Squamish adventure racer Jen Segger had a lot on her mind Tuesday with last minute packing and race preparations, and how much she would be charged for all her extra luggage.
Segger is heading to Portugal to take part in the annual Adventure Racing World Championships, which get underway on Nov. 5. The race is long even by adventure race standards at over 820 kilometres, with sections of mountain trekking, mountain running, ropework, orienteering, mountain biking, river and sea kayaking, canyoning, swimming, coasteering (navigating a rocky coastline), inline skating, caving, climbing and even surfing. The top teams in the world are expected to take roughly five days and this year Segger and other members of Dart-NUUN want to be one of those teams.
But back to the luggage.
"I'm really dreading to see what my luggage weighs in tonight," she said. "I have a bike box, an eco-bin full of gear that is already way overweight. I have my (inline skates), I've brought some of my race food with me, three pairs of running shoes, paddling gear and lifejackets, helmets, a wetsuit because we've been warned that the water can be cold in the canyon sections, portage wheels because we know we'll have portage sections with the boats, climbing gear, descending gear - it's a pretty big gear list overall, one of the biggest yet."
Segger is no stranger to the demands of adventure racing by this point in her career, and her endurance has helped her team to climb the ranks to the point where Dart-NUUN Adventure Racing is among the top teams in the world. At the Adventure Race World Championships in Brazil last year her team jumped from a low of 14 th to sixth overall after picking up the pace closer to the finish line.
But while adventure races have a lot in common with each other in principle, each race has its own unique quirks and challenges. In Brazil, it was the heat, long paddling stages and a sailing stage that had to be thrown out in the final analysis because of the differences between the boats and captains.
Portugal's quirk is its European-ness. First of all, teams have a choice between four inline skating sections or two sections on a Trikke bike where you push back and forth to generate momentum. Her team opted for the inline skates, partly because they are easier to pack into your luggage.
"So we've all been out training on our blades," said Segger. "I've been out with Thomsen (D'Hont), so I got some good tips from one of our Nordic athletes, and two races I've been in in the past had inline skating. It's actually pretty funny - I go out at weird hours so nobody sees me. But the sport is alive and well over in Europe so there are no surprises it's in this race."