Aquaterra Challenge is an adventure race combining hiking, biking and rafting. A grueling 2 days covering a total of 75 kms. But this challenge is a bit different. It’s an Aquaterra Challenge with pets. Yes you read it right with your Pets. This is a 2 day race and you have to complete a 13 km hike and 6 km cycling with your pet. Also the first race of its kind in Asia! We were also curious as we had not heard about such a thing. Enter roadmatix – the road tripping dog at ScoutMyTrip who found out about this event thanks to the secret dog society he’s a member of.
Roadmatix caught up with Vijay Chandrashekar and Jiwan Kaur, Race Directors of this unique challenge at CollarFolk for some information regarding the challenge.
Here is what they had to say to roadmatix after a bountiful of treats, belly rubs; and a job offer.
Roadmatix: Woof! What prompted you to make this challenge with pets?
Vijay and Jiwan: We are Pets lovers and our business is to help people share wonderful experiences with their pets. We recently came across a study that shows how the lives of our pets have drastically reduced. Incidents of Obeseity, diabetes and cancer has witnessed an increase of over 500% amongst pets. One of the primary reasons is lack of exercise. We felt the time was ripe to evolve currently trending concepts of outdoor challenges to have our pets participate as well and thus was born the CollarFolk Aquaterra Challenge with Pets. We aim to bring to the fore the experience of sharing a day in the outdoors with your four legged buddy as you take on the scenic course.
We wish to make this an annual event to enable sports, outdoor enthusiasts and people who just want to step out to have a good time with their pets to enjoy a day doing a not so routine set of activities.
A big shout out to all those who have signed up to participate and all our parts, including you Roadmatix for helping us make this come alive. Spread the word amongst your pack, it’s bound to be a lot of fun!
Roadmatix: Woof! Will surely spread the word. I have the humans at ScoutMyTrip working on it already. They are a lazy bunch but will get there. What if my friends get hurt during the challenge?
Vijay and Jiwan: Safety is paramount for us. This is part of a course that hosts the annual Aquaterra Challenge. We have had Thor who was kind enough to volunteer to do the course as long as we promised him first place during our recce! The recce was our way to ensure the course was absolutely safe for all your pals. We have will Dr Sunaina from Max Vets, our Veterinary Partners, on the course. Also the seasoned Aquaterra team will have guides (with first aid) leading and sweeping the race pack just to keep a cautious eye on all the teams. We also are thrilled to have Adnan Khan our Canine Behaviourist from K9 school to ensure that you guys play fair on the course and be nice to each other!
We are also bringing in special life jackets for all of you. Feel free to dive into the water, we’ve got your back!
Afterall , Holi hai !
Roadmatix: What should we and our owners be looking forward to? Any pro tips to prepare better (other than reducing our bacon intake?)
Vijay and Jiwan: Look forward to a lot of fun! The course is beautiful and we’ll have a photographer capturing your moment on the course.. So smile when you run! 🙂
While at Camp, hear the gushing river and if you are in luck you may spot prancing deer in the morning in the wilderness that envelops the camp site. The Camp is situated at a comfortable driving distance from Delhi.
Its a holiday first and an event second and we are looking to keep that way. You are free to set your pace and stop as you please to pose for photographs.
May not be a bad idea to give your team mate a run for his money while on the course… literally!
Some handy tips:
- Make sure to break in to your hiking shoes. Blisters are never a good idea.
- Cycling with your pet – Matching his pace is the only trick
- Up your teams exercise routine – go on a 5km brisk walk with you pet at least 3 times a week
- Don’t forget to hydrate and energise your team – always have water and energy snacks handy
- Essentials to pack
- Light coloured athletic wear
- Thin throw on jacket/ Wind Cheater
- Hiking shoes
- Floaters for the paddle section
- Track pants
- Sunglasses and a hat
- Energy snacks
Make sure you’re equipped to capture some amazing moments during your stay and be prepared to have a ball of a time. You’ll meet like-minded buddies and some interesting teams as well. All in all, look forward to that one weekend during the year that you are likely to go back from thinking…. Woof! Now that’s what every weekend should be like!
Roadmatix: Why Shivpuri? Is this the first of it’s kind in Asia?
Vijay and Jiwan: For this event, we wanted to partner with the best in the business when it comes to such events and the outdoors. Aquaterra is one of India’s leading adventure companies and recognised across the board as being the safest and the most professional at what they do. Aquaterra has their base camp at Shivpuri and close to the starting line for the challenge. The section we identified for the course is the safest and the most scenic. We won’t blame you if you stop to pose at every bend and watch other teams overtake!
Yes this is the first of its kind hike-bike-paddle event in Asia. We are confident that your friends and their families would love to jump at this opportunity and sign up for the event. Our aim is to have this as an annual platform and large enough for teams to raise awareness and participate for a cause that is dear to them.
Roadmatix: Is Kiki participating?
Vijay and Jiwan: If that means you will participate, I’ll be happy to make it happen! 😉 Kiki though may consider not participating to give others a chance and not take advantage of the fact that she has done this course once earlier.
Roadmatix: What are the preparations you have done for the challenge to go through smoothly and what sort of preparation you want the participants to do?
Like I mentioned, we have done a mock test and intend to do one more 1 day before race day to be absolutely certain of all arrangements. We are also looking to schedule a pre event meet up in Delhi a week prior to brief all teams and guests on the course ,
Roadmatix: Will you hire me?
Vijay and Jiwan: Absolutely! We need more such enthusiasts like you to help us with events such as these. When would you like to start?
Oh… Did I mention our office welcomes pets! Yes KIKI comes often!
Roadmatix: Yes? Can you include daily belly rubs in my CTC?
Belly rubs are part of your perks. I’ll have my office draft the offer… boy you are a hard negotiator! 🙂
Final words from roadmatix (drum rolls please!)
As dogs, we don’t have any immediate plans of world domination. We want our food on time, and though we let you feel like masters we know how to get what we want whenever we need it. But we like the time we spend with you especially when are traveling together. I know because I travel a lot, and I mean a lot – chasing my tail one highway at a time. I know when I say it, I am saying for all my friends out there – TAKE ME ALONG!
Holi is coming up but let’s celebrate Holi a little differently this year. Have a jolly time with your pets in the Himalayas. Take them along, and you’ll see how it makes a whole lot of difference. I am told that Collarfolk is going out of their way to make it special for pets like me.
So now that you have all the info you need why not register for the Aquaterra Challenge with your pet. Register for the challenge here!
Also read on how to road trip with dogs like a pro.