Monday, October 20, 2014

Aspire Urban Adventure 2014

Well I have just had the longest day ever.  I left home at 7am, it is now about 5pm.  I did get home a bit before but I desperately needed a shower and a cup of coffee. Today I did the first ever Aspire Urban Adventure. It's a day long, 10 event course at the Aspire Zone here in Doha. I signed up about a month ago and met the whole team for the first time today.  We signed in, got a nice snack and waited for the games to begin.  My team Urban Chicks was paired with Blood, Sand and Sweat (or some combination of those words that I now cannot think let me know when I have to stop blaming things on jet lag)  Our guide Vickram was super cool.  He is here from the Netherlands to work as a personal trainer.  He is here with his wife who teaches yoga. We ate and drank a lot because of the heat and the duration of the event.  We all got refillable water bottles and there were water tanks every where. The heat still made the water warm quickly and we would joke that it was all just tea. Warm water just isn't refreshing after a 2k bike ride into the wind. I also drank oodles of juice boxes. I think at the end of the day there was cake but honestly after being gone so long I just wanted to go home and shower.  See you swim and then you go outside so sand blow and sticks to you.  Or you put on sunscreen and the sand blows and sticks to you.  I was filthy by the end of the day.  I'm sure I am sunburnt too. 

Some of the challenges we did really well at like the basketball.  But the obstacle course we really ran into trouble.  One section was monkey bars and not only were the bars too high to even jump for but the pipes were so wide you couldn't really get your hands around them.  Also for the biking we were warned there was a sand pit .  What they meant was a good quarter of the track was several inches of sand that I didn't have the skill to know how to bike through so I made terrible time. I thought I would do well at the rowing because the graphic showed a canoe and then we did the whole section on rowing machines from the gym.  Also it turns out that kayaking is a weakness of mine and I was quite slow at this as well. 

The obstacle course had a lot to do with balance, I didn't fall but boy was I careful. I forget sometimes that even things that aren't that high scare me. When we did the swimming relay one person has to jump off the 10m board and I couldn't do that unless you pushed me off. At the beginning of the balance course you get a spoon for an egg race at the end.  It's like field day in grade school.  Well the pockets in my shorts weren't big enough so I tucked the spoon in the strap of my swimsuit. Bad idea.  As I climbed the ramps the spoon when down my suit! I had to fiddle around for it which must have looked pretty funny.  I was later told by a teammate that the whole thing was on camera but I really hope she was teasing. 

When they first planned the event they were asking for teams of just men and mixed teams.  But three ladies only teams applied anyway so they made a special category.  My team got third which sounds good until you remember that there were only three ladies only teams to begin with. I did have an awesome time and I am going to sleep great tonight, no doubt about that.  Oddly almost every  participant was an expat, I think I only saw one Qatari.  Maybe Saturday is too much of a family time for some athletes to get time away?  At any rate we ended up in the news.  Thanks Qatar Tribune

Go Team Urban Chicks!



  1. Looks super fun! Can you do more events like that? Biking through obstacles is called cyclocross and usually involves portage or carrying of the bike.

  2. What a wonderful experience! I'm so glad you decided to do this.

  3. You certainly had a fun and challenging time...we are proud of you! Matter and I could not have done most of wishes...Cape and Matter Horn

  4. I was told that now the season is getting cooler there will be a lot of events at Aspire and in other areas nearby. Hopefully I will be able to participate in more sports though I doubt there will be too many events as big as this Urban Adventure.