Meet SMART ARNOLD.
Not a person, but a crew of adventure junkies if ever there was one, based in Western Australia and addicted to pushing themselves as far and hard as possible in the outdoors but always with a smile and laugh.
“We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” says unofficial crew spokesperson Dave Baker.
SMART ARNOLD was formed in 2010 from a group of friends who decided that growing old and slowing down was not an option. SMART ARNOLD stands for Saturday Morning Adventure Race Training for Adventure Racing Nuts and Outdoor Lifestyle Devotees.
SMART ARNOLD members have competed in 26 Anaconda Adventure Races between them over the past five years as solos and in teams. Members have also competed in the Great Southern Adventure Race in 2009 and the inaugural Mainpeak Multisport event in 2011.
Although initially formed as a Saturday morning training session, SMART ARNOLD training usually includes Sundays, mid-week swim sessions and Thursday night paddles on the Swan and Canning rivers. Individuals take their training more or less seriously depending on upcoming events, but group training is social and collaborative ensuring no one is left behind.
“Our favourite training grounds are the hills behind Kalamunda, Kings Park, Coogee Beach, and the 60km of bike paths between Perth and Mandurah,” writes Dave. “We’ve have tried hard to find a club house, but have found that most coffee shops are just as suitable and do not require rent or upkeep.”
In racing, SMART ARNOLD’s goal is to fill the gap between the podium finishers and last place. Members usually consider it a win when they go inside of their own goal time, or in some cases just finish.
This year, SMART ARNOLD has fully embraced the all new Anaconda Mini, with six entries coming from the partners and children of “hardcore” members, making adventure racing a family affair.
The hardcore members believe it’s an opportunity to watch their family and return the support they have been shown over the years.
“Our families love chants of “Run faster” and “You look awful why don’t you just quit”,” says Dave. “It’s what drives us on every year.”
In all their years of adventure racing, plenty of legends have been established for the re-telling, among them:
- Peggy Whalley severely spraining her ankle 300m into the first run of an Anaconda AR when competing as a pair, but contining on to finish.
- Paul Lill completing a paddle leg with a fractured wrist, and one year competing with a broken toe.
- Brett Johnston finishing the team bike after riding 27km with a torn rotator cuff after crashing at the bottom of the first downhill.
Entries to the ANACONDA AUGUSTA MINI and JUNIOR SURVIVOR (3 November) are still open HERE
ENTRIES ARE OPEN FOR THE MAINPEAK MULTISPORT HERE
REMEMBER to 'Like' the Mainpeak Multisport FB page HERE