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Training Info

Apr 19 / 2013

Adventure Sprint Series Aficionado: An interview with Claire Chapman

Adventure Sprint Series Aficionado: An interview with Claire Chapman

A regular podium finisher at AAE’s events is new mum Claire Chapman. After she signed up for her first sprint race at Sai Kung several years ago with not knowing what to expect, Claire quickly found herself hooked to the adrenaline pumping sport. She now ranks the Bonaqua Mountain Hardwear Adventure Sprint Series as one of her favourite events in Hong Kong.

“I remember being completely bemused by the fact you swam through a river within minutes of starting the race (and the fact you were wearing a bike helmet),“ she says.

She credits her successes to a background in adventure races, having completed the Action Asia Challenge (team multi-disciplinary event), and is a trail runner, having competed in the MSIG50 series this year and 100km Action Asia races in Vietnam and Laos. But Claire’s a firm believer that everyone can get involved and have fun in these races with just a bit of fitness, some preparation and the right attitude.

1. What draws you to take part in the AAE sprints year after year?

The diversity of the terrain and the fact the races incorporate lots of different disciplines - running, scrambling, hiking, climbing and often swimming. The Sai Kung race involves pulling yourself up a series of waterfalls by a rope. You also get to see some of the more remote parts of Hong Kong county parks which are incredibly beautiful. There is a fantastic buzz to the event on race day and it is a great chance to catch up with friends.

2. How do you prepare for the sprints?

I now try and train around my toddler's sleeping patterns! I usually do a track session once a week and a longer run at the weekends. I also love to get out on a paddle board for something a little different. I now live near Sai Kung so I try to run on the trails nearby and there is always the pool now the weather is heating up.

3. What's with the helmets - do you think they're important?

The helmets definitely are something I needed to get used to at first - it felt very strange to wear a bike helmet without being on a bike. They are very necessary, however, given the sections of rock climbing and scrambling on the course. It also means you can run through trails with low hanging branches without fearing for your head too much. My husband manages to run into a branch at least once a race.

4. What's the most important skill a person has to have to take part in the sprints?

The will to keep going, no matter what your body's telling you!

5. If someone is just looking to have fun out there on the day, what's the best way they can prepare?

If you can get some running in over loose terrain that is ideal. I think participating in a variety of sports helps with your overall balance and coordination which will help you get through the more technical sections of the course.

6. What's your goal for this year's series?

To finish with a smile on my face!


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