Friday, August 27, 2010

Mountain Heptahlon

The Heptathlon is an eight-sport track and field event. A friend and I were out for some heavy breathing (that sounds more exciting than it was) the other day and got into what sports would define a "mountain heptathlon." The scoring on a Heptathlon is interesting because it's based on an athlete's performance against a list of standard times (which look pretty tough to reach). This "scored against a standard" system is interesting because it allows comparison across a wide range of venues and athletes. That comparison would be harder to do with mountain sports, but it's interesting if you're interested in that sort of thing...

-Rock climbing. 5.13a onsight.
-Mountain running. No idea for longer courses, but check these times and courses out from the world championships.
-Mountain biking. Standard? Hard to define.
-Backcountry skiing/off-piste skiing with some serious down. Ski mountaineer races seem good?
-Whitewater kayaking (downriver race).
-Nordic skiing of some kind (going fast on little skis).
-Ice climbing/mountaineering/winter climbing stuff.
-Paragliding (includes hiking to launch).


Marginal "mountain" sports, or sports we couldn't agree on:
-Road biking
-Horseback riding
-"Freestyle" snowboarding, skiing, anything that is judged can't be a mountain sport.
-Canoeing
-Rafting
-BASE jumping
-Swimming (lakes etc).
-River surfing.
-Snowshoeing

It would be pretty much impossible to do all of these events in one place, but how about a season of events that would tie all of the above together into one event? Hmmm....




8 comments:

Pat said...

Doesn't what you're suggesting sound at least a little similar to adventure races? And also the http://www.redbulldivideandconquer.com/teams.php expect that one person does all the events...

Sounds really cool though.

Pat said...

*except*

Anonymous said...

how about instead of mountain biking and the undecided road biking, come up with a course for a cyclocross bike. last year i raced a cyclocross omnium in Montana that included an uphill time trial. it may have been some of the toughtest 10 minutes of my life. there was a a tough fire road fire road climb and some fast singletrack along with some barriers and 2 run-ups. plus, i live at sea level and the race went from 7000'-8000'- an interesting twist to lots of mountain sports...

Brian said...

Just an FYI, a heptathlon is 7 events. 8 would be an octathlon. =)

Kim Graves said...

Will, I have to say that I'm suspicious about turning "mountain sports" into games. Then we have a lot of viewers rather than doers. It's contrary to what I think these "sports" are all about.

Best, Kim

Will Gadd said...

Adventure races are contrived exercises in group suffering and sleep deprivation, I'm talking about sport skill vs. self-abuse skill (which is a skill, great, have at it, ha ha!). I always wanted to do the Divide and Conquer and do all the events, I did the running (my worst event!) once...

Cyclocross riders wear Lycra. Any "sport" involving Lycra is not a sport. Back when I wore Lycra climbing it briefly stopped being a sport Good luck with the cyclocross, it's a rad sport sarcasm aside.

Hepta, Octa, sheesh, some people actually remember what they learned in school? Thanks.

Kim, just 'cause a sport is watched doesn't mean it loses its sport status. I fully agree that doing kicks ass on watching, but sometimes watching is cool too. I like watching rally car racing, probably better for me to watch that than do it, ha ha!

Kim Graves said...

"just 'cause a sport is watched doesn't mean it loses its sport status." It does for the viewer. The viewer takes no risk. For them it's a game. And that, I think, is a problem for all of us who are doing it. That said, I like to watch as much as anyone. I'm still trying to figure that one out.

Best, Kim

Toby Gadd said...

All sports are games--whether or not there are spectators.