Adventure racing is gaining popularity all over the world. However, despite several challenging terrains, India was not in the picture when it came to organising adventure races.
It was Pune-based charitable organisation, National Education Foundation, that introduced this concept through ‘Enduro3 adventure race’ in 2003.
Though the first edition of the event was promoted as a state-level race, over the years, Enduro3 has grown from strength to strength and the event is today recognised as one of the premier happenings in the adventure sports circuit.
“Our aim was to provide an opportunity for people in India to compete in a well organised and competitive adventure race. I feel the race has not only brought about a change, in the adventure sports scenario, but has also promoted fitness. Several participants have continued cycling and trekking that has motivated others as well,” said NEF founder, Prasad Purandare.
The race not only persuades youngsters to get accustomed to the gruelling competition, but has also attracted people of all ages to push themselves to the maximum. Last year, the youngest participant was a 16-year-old while the oldest one was 62.
Keeping this in mind, the 9th edition of the race has introduced a junior (school-level) category.
“So far we have received more than 40 entries in this category. This is a positive outcome, as the kids will experience the thrill of adventure,” said Purandare.
The race progresses through the panoramic Sahyadri range, picturesque Panshet backwaters and the National Defence Academy campus.
The total distance covered by the participating teams during this event is roughly 200km, which includes trekking (90km), cycling (100km), rifle shooting (Range:25m) and river crossing (100m).
“This year we have introduced kayaking and the NEF has invested almost Rs11 lakh to give the participants a raw feel of this sport,” said Purandare.
The speciality of the event lies in spreading the message of ecological awareness. The participants are strictly prohibited from harming or disturbing the nature.