By Anna Rawlings
Sunshine Coast triathlete Kim Beckinsale is preparing for a gruelling adventure race as the sole female representative in her team.
The Noosa-based adventure racer will join an otherwise all-male team in the 2015 XPD International Adventure Race World Series, which will see her compete in mountain bike riding, paddling, running and trekking.
As a former professional triathlete, Ms Beckinsale has represented Australia in triathlon at an elite level in both the Olympic and Ironman distance events. Now, she will represent Australia in the international arena once again.
“I have no doubt it will be extremely challenging … maybe ‘epic’ is a good word to describe it!” she said.
Over the two-week event, Ms Beckinsale said she would focus on her mental and physical strength to get across in the finish line of a primarily male-dominated sport.
“Women are quite different from their male counterparts. Everyone at some time will be both the strongest and weakest,” she said.
Her team of four, named Team Mountain Designs, will rely on more than 10 years of experience competing together as a team in adventure racing, as well as two previous XPD events, to prepare for the race.
“Training for this event will be a combination of mountain bike riding, paddling, running and trekking,” Ms Beckinsale said.
“If you’re not physically prepared, the event would be impossible … but mental strength is what gives you the capacity to push your body and test your limits.”
Adventure Racing World Series director Craig Bycroft said the sport encouraged mixed teams.
“In most cases the teams need to be mixed, so they need to have one female,” Mr Bycroft said.
“You tend to find that the proportion is three guys and one girl in a team … although you do get some races where you get all guys or all girls.”
Mr Bycroft runs the Adventure Racing World Series events through his Buderim-based company, GeoQuest.
He said the sport attracted a multitude of competitors who were aware of the extreme conditions during races, which spanned 500km and could last for up to two weeks.
“It’s about making sure … your body is strong so you’re not going to have an injury while you are racing,” Mr Bycroft said.
“Your body is not going to be able to do it without a fair bit of hurt involved.”
The 2015 event will be held in Townsville from August 3 to 14.