Thanks to Franc‘s invitation, I was able to hop on to the opportunity to join the much talked about Berghaus Urban Adventure Games at Global Circuit Event Grounds in Circuit Makati last Saturday, November 15, 2014. Berghaus is a UK-based outdoor clothing and equipment company which promised to take adventure racing to the digital age for the first time in the Philippines.

Before the event, I must have had read the same blog posts published about FAQs and mechanics of the game for over 10 times. Yup, that was how anxious I was for it! The sentence “THIS is not your usual adventure game.” was among the most striking, as it left me hanging with mixed emotions. Not usual?? 😯 I certainly did not have any idea on what kind of physical and mental challenges to expect apart from those that were given away on the Cyburban-Berghaus page:

“We have sports checkpoints (football, frisbee, basketball, etc.),
parkour obstacles and cross-fit challenges that will test the players’ fitness levels
in strength, balance, agility, skill and tenacity.”

I’m not good at any of those mentioned sports and they didn’t sound fun to me either. Haha! Nevertheless, I looked forward to trying them and doing all that’s required for the sake of experience and enjoyment as well as helping the team score points. I’ve set my heart and mind to it and came the earliest to the venue on the big day (an hour before the orientation proper)—even ahead of the organizers. #DiMasyadongExcited 😉

Circuit Makati at 4:20AM

4 Things I’ve Learned From the Cyburban-based Berghaus Urban Adventure Games 2014 (Circuit Makati)

1. Mobile Data Connection (or Wi-fi Connection) can be a Deal Breaker

The Berghaus race featured an app-based race format, the first of its kind, where teams composed of three members each would receive challenges on Android mobile phones. (Note: For now, the Cyburban app can be downloaded only from Google Playstore and I’m not sure when it will become also available in the AppStore.)

For every completed challenge, we had to scan a QR code to accumulate points. These points were updated online and in real-time. All members of the team were advised to use the Cyburban app and the points will be reflected in all devices. There was a leaderboard showing the rankings of the teams. That said, a basic fundamental in the Berghaus Urban Adventure Games was reliable mobile data or wi-fi connection.

Many times, we met the “Network Error” notification since we could not establish a good 3g connection/wi-fi. We had to retry the connection over and over and wait until the answer is verified before we could move on to the next stop.

2. Get Together With the Right Team

Getting together with the right team is important, as you’ll spend a fair bit of time in the game. We joined the Competitive category and that meant us playing for four hours, whereas those who joined the Fun category played in an unlimited number of hours. The timer began as soon as one of us in the team hit the “Start Game!” button on the Cyburban app.

Team FrancRamon 🙂

This style of adventure-racing is a team sport so we could only cross the “finish line” together. Some challenges required only one person to achieve the goal, while most required all of us three to participate. A mismatch in the commitment to the tasks would open the door for frustration, so it’s a good idea to get a balance of personalities.

I was grateful that I had Franc and Jham with me in the team. Both of them are experienced runners and endurance athletes who regularly go through intensive training programs to be ready in time. It was my first time to meet Jham but I’m glad that we also got along well. Franc was supportive as usual and competitive in the best possible way. 🙂

Quests we’ve accomplished are as follows:

  • Berghaus Social Challenge – posted a selfie picture on Instagram inside the Berghaus photo frame
  • Object Hunt – found and uncovered hidden QR codes everywhere
  • Toby’s Sports Challenge – tent folding, hula hoop, basketball, skateboard, darts challenge, football goal and football freestyle
  • Trivia and Riddles – solved mind-boggling trivia and riddles with the help of Google search 🙂
  • Crossfit Halcyon – burpees and jumps over a box, sled pulls, pack run challenge (carry 40kg sand bags and run)
  • Parkour Obstacles – the floor is lava (complete a circular course with a twist), parkour speed, get over it, rolling hills (roll on a hill), animal relay (crawls), through the wire

3. Safety First, Regardless of the Weather

Weather was not cooperative. It was drizzling before the game began all the way through the end. I thought the light showers would signal cancellation of the activity, but it didn’t. Instead, we just had a slight delay because the organizers needed more time to set up. Fair enough.

As weather plays a significant factor in the comfort and performance level, the lesson here is to always come prepared whether it’s rainy, cold, windy, or dark and think of safety foremost. Choose running shoes that will be able to grip the slippery pavement. Wear a cap or raincoat or carry an umbrella like we did. It would be miserable to be drenched to the skin in rain.

4. You Vs. Yourself

Typically, competition is defined as an engagement where opponents push one another to achieve excellence while abiding by the rules of the game and playing to their utmost abilities. On the other hand, competition works to inspire us to perform better while learning valuable lessons about teamwork, goal setting, and staying cool under pressure—without trapping us in drama, ego bruising, and poor sportsmanship.

Ultimately, it’s about challenging the self and knowing if and how we can beat our own previous bests by some substantial margin.

Wrap Up

The Cyburban-based Berghaus Urban Adventure Games 2014 was a success. It was a great chance for us to take another step along our own path and take pleasure in learning about the game and about being gracious in both victory and defeat. This kind of outdoor adventure offers curious athletes, friends, and families an opportunity to try different sports and challenges to push themselves to the limit. For more stories about our experience, you may visit Franc’s detailed post about the event. 🙂

About 

An IT person by profession; Foodie by nature; Wushu athlete by training; Dancer by heart; Writer by passion; Hasn't met a piece of cake she didn't like 🙂

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90 Responses

  1. mr_jeng

    HOLY CRAP! 4:20 in the morning!?! Dude! Be honest, you didn’t sleep did you? Oh my! Raining and competitive play! You the girl! If that was me, well let’s just say I wouldn’t be able to do the things you had done. Grabe! Ikaw na! Hands Down! Congrats on being able to finish and do the obstacles! GALING!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Haha I slept…for four hours. I left home at 3:50AM as I was worried that my GPS would fail me and drive me to some place else. In case that happens, I would have extra time to set recalculation on the coordinates and ask for directions. 😛 Thanks, Jeng! I bet you could finish those challenges as well. I’m no supergirl! 😉 It’s a different vibe when you’re in the venue in actual than just picturing the event in mind.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Haha yup I did, too! I have never imagined that I would pull off all those especially these parts: roll on the hill and carry a very heavy bag on my back that’s almost the same as my body weight, being the super poised lady that I am. 😆 Thanks for the great company!

      Reply
      • Rochkirstin Santos

        Are you referring to the Run BGC 2014 Urban Adventure to be held on November 29? I’ve read the details from pinoyfitness.com. Whoa, I can imagine how big the event will be as each team will be composed of 10 members and the venue is bigger. Compared to this one, I think it’s more of a scavenger hunt adventure. I’m already fully-booked with other events on that day haha.

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      It’s good to be competitive as it makes life a bit more exciting. For this adventure game though, I didn’t express more competitiveness as I would in normal life scenarios such as career and academics. 😛

      Reply
  2. Fi Ní Neachtáin

    Looks like a great day for the activity lovers! Even if it did start super early and was raining! 🙂

    Reply
  3. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    That sounds like it was a blast. I would have signed up for it, too! Fun!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yeah it was. Being serious in this kind of outdoor adventure requires to have a bit of tenacity, flexibility and adaptability along with a never say die attitude. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Mindy

    Sounds like a lot of fun but super challenging as well! I’m not so sure i’m a good for stuffs like this though, i am not very competitive by nature (although i really hate losing, weirdly…) and too much of a spoilt brat i’d be really worries that i’m gonna be a total burden to my team instead >.<!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I don’t think anyone would like to lose, generally. But there are some competitions that I’m sure I won’t be ranked as first. This is one of them. 😆 It was just good enough for me that we finished MOST of the tasks and we didn’t land as the last placer. Haha I would care the least for ranks. I’m okay as long as I don’t have injuries.

      Reply
  5. Aisha Kristine Chong

    That looks like a lot of fun – I hope I can participate in such anytime soon – okay scratch that – my schedule can be really fully book – maybe next year, lol! hopefully.. lol.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      It was four hours worth of continuous mental and physical challenges. As the timer ran out, I was super glad that the game was finally over. We had fun, no doubt. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Lubna Naz

    Lovely post, with beautiful photos and message. I hope you guys had a lot of fun. I was a sport person too but now retired lol. Thanks for refreshing my memories.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Ohh you’re welcome! I categorized this post under “Inspirational” as I intended this to inspire others out there to say yes to this kind of outdoor fun. If I could do it, then for sure you can too. –> That’s my primary message. ^_^

      Reply
  7. Samantha Angell

    This sounds like a very fun event! Great that the sponsors made sure that it was safe and watched the weather so participants could safely enjoy the events.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yes, kudos to them for thinking about the safety of the participants. I also appreciated that some supposedly timed activities were not anymore timed, considering the slippery grounds and the rain.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Haha what if someone will give you a million bucks for a prize? 😛 That would be some wishful thinking there but one that definitely will change your mind, I bet.

      Reply
  8. Dawn

    I’ve never done anything like that, and I probably never will. That’s why I have such big time respect for people like you who get out there and participate in these things.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Haha I had never thought of doing this as well, that was until Franc sent me a pm on Facebook. I also didn’t know what made me say “OK, game!” without hesitation. 😛

      Reply
  9. Liz Mays

    I can see how those internet connectivity issues could really affect results. It still sounds like a pretty incredible experience.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yup. I wonder if it would be possible for the app to be improved in such a way that it will allow users to save answers and store points locally on the phone (including the validation process) and then submit and sync the merited points once connection is very good.

      Reply
  10. Kae James

    This looks like fun! Definitely something I would try out. Even if I have to get up that early in the morning. I think it would be worth it.

    Reply
  11. Eileen

    This looks like a fun event! I love how it combines different athletic aspects, looks like you had a great time!

    Reply
  12. Catherine S

    This sounds like a lot of fun. I like to play sports so I would enjoy it. Stinks that it was raining.

    Reply
  13. Sandy

    It looks like you had a great adventure-filled day. Way to go! It’s a good thing bad weather didn’t alter any plans.

    Reply
  14. Pam

    Sounds like it was a really fun day. Too bad the WiFi/3g wasn’t working correctly. I’m sure that slowed you down!

    Reply
  15. Ann Bacciaglia

    This looks like such a fun day. It is too bad it rained. I hope next year the weather is better.

    Reply
  16. Myrabev

    oh wow this sounds so much fun am in the UK and never heard of this type of adventure but then again i am not into sports lol

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      It’s okay if you’re not into sports but it’s important that you’re willing to do the challenges everyone would face along the way. This “unusual adventure” is not for novices; experience in all disciplines (including appropriate fitness qualifications) is required. 😀

      Reply
  17. yan

    i was reading franc’s blog and wondered about a familiar face! ikaw pala yun hehe 😛 it’s definitely frustrating to be disconnected while you’re in a crucial challenge! was there free wifi? >XD

    Reply
  18. marri

    No doubt that this event was a success. It looks like you all have the adrenalin going and you must be dead tired but energized.

    Reply
  19. Marielle Altenor

    What great fun! I think I would have been a bit annoyed about not being able to upload my points due to bad network signal! But I would have had a great time anyway with these games!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Haha I don’t care how “beast-ly” all others seemed to be but I know for myself that I’m still a beauty. 😆 You know it’s fun to play with words. 😛

      Reply
  20. Fred

    I have joined a game using Cyburan before running around BGC doing various tasks. You are right that the internet connection is the deal breaker. I do want to join a game like this again in the future. Hope to come across one again.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Ahh yeah haha we were in one team together. I think some tasks can easily be accomplished even by beginners. It depends on the activity and maybe the skill set of the player. 🙂

      Reply
  21. Ari Bancale

    Thank you for playing!!! And, thank you for this honest article. We will be working towards free connections for all our events next year. Looking forward to seeing you in all of them! hahaha

    Reply

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