Adrian Betts completes Australia's first expedition-length, rogaine-format adventure race

Raleigh gym owner Adrian Betts recently spent 100 hours trekking, mountain biking and kayaking from Girraween National Park to the Gold Coast with only six hours sleep over four days and nights.

With his four-person team, BMX Bandits, he was competing in the RAID 100, Australia's first expedition-length, rogaine-format adventure race.

Teams race from start to finish, navigating by map and compass and collecting checkpoints along the way.

BMX Bandits, consisting of Dave Ellis, Shelley Bambrook, Myall Quint and Adrian Betts, came third, missing second place by one point.

Adrian said adventure racing is what you might call "type 2 fun".

It's fun after the fact

Adrian Betts

"It's fun after the fact," he said. "While you race you go through lots of discomfort, pain, massive physical effort, and sleep deprivation, but once it's all finished there is a massive sense of relief and accomplishment."

He said pushing his boundaries, mentally and physically, also allows him to appreciate how easy life can be from day to day and to feel less stressed about the small stuff.

"Regular racing allows me to gain perspective and replenish my cup to allow a more stress free and relaxed life."

The next race for the BMX Bandits will be only half as long.

The GeoQuest 48-hour adventure race is held annually on the Mid North Coast and this year it's in Yamba over the June long weekend.

Teams receive the race details and course the night before and start planning their route and boxes.

"We will be racing in the unsupported category as we aim to push for the podium and this category offers a level playing field for teams competing at the highest level," Adrian said.

Unsupported teams have to pack three boxes with food and equipment to get them through the course, as well as packing and unpacking their bikes at transition areas so course logistics can move their gear from point to point.

Adrian said planning and packing the night before is often the most stressful part for teams.

"It's critical to place the right gear in the right box, otherwise you might be doing a trek leg with no shoes or food," Adrian said.