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You’ve planned, you’ve trained, you’ve tried to follow a good diet – but nothing can truly prepare you for the emotional roller coaster that is taking on an adventure race! There will be highs, lows, doubt, elation and maybe even tears. Don’t panic! Your abnormal thoughts are, eh well, completely normal (to other adventure racers at least!). Here are 13 emotions and thoughts we’re certain you’ll experience on your journey.

1.What have I done?!

You’ve just clicked pay and secured your entry to a Quest Adventure Race. And you’ve downloaded a training plan and pinned it to the wall. You are pumped. Your brain bounces with “Bring it on!” followed instantly by “What have I done?”

2. Why???

You double check said training plan to make absolutely certain that you have to go out for yet another run in the freezing cold. Your mates are just getting stuck into the latest and greatest Netflix series. There is only one thought. “Why am I doing this?”

3. The smug-fest!

Five weeks into training and you’re feeling great. You skip out the door for that evening run while your mates moan that the Netflix series has jumped the shark. You feel smug. “They don’t know what they are missing.”

4. Nervous wreck.

Race weekend rolls around way faster than you planned. As you struggle to sleep, your nerves jangling, there are way too many thoughts. “Please let me sleep. Please let me finish. Why am I as nervous as a turkey at Christmas?

5. Why am I doing this again?!

Just when you have finally fallen into a dreamy slumber, that alarm goes. It’s time for breakfast but this bed is warm. It’s back to that old familiar, “Why am I doing this?” followed by, “Better get moving so I’ve time to eat.”

6. The Smug-fest – part II.

The scenery is glorious and daylight has streaked the dawn sky with a myriad of colours. You are feeding on the buzz of all the Quest participants chattering as they ready themselves for starting gun. Delight, gratitude and a tiny bit of self-satisfaction bubbles up as you think, “I could be in bed.” Quickly followed by “And I wouldn’t even know what I was missing.”

7. I’ll never get through this.

You’re on a biking stage and you’re slogging up a never-ending hill. “Why am I doing this?”

8. The pain was so worth it.

You reach the top of that hill. The view is staggering. You have a moment of clarity as you shovel in a handful of jelly babies. “I think there’s something pleasurable about suffering.”

9.The inevitable Strava fail.

You ease into your run, and then get into your stride as you hit a downhill section of the trail. You feel amazing and look down at your watch to see if your pace is as effortless as it feels. It’s stopped. You paused it for the jelly baby and view appreciation session. “GRRRRRRRR!”

10. Did I just get passed out by an 80-year-old?

While you slog on, mourning the loss of some splits to bore your racing buddies with later, another competitor who is smaller/rounder/skinnier/younger/older passes you: “How the hell are they faster than me? I kind of hate them right now!”

11. Nothing beats camaraderie.

You hit the transition area feeling a little glum when a fellow racer tells you you’re great and offers you some of their chocolate. Your mood soars and you think, “God I love how nice people are on adventure races.”

12. Encouragement is fuel – sometimes!

You head out on the last running section. It’s 8km. A group of spectators gives you a big cheer. You’re tired but make the effort to thank them. Then one of them adds, “You’re nearly there.” You emit a silent scream. “8km is not nearly there,” you roar internally, followed by, “Why am I doing this?”

13. Where can I sign up for another race?

You finally reach that finish line. The crowd is cheering. Finishers are hugging and high-fiving. Euphoria is bursting from your guts. “I DID IT!!!!!!” Followed swiftly by “I am never doing that again.” Followed, about three hours later in the pub by “What race are we doing next lads?”

Make that leap and sign up for a Quest Adventure Race. You won’t regret it!