Interview with Mark Sky – World’s #10 Ranked Adventure Racer!

Yes – we’ve heard of adventure racing. No – we weren’t exactly sure what it is. So we reached out to UESCA coach and professional adventure racer, Mark Sky. Mark is the worlds #10 ranked adventure racer and is on team Bend Racing.  Check out this short Q & A to find out not only what adventure racing is, but why it’s so appealing to Mark… and maybe you as well 🙂

Oh, he’s also vegan/plant-based so this should put to bed any theory that you can’t be a successful endurance athlete unless you eat meat!

Warning: You might need a nap after reading this!

How did you get into adventure racing?

I learned about Adventure Racing while reading The Ultra Mindset by Travis Macy.  The minute I finished reading the chapter about Adventure Racing, I couldn’t believe this amazing sport existed. 

A lot of people are familiar with ultra/trail running but not adventure racing – what exactly is adventure racing?

Adventure Racing is a sport consisting of 3 main disciplines: Mountain Biking, Trail Running / Bushwhacking and Kayaking (Ocean, Rivers and/or Whitewater).  Race Courses are kept secret and are revealed just before the race starts when teams receive a topographic map with checkpoints which you must navigate to using only a compass.  Short races are less than 24 Hours.  Expedition Races are hundreds of kilometers long and range between 2-10 Days! Non-Stop! 24-7!

In regard to training, how is training for adventure racing similar and different than training exclusively for running?

Trail Runners train by Running and Hiking.  Adventure Racers train Hiking, Running, Mountain Biking, Navigation, Whitewater Paddling and Ocean Kayaking.  Adventure Racers also need additional skills in certain races that may include Canoeing, Rock Climbing and/or Ascending/Descending Ropes.  Strength Training also becomes an essential part of the training package.

Aside from adventure racing, what other running disciplines do you race, if any?

I am currently just adventure racing

What would you tell someone interested in getting into adventure racing?

AR is the most adventurous sport in the world.  You get to explore wild places by foot, on bike and by water. And you get to do all this with your team of close friends!

Lastly, what’s your favorite non-endurance sports activity?

My favorite non-endurance sports activity is Climbing.

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