Asking The Stupid Questions – Interview with Adventurethon Creator Joel Savage

Several weeks ago (before the kayak meltdown period which you can read about here), I had a few burning questions related to my adventurethon preparation so I wrote to Adventurethon Facebook page and asked if anyone could answer a few questions for me.  Without any hesitation, race director/organiser/creator, Joel Savage, agreed to answer any questions.  Read a little about Joel and the birth of adventurethons in this article.

Remember that old adage that there are no stupid questions?  Well I am holding on to that OK.  Alrighty, here are the big questions I put to Joel…

1.  I’m really nervous about the kayak portion of the Enduro event as I haven’t done a lot of paddling.  How important is it to have experience and can I ‘wing it’ so to speak?? 

Experience helps for sure but having the right craft for your current ability is king!

You need a boat you can keep upright for starters, the more experienced will generally upgrade to faster surfskis/ ocean skis which are pencil thin and accelerate fast but if you are not up to the skill / balance to stay on one of those there are slightly fatter versions available to be more stable with a small sacrifice of speed but in the end the only fast boat is one you are paddling.

2.  What tips can you give me for training kayak wise…I am waiting on a large family kayak that we have ordered so that I can at least start paddling once a week.  I was wondering about hiring a kayak for the race but will it be too different? 

Yes hiring a kayak will be different, see above rule.

Main thing to note is paddling is about torso rotation to deliver the power not just moving your arms.

I think this gives a great sum up of the paddle stroke.


3.  So the course outline has been posted and while I like the fact that the paddle leg is broken up, I am a little concerned about this beach run?  Now this is going to sound completely girly but….am I going to get sand in my shoes?  What sort of shoes do people wear for this, because I am assuming they will get wet from the paddle to the run and back again?

Some run in socks, some in wetsuit style shoes, some athletes choose good socks and go in their trail shoes…if you plan to run in your trail shoes later be aware that running on wet socks can lead to blisters later…my suggestion for that run…have 1 pair of crappy running shoes that you take off when you get back to HQ. 

4.  I bought a 2XU tri suit to train and race in and it is really comfortable however its not the easiest to get in and out of, which got me wondering….Are there toilet stops on the way?  Or are the rumours true…do the athletes really go to the toilet on the run so to speak??  (I told you I would ask the big questions lol)

Urination on the go??? Well I would say that most people do not go on the course…there is a hormone during activity that removes water from the bladder…antidieuretic hormone I think it is called.

Number 2’s I would focus on getting those out before the race…often this is part of many peoples pre race rituals (suggest a few minutes jog in the morning to help get the bowels moving)

That said, the perfect time to go number 1’s would be in the water getting back into your boat after the first island paddle.

ADDIT:  Can I just say in my defense, I am a mother of four with three pregnancies under my belt, I am pretty sure I am going to need to go at some point during the 5hrs + (god knows how long) that I am going to be out on the course.  I am still unsure whether there are porta loos out there?  I think there must be right??  And surely I am not the only one to wonder about the old toilet question for endurance athletes? Hehe, I had to ask.

5.  I was wondering whether I would need to run with my camelpak or are there enough water stops along the way?

Don’t count on any water stops, we are a self supported race so a camel pack, race belt or similar are totally necessary…practice this yes, adjustment and knowing how much you use is important…also you need to work the logistics of having all the disciplines and which method of water you will carry.

6.  Is heat going to play a big factor {in South WA}?  And are there ways to manage the heat…ice in the camelpak?  Cold facecloths?

Heat a factor? Yes it could if its like lat year we had 30 degrees which levelled a few locals, that said the heat is different in South WA, generally less humid than north QLD

Taking in enough electrolytes

You can add ice to your water, or on your head, in your tri suit etc

A mate of mine just tagged me in this… try this one:

At a recent race (as I’m a big guy) I have to cool down with some of these things.

7.  Best tips for getting rid of that dead leg feeling when you get off the bike and go to the run?  How do you make your legs listen to you again?

Firstly the last 2km or so you need to make sure you go a bit easier in the gearing and spin a tiny bit faster (take less muscle strain and gets less looser)

On that note I think gear selection is important the entire race…never go into a massive deficit of muscle fatigue as running long distance is really going to suck.

Practicing brick sessions will help … a couple of ways

Each ride you do  go for a 15 -30min easy jog afterwards

Have a dedicated ride hard run hard  ride hard run hard repeat session.

Distances and intensities ned to vary if it’s a long race then you need to build up longer geared heavier bikes and simulate the pace you are running at…..if you are training for a sprint tri thenn short and sharp run pace will be more important.

For an adventurer it might be ride up a hill, run down or ride some flats run up a hill…really depends on the terrain…best if you can prepare as close to race conditions as possible

(so that might include paddle to the beach do the run then paddle back at race pace)

 Sometimes mates will share a bike up a hill (so 1 person rides and 1 runs then the rider drops the bike and keeps running up the runner grabs the bike and rides up drops the bike and swaps…)

8.  Finally, do you know of anyone who does any of this outdoor adventure training in Perth?  I was originally from Townsville and Adventurethons were quite big there which sparked my interest but I didn’t get around to it before moving to Perth.  If you have any contacts that would be great.

Indian ocean adventure racers

Or get in touch with James Payne at Go paddle sports and he can help flick you in the right direction.

James is the Go to man for Stellar kayaks in WA and has a decent network of perth people he could guide you to

Thanks Beth for the Questions

 As for any further info just ask, if you need it urgent give me a call

Joel Savage


“Helping participants escape concrete society with adrenaline charged and inclusive events”


So there you have it.   I am really thankful to Joel for taking the time, in what must be a really busy period in the lead up to Adventurethon Albany, to answer my somewhat naive questions.  I found his answers really helpful and hopefully you all learnt something new!!

5 thoughts on “Asking The Stupid Questions – Interview with Adventurethon Creator Joel Savage

  1. I have a weak bladder too and I always need to take a portaloo break on a fun run that’s beyond 10lkms. Doing #1’s during the course (especially when it’s 5+ hours!) makes plenty sense to me.


  2. This is really good Beth. You have a bit of news reporter in you I see. Great questions, and I learned a lot from Joel’s answers.
    I can go about 2 hours without a “loo break” (speaking down under here) 🙂 That’s about it. Always a balance between keeping hydrated which for me would require a loo break or 2 within a 5 hour run, if am dehydrated I might be able to “last” 5 hours, but will lose energy.

    Liked by 1 person

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