Monday, December 06, 2010

Team Fear

This year, Tori started racing in a series of splash and dashes; short ocean water swims with an even shorter run at the end. All of these races were at the beaches near our home and required only a little advance planning. A few months back Tori asked me if she could do an adventure race and I said yes, thinking it was more of the same. The name of the race- Team Fear- should have clued me in. This race proved to be much different from Tori’s previous sprint races but she loved it all the same!

Early on a recent Sunday morning, we, including Grandma who was visiting, caught the 6:30 am ferry boat to Discovery Bay, where the Team Fear race was held. Discovery Bay is on Lantau Island, a large island with Hong Kong’s airport. Discovery Bay is mostly an expatriate community with its own schools, restaurants, stores and most notably, no cars. Once there, I started to get more and more information about the race. I quickly realized Tori needed her gear to be functional not just for some sort of check list but for actual safety. Unfortunately, Tori’s helmet was missing some crucial pieces but with the help of a friend and plastic ties the helmet crisis was solved. All that remained was for Tori to actually do the race.

Tori and her team of two other kids competed in the Under 10 division. Tori's team, along with hundreds of other kids, started the race with a run up a hill, rock scrambling through a gorge and then running up and down another hill until they reached the beach. On the beach, there was an obstacle course with bamboo walls and things for the kids to climb over. At this point, I breathed a sigh of relief. Tori, a big fan of the monkey bars and climbing trees, was in her element there. From the beach, the kids climbed rock walls, worked their way along a rocky shore line, rode bikes, ran some more and jumped into the ocean.

It was all quite arduous, even for spectators! We had to take public buses around Discovery Bay to get to various viewing points for the race. We would get to one viewing point in time to see Tori run by and start something even harder. Grandma started calling it Team Torture but every time we saw Tori she flashed us a big smile. When she and her team finally crossed the finish line, their final time was 1 hour and 56 minutes!

After the race, Tori promptly sat down and ate a bag of nuts, one hamburger, two orders of fries and two candy bars. Then she told us that she thought her team won. Sure enough, they did win their division though how she kept track of her competition I will never know. Tori was soaking wet, covered in scratches and bruises but as happy as can be. She is climbing mountains and doing it all pretty fast and all on her own. She is utterly fearless. And I am afraid that the days of her holding my hand to cross a street are almost over.


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