Justin Montgomery never gave a thought to Adventure Racing growing up in Wellsville, Kan.
The 32-year-old Merriam resident lettered in football, basketball and track in high school.
He went on to play on the club soccer team at the University of Kansas.
“After college I competed as an amateur boxer and fought in the 2007 Amateur Boxing World Championships.”
How did he get involved in Adventure Racing?
“Ironically, I was introduced to Adventure Racing while running my boxing gym after college,” he said. “A few folks from the local bike shop always came in for late sessions and we got to talking about mountain biking and trail running.
“This coincided with my desire to find alternative endurance workouts to supplement my boxing training. My experience in the military aided in map reading while my athletic background jump started my training in my first endurance sport of Adventure Racing.”
You might ask what is Adventure Racing?
“Adventure Racing is a team-based multi-sport event where teams (or a soloist) travels through unknown terrain collecting a series of checkpoints along the way,” Montgomery said. “Teams use only a map and compass to guide them through the course and must remain together for the duration of the race.
“The core disciplines include cross country running, mountain biking and paddling. Adventure races can also include rope work, caving, white water rafting, swimming, rock climbing and a variety of mystery events.”
Adventure races vary in the length of time. The different times can be from six to eight hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, 36 hours, three days, five days or 10 days.
“I’ve competed up through 36 hour races with plans to complete a three-day race within the next couple of years,” he said.
What has kept him involved in Adventure Racing?
“I wanted to challenge my mind as well as my body,” he said. “There are mental aspects of running ultras, Ironman triathlons and other endurance sports, but I wanted the additional mental challenge of having to decide the most efficient route in order to complete the course.
“I also really enjoyed managing the team dynamics while Adventure Racing. I feel that I’m a good moderator in stressful situations.”
Montgomery qualified for the CPT National Championships in 2010 as a soloist. They were held in Moab, Utah.
CPT is a company CheckPoint Tracker that organizes extreme and adventure sports.
His training for his sport is varied.
“I play a lot of soccer,” he said. “I’ll start joining various outdoor leagues in the spring and by early summer will be up to five to six games a week,” he said. “I also ride road and mountain bikes with a few friends but usually find myself cross training a lot.”
And his key to success is just one word - attitude.