman Tan Yeow Chung commented: “The race is a lot more challenging and fun this year, especially the biking leg. The route is also safe.”
The Novice Men category was won by Goh Eng Wei and Ong Tian Chang. “The jungle biking trail was very challenging as there were many obstacles that we had to overcome,” commented Goh.
Team ‘We Love the Muffin Man’ made up of national swimmer Christel Fung Shufen, 16, and triathlete Joash Chong, 18, won the Youth Mixed category with a timing of 4:13:37.
Christel Fung said: “This is a totally new experience for me. I did not expect the race to be so tough and challenging, especially for the running segment from Mandai Road as we did not know the destination or how long we had to run.”

The winners of the Men’s Open category: Eng Yew Kiang (Left) and Tan Yeow Chung. (Photo © Les Tan/Red Sports)


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