Great Things never came from Comfort Zones
2018-01-30 18:24
by Stefan Moosleitner
(comments: 0)

Great Things never came from Comfort Zones

Adventure Racing Champion Ian Adamson on the rewards of going beyond

With 7 World Championship titles and 3 Guinness Records, Ian Adamson is the most accomplished adventure racer of all times and has raced professionally in more than 50 countries. Ian holds a masters degree in Sports Medicine, is an expert event and race producer, motivational speaker and corporate and executive leadership coach.

At PUREWILD Ian helps develop challenging, fun itineraries for adventurers of all walks of life and, if time allows, enjoys participating in the PUREWILD Adventures he helped create.

We asked him about his passion for extreme sports and the rewards he sees in venturing beyond.


How did you come to discover your passion for extreme sports? Is there a distinct memory you have that led you down this path?

My parents were really active and took us on adventures from a young age. This included tons of time in the Australian Outback, climbing, caving and canyoning. See below image with my big brother and little sister from 1967 about to rappel into a cave.

From the ESPN X-Games to endurance kayaking, triathlons and sailing competitions, you conquer both land and sea. Do you have a preference for either? What about sports?
I grew up spending a lot of time on Sydney harbor and beaches, so my heart is with the Ocean. I started sailing and racing age 7 in dinghies and worked up to open Ocean yacht racing at world cup level over 20 years. Most recently I’ve been a producer on TV shows on and around the ocean.

Any sport that has a lot of variety works for me, the more the better! These days obstacle racing is my thing, the modern day version of Adventure Racing like the Eco-Challenge.

What is the most memorable competition you have partaken in thus far?

Tough question, every expedition adventure race was memorable! The 1998 Raid Gauloise was epic. We started at the head of the Amazon River, climbed 19,730 ft. Mt. Cotopaxi, the world's highest active volcano, rode wild horses across the Ecuadorian Pampa, canoed wild water rivers and open Ocean along the Pacific coast. We won by only a few minutes after 9 days and 17 hours of head to head racing.
The 2006 Adventure Racing World Championships in Sweden and Norway was a doozie. We had a stellar team, including Kiwi Olympian Richard Ussha, Xterra world champion Monique Merrell and Dave Wiens who had just beaten Lance Armstrong at the Leadville 100 mountain bike race. We traversed the mountains, fjords and forests to the coast of Norway and then sea kayaked across the arctic circle under the midnight sun. At one point we thought we were hallucinating when a meteor shower broke through the northern lights and lit up a pod of breeching killer whales. That was my 7th world championship win, and I retired rightafter.
Off the course you're a motivational speaker - are there any recurring messages throughout your speeches? If so, can you please share?

Tackling extreme adventures or endeavors, or attempting anything outside your comfort zone renders regular 'problems' less problematic.  It's about perspective. You learn to see challenges not problems, lessons not mistakes, and over time more becomes possible and less impossible.

You became President of the International Obstacle Sports Federation. What are your goals?

The goals of the IOSF are to build a safer, fairer, more cost accessible sport that represents the needs of the athletes and national federations. This includes working toward satisfying the requirements of the International Olympic Committee to be approved as an international sport. We currently have 67 national federation members with countries and competitions on every populated Continent. A higher goal is to provide motivation, inspiration and a platform that encourages people en mass to get off the couch and move more.


Tell me about how you became involved with PUREWILD. What intrigues you and how can you contribute to the adventures and the development of the brand?
Stefan and I met working for a boutique running shoe brand, Newton Running, out of Boulder Colorado. He approached me last year with the idea of helping market PUREWILD. The brand provides an amazing opportunity for ordinary people to have extraordinary experiences - untrammeled wilderness, obscure cultural gems, rare wildlife and journeys of discovery. The elegance of PUREWILD is it provides a high level of adventure balanced by luxurious accommodations and trimmings. Challenging days are rewarded with sumptuous meals, knowldege and socializing with world class athletes and guides.

What drives people to go beyond their comfort zones on high-end wilderness adventures offered by PUREWILD?

Many people learn that to truly live, expanding knowledge and experience is essential. The antithesis of this would be solitary confinement with limited opportunity to see, hear, smell, touch, taste or interact in exciting environments. PUREWILD is diametrically opposed to solitary confinement since it is designed to be unique on each adventure. The further outside your comfort zone you venture, the greater the reward.



Is there an itinerary or destination you’re especially fond of? If so, what is it and why?

That's a tough question! The PUREWILD itineraries are a veritable bucket list of experiences. The True Arabian Adventure in Oman is high on my list since this is a region I've not spent much time in.  

Is there a personal destination you’ve visited that you are particularly taken by?

The South African Cape. The combination of early human history, modern political history, culture, people, gastronomy, wine, wildlife and shear beauty of the wilderness is hard to beat.

What’s next for you, in the world of travel and in adventure racing?

The PUREWILD Canadian Arctic 'North of Magical' Adventure is on my calendar. This is as close to adventure racing as I get these days, thankfully with plenty of sleep and great food.


Join Ian this August on our exclusive PUREWILD 'North of Magical' Adventure and experience the Tundra of the Canadian Arctic in a special and rewarding way.


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PUREWILD inspires people to connect with our last wilderness regions in a special way: getting active on challenging adventures, immersing in pristine nature and enjoying the authentic comfort of spectacular lodges.

PUREWILD - adventures that will leave you changed.




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