It takes a Tour de France cyclist about 90 hours of cycling, spread over three weeks with rest days, to win the race. To win an adventure race can take up to 160 hours of non-stop racing over six days, with virtually no sleep or rest. To excel at this sport requires an elite level of skill in mountain running, cycling, biking, kayaking, rafting and navigation but, above all, an almost superhuman capacity to endure suffering and pain.
In this book, world champion adventure racer Nathan Fa’avae, considered by many to be the best in the history of the sport, shares his life story and provides a unique insight into this remarkable pursuit.
Part-Samoan, Nathan was raised in Nelson, and it was as a wayward adolescent that he discovered outdoor adventure. Since then he has never looked back and has been a full-time adventurer working as an outdoor educator, the owner of multiple adventure-based businesses, and a professional athlete. His career has taken him all over the world he has raced in the deserts of Africa, Mexico and the Emirates, the plains of Tibet and China, and the peaks and valleys of Nepal, Ecuador, Brazil, Patagonia, Russia, the European Alps, and New Zealand. Nathan Fa’avae: Adventurer at Heart is a story of courage and perseverance, and of overcoming tremendous challenges. Nathan’s career as an adventure racer has been made even harder by atrial fibrillation, a heart condition which has threatened many times to stop his sporting endeavours. Nathan Fa’avae is a remarkable New Zealander, and this book is a moving and inspiring account of what it takes to become a world champion.
Nathan Fa’avae has qualified for the Olympics, worked as an Outward Bound Instructor, been a professional athlete and competed in over 30 countries. He has been the most successful adventure racer in the sport to date, having won three World Championships. He has run a number of adventure-related businesses, is a sought after speaker and passionately puts back into the sport that has given him so much. He started the Spring Challenge All Women Adventure Race. The event began in 2007 with 327 women entering – making it the highest participated adventure race in New Zealand at the time. The following year 600 women took part, the event continued to grow and 2014 saw the largest field – 1050 entrants. The event is one of the gems of New Zealand adventure racing, where up to 400 teams take part in the adventure that includes rafting, mountain biking, hiking and navigation.