Great Adventure Hyderabad Club (GHAC) gave a new spin to Geocaching. In its original form, participants use GPS-enabled devices to locate ‘geocaches’ or containers. Think of it as a GPS-enabled treasure hunt. GHAC tweaked this to incorporate fitness through geo-cycling. On Sunday, participants used location coordinates on GPS to unravel caches and cycle from one point to another. Clues were hidden in riddles. For instance, ‘I see this building twice’ pointed to ICICI premises.
Weekends see a host of activities in the city. The refrain that Hyderabad has nothing but malls and multiplexes doesn’t hold good anymore. Walks, runs and cycling events have become a norm. If these aren’t your idea of weekend fun, look out for rappelling, zip lining and rock climbing events.
The demand for something unique fuels new concepts like geo-cycling, which saw regular cyclists and first timers. “We conducted a recce to finalise the distance, routes, and riddles that can help identify caches,” says Rakesh Kumar Aavula, an event organiser with GHAC.
The weekend also saw a cyclothon of 30km and 60km distances for Pinkathon and a walk inviting young mothers to ‘wear their babies’ and participate. Young mothers participated with enthusiasm. Some carried infants on slings and some came along with toddlers. A fit mom also tried push-ups with her baby on her back amid loud cheers. Model-turned-actor and marathoner Milind Soman wasn’t the star here; the young mothers were. The ‘Baby Wearing Walk’ emphasised the importance of staying fit during pregnancy and post natal period.
The regular running, cycling and triathlon events also factor in categories to include first timers and children. While all these events are open to anyone to participate, there’s a surge in demand for tailor-made events from the corporate sector.
Diyanat Ali, who founded GHAC and the start-up Outlife Outbound Training, has seen the demand growing in recent years. “Corporates want activities that are recreational, adventurous and help in team building and problem solving,” says Diyanat.
In addition to rock climbing, rappelling and river rafting that have been around for a while, there’s an interest in camping and learning survival skills in jungles. “Those watching Bear Grylls’ show want to rough it out. They want to know how to survive in jungles, learn to create a camp fire without matches or extract water from leaves,” he adds.
All these fitness/adventure options are to be cheered but Diyanat points out that Bangalore and Pune have an edge with more events, partly because of their location, weather condition and the fact that they got on to the fitness/ adventure bandwagon earlier than Hyderabad. “I also see more people from Hyderabad travelling to participate in events in other cities now,” he adds.
Sunder Nagesh, who works with a leading software firm, plans his vacations around fitness and adventure activities. He recently participated in a Himalayalan trek organised by India Hikes, trekking through Kuari Pass in Uttarakhand. Soon after, with a group of friends he challenged himself at India’s highest bungee jumping point in Rishikesh and also trekked to the double decker root bridge in Meghalaya (see photograph). A few days later, he was in Hampi to participate in the Go Heritage run.
“I started six to seven years ago and the interest has grown since. In 2010, I went on my first camping trip and in 2015, I went on a biking trip with friends to Leh,” he says. Sunder says the urge to travel for fitness and adventure comes from the interest in exploring new terrains. While he participates in Hyderabad events as well, he points out a lacuna, “Many events are in the Jubilee Hills – Gachibowli stretch, which makes it tough for those in the other parts of the city. We need to have something in other areas as well.”
* A 2-km Cancer Shero Trek to salute the spirit of cancer survivors. Meeting point: Fakhruddingutta, near Lanco Hills, Khajaguda. Date: February 11; 6.30 a.m. For details, contact 8879943660/ 8879943659.
* 3k, 5k and 10k runs by Pinkathon at People’s Plaza. Register on www.pinkathon.in Date: February 26
* Fun kayaking – learn basics of kayaking. Meeting point: Yacht Club. For details, check www.ghac.in Date: February 11 and 12; 7.30 a.m.
* Club Run 2017, organised by Hyderabad Runners. Runner can take part in half marathon (21.1km), 10k and 5k runs at University of Hyderabad. Register on www.hyderabadrunners.com. Date: February 19
Look out for
Hyderabad Bicycling Club, Hyderabad Runners, Great Hyderabad Adventure Club, Yacht Club and Save the Rock Society organise events periodically that allow you to test your endurance levels.