MICK and Sharon Maher are a fit couple, and are preparing to tackle yet another gruelling race, with an adventure race at Glenrock State Conservation Reserve, near Newcastle, looming large.
The Mahers will race at the reserve this weekend, in a gruelling round of the Kathmandu Adventure Series.
The race consists of mountain biking, trekking/running, kayaking and navigation across some challenging terrain, and the Mahers are seasoned competitors.
They will take part in the mixed 39-44km division.
Mick, who is originally from the UK, has competed in adventure races throughout Europe.
Racing together as a team is a big drawcard for the pair.
“We also liked the idea that the format was off-road, challenging, fun, and mysterious in the sense that you are only given the race maps 30 minutes prior to the race,” Mick said.
“On top of all this, at the time, the races were not overly competitive.”
Another mysterious aspect of the race involves the format. Apart from the compulsory disciplines, organisers have been known to sneak other tasks in to it.
The Mahers have come across free-diving and raft-building.
“The typical race swaps and changes disciplines continuously, so you are forever kept on your toes, or on your bum, or in the water,” Mick said.
The pair will face some fun competition for the Glenrock race.
Sharon’s sister and brother-in-law will compete, along with her brother and his wife.
“It will be a fun day for all,” Mick said.
It’s been hard for the Mahers to find time for training, though. Three kids, and work life, gets in the way.
The pair have some fitness remaining from competing in last year’s Tough Mudder race in Sydney.
That’s a gruelling, 21km miliary-like obstacle course.
Mick has also competed in the Great North Walk 100, a 104km cross-country run.
And as daunting as the Kathmandu event is, the Mahers view it as quality time together.
“It is a nice treat to compete as a team in any way possible,” Mick said.
“We have never bickered during a race. We have laughed at each other a lot.”
The couple are definitely all-rounders, who like to compete in any sport possible.
Sharon is a volunteer surf life-saver with the Port Macquarie club, and enjoys having a hit on the tennis court.
“I like to compete in ironman and ultra-marathon events,” Mick said.
The pair, along with their kids, are also members of the Port Macquarie Tracks ‘N’ Trails Running Club.