Whether you have already made the bold move of signing up for Obstacle Course Racing Enduro World Championships or are just considering it, we’ve consolidated a couple of things that you need to know. Before we talk about all the details of the race though, you are going to want to ensure your travel plans are set. Half the adventure is physically getting your body and gear to the start line ready to race. Here are five things you should know for Enduro World Championships travel:
June Can Be Cold
Remember, June in the Southern Hemisphere is winter. Last time I traveled to Australia for a 24 hour OCR in June I had at least a half a dozen people make the comment “Well at least the weather will be nice.” June in Sydney is cool/cold and rainy. Expect temperatures in the high 40s F (~4 C). This means packing the full spectrum of apparel, including your cold weather gear for pre and post-race.
Account for Jet Lag
If you are traveling from Europe or the US, expect a significant effect from jet lag. If you are heading to Australia from Europe that’s around 11 hour time change and if you are coming from the US East Coast, that’s 14 hours. For a shorter race, that is less of a concern because it doesn’t involve sleep deprivation. For something like a 24 hour race, the effect is much larger. I recommend arriving as early as possible to give your body time to adjust if you are looking to perform at your peak.
The first obstacle you will have to face is getting around town and to the race site. The race is located just outside of Sydney’s city limits so you will need to rent a car or find someone to drive you to the venue. This means driving on the left side (or the wrong side, as Americans like to call it) of the road. If you aren’t used to this, I recommend not getting a manual vehicle as that will only make the driving that much harder. You can get a GPS rental from the rental car place or if you need to let the world know about your travel most phone carriers have an international add on plan. Many have a $10 a day add on where you can just use your phone normally without additional charges. While the $10 a day adds up and can seem expensive, the convenience of using GPS, searching for restaurants and sending Instagram photos to jealous friends make this a good option for most people.
Plan Your Hotel/Housing
I recommend staying in the heart of Sydney, after all this is a vacation, not just a race. Plus, Vivid Sydney, one of the world’s most amazing city-wide art, music, and lights festivals is held at the same time as the Enduro and should not be missed. Or if you are looking to save money, the OCR community (and even better–the OCRWC Athletes Group) tends to be very welcoming and you may find someone that will open up their doors to you. This works best if you live in London and can return the favor in October for the OCR World Championships in the UK.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
You can absolutely show up, race and go back home without ever seeing anything else but the race course, but I highly recommend planning a couple more days of sightseeing. Aside from Vivid Sydney, you can also venture up north towards the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns or even Brisbane, where the weather gets noticeably warmer. Australia is known for its wildlife and outdoors. Whether you explore the Australian outback in an area less traveled or go with a more tame experience like Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo.
Now that your overarching travel plans are setup, let’s get to the main reason for the trip, the race. Check back next week for Five Things You Need to Know About Racing the Enduro.
Evan Perperis, NSCA-CPT, is an athlete on the Conquer The Gauntlet Pro Team and author of three books on Obstacle Course Racing. Included in his 39 podium finishes is a 2nd place Pro Coed Team at the 2018 North American OCR Championships and 1st Place Team at 2018 World’s Toughest Mudder. Find more of his content at www.teamstrengthspeed.com.