MRS & FEAR YOUTH

  • As the youngest expedition racing team in history, how did you get started in outdoor adventure sports? Were there any special experiences or events that sparked your interest?
  • Molly: My family has always been into the outdoors. Dad got into adventure racing when I was 8 and I was hooked.

    Dean: Started with hiking great walks with family then progressed to the Hillary outdoors get to go challenge at great barrier island.

    Josiah: Growing up in Te Anau, first major competitive foray into adventure sports was racing downhill and enduro, but growing up in Fiordland it was inevitable the transition would be made to AR, hooked from the first FEAR Society rogaine.

    Josh: Growing up in Te Anau, the playground that is Fiordland National Park was my backyard, getting into adventure sports/ racing occurred really naturally as I continually tested what I was capable of.

    Zac: Having lived around the mountains my whole life getting started in adventure sports was a natural progression. I remember learning about AR years before having a go but never thought I’d be into it. Yet the journey towards the sport seemed to happen automatically.

    Fynn: My Dad is into the outdoors and took me out on big missions from 9 onwards. I was always wanting to do bigger and more challenging missions so naturally progressed into expedition length racing.

  • There are many different sports involved in adventure racing, which one do you enjoy the most and why?
  • Molly: My favourite is Trekking. I get into a groove and the places you get to go to are incredible. You go at a slower pace so have more opportunity to enjoy the views. Paddling though is the most challenging and scariest, particularly some of the whitewater we’ve had on courses down in Fiordland, so I’m hoping to keep upskilling there!

    Dean: I like them all! I enjoy trekking the most because it can take you to varied and awesome places and terrains that keep racing interesting. Trekking/packrafting stages are the best though, as they allow for even more options.

    Josiah: Trekking or biking stages the more technical and fun the better, i like it when the course makes you forget about the racing aspect. Big and fast whitewater is perfect for this too, especially in good boats, but I’m not a big fan of swims!

    Josh: The more technical stages, whether it’s paddling, biking or trekking really excite me the most. I like the challenge of moving quickly and efficiently in difficult terrain which other teams find intimidating.

    Zac: My favorite discipline is sleeping. Aside from sleeping I enjoy the variety of Stages that encompass multiple disciplines like a trekking and packrafting stage. The challenge of trying to utilize tools on your back to go as fast as possible is enjoyable.

    Fynn: I enjoy trekking/packrafting stages the most because they are usually the most challenging technically and navigationally. Packrafting provides a great change of muscle groups and a bit of an adrenaline hit in big


    MICRO RAFTING SYSYTEM


  • Long-term training is an important part of outdoor adventure sports, how do you balance outdoor activities with studying or working?
  • Molly: I love training! I’m very disciplined and motivated to get out there and do something most days, even if that’s waking up at 5am to train and get to study in time! The weekends are great to do longer missions on foot, bike or paddle.

    Dean: Make the most of weekends go hunting or hiking/riding. Try keep consistency on work days make sure to do a little bit of something everyday.

    Josiah: training can be a little erratic with a pretty jam packed uni year, so cross training is the name of the game for me to keep it interesting and always make it feel like a break from study not another thing on the to do list, with the odd proper training session interspersed on less busy uni days, and a build up before races Josh:Uni can be pretty full on and chaotic, but I struggle to sit still all day so I don’t need much of an excuse to get out the door.. On weekdays, training is a bit of a release and gives balance to my day. I try to make the weekends count and get some Ks on the odometer

    Zac: I’m busy in waves at the moment so just make the most of my quiet time and pump some training out. When stuff gets busy just squeeze in what I can. In my opinion the less training feels like training the better. I’d rather spend a day MTBing than pedaling on a road or paddling whitewater than floating round a lake. I think this also means you are also far more adapted to taking bold lines in rugged races

    Fynn: I always try to do a decent mission in rugged country in the weekends to get my hill fix. Im at school in Invercargill which is pretty flat so my weekday training consists of hard, fast sessions of all three disciplines. I have enough time after school to get a couple hours training in before its dark.

    What positive effects do outdoor adventure sports have on your life, and do you have any specific examples?

    Molly: The outdoors is my happy place. It gives me a great outlet to think and clear the mind. I love finding new hidden gems. I have met some amazing friends too, everyone is so kind and willing to help and talk most of the time!

    Dean: Keeps me fit, healthy and happy doing things I enjoy. Adventure sport help’s assist in finding great hunting spots so I am very grateful for that. And helps network awesome new friends.

    Josiah: Gives you a pretty good outlet and place to ground yourself in the day to day stuff, and when you do complete these races the sense of accomplishment can make other seemingly insurmountable tasks appear to be childs play in comparison

    Josh: Having an active outdoor lifestyle is deeply ingrained in my happiness. The experiences I have had while on adventures and races gives me confidence to draw on to cope with stressful situations in day to day life.

    Zac: I’ve been doing this sort of thing for so long I don’t really remember what is like to not head outdoors and get amongst it. A couple years ago I spent most of the year working in the outdoor and conservation industry and it was pretty epic to be able to make a living in the mountains. This is something I aspire to do for the rest of my life in one way or another.

    Fynn: Being in the outdooors has always been my break from the real world and a chance to think things out. The sense of achievement at the end of any big missions definitely builds self belief so makes other tasks or obstacles in life seem like a pushover in comparison.


    In your future plans, what new outdoor adventure sports or challenges do you want to try? Do you have any specific goals or plans?

    Molly: Adventure Racing, Multisport and trail running are something I see myself continuing in the future. Coming podium at GodZone and AR world champs is something that I would love to achieve. Also, coast to coast will be something I would love to podium as well one day in the future. Any epic mountain Ultramarathon is something I also would love to give a crack at some point.

    Dean: Keen to give the iconic NZ races a proper crack such as Coast and Kepler. But also have eyes set on Adventure racing and Rogaine World Champs

    Josiah: Keen to keep ticking along with AR in FEAR youth until i am no longer youth and then at some point would like to have a crack at coast to coast, some ultra running and get my hands on a paraglider for some X-alps ish stuff

    Josh: I’m keen to see just how fast the FEAR Youth can go. The big kiwi races will always have a target on their back. I’d really like to try paragliding in the future, maybe it’ll save my knees for a few extra years?

    Zac: I’ve been battling a few injuries the last year or so, so Im just keen to get back to full strength and get amongst it again. I’m just keen to be able to get stuck into it with my mates again. In the future I’d be keen to try to do a big race like Godzone while living off the land. Like the other boys I’d been keen to try and bring some new tools to the AR table such as paragliding or using kites in packraft stages.

    Fynn: I want to make the most of our youth and try and put some podium finishes on the board in both NZ and international AR races. I also would like to tick off a few iconic races like Coast to Coast and The Revenant but the challenge of AR is what I enjoy most. I want to upskill in whitewater rafting and kayaking so plan to get into that.

    As a new team, what kind of support do you think you need in the future for your development? Do you have any specific suggestions or idea ?

    Molly: Our team will keep gelling as we grow and race more and more together which is great. But to be able to do so, we need to get to the races! So sponsorship of gear/money would be the main thing that will help us achieve our goals.

    Dean: We have a great network of people supporting us, our largest barrier is cost of participating so a sponsor deal could help us chase our ambitions.

    Josiah: Being young and the majority of us studying means the pockets are already rather empty before racing comes into scene, so financial aid and sponsorship springs to mind in that regard, however as such a young team some time and coaching will also do us well

    Josh: Being young the financial barrier does loom pretty large. From a performance point of view paddling is our weakest discipline,and getting coaching/help to improve it is pretty high on our agenda.

    Zac: We are all pretty strapped for cash being students and the like. Alongside financial aid Adventure racing is a sport dominated by older experienced athletes. In order to better perform the team simply needs to race more in a larger variety of settings to gain this experience. Older athletes have also had a lifetime of adventuring to compile the truckload of gear necessary to even just train let alone race these races, so more help making our truckloads never goes astray.

    Fynn: None of us can front up the cost that comes with getting to and entering the races that we have a target on so thats probably our biggest barrier at the moment. Aside from that mentorship around racing but also professionalism is something that would be hugely beneficial and also support with the never ending list of gear needed for the sport.