Going to Extremes with a Winning Agency
Vivaldi CEO competes in the largest race in Southeast Asia, to finally claim first prize
DESPITE its awful past, the infamous River Kwai’s ‘death’ railway built by WWII prisoners is an ideal location for the River Kwai Trophy Adventure Race, the largest race in Southeast Asia.
Vivaldi CEO was not always into endurance sports, but after becoming overweight and unhealthy he decided to get fit and enter the race for the first time. That was 11 years ago. It was the toughest thing he’d ever done, but was hooked from then on.
In 2015, his friend Ross Cain and he decided to team up under the name “Atlast” with the purpose of winning the Grand Masters of the River Kwai Race. He was super-fit, coming off cycling the 1200 km Audax France in under 70 hours. They trained hard in the midday sun for five hours at a time, so by race day were in top shape. Despite a serious cycling crash in which Ross cracked his elbow and Joseph had a concussion, they came in 3rd place.
In 2016, they tried again, leading the race for five hours until Joseph’s legs cramped in the final river swim just a few hundred meters from the finish line. It hurt to lose like that.
At the registration for 2017, they saw teams entering from Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia and France. That night, a huge tropical storm rolled in. In an adventure race, you don’t know distances, routes or order of the swim, bike, kayak, obstacles or trails. You just deal with it as it comes. In this year’s race, they started with a run that crossed the Bridge over the River Kwai to the main plaza where tourists looked on.
When the MC finally announced at the finish, “Team Atlast has finished in 1st place in the Grand Masters Division”, hands rose in the air and both team members shouted at the top of their lungs! It has been 11 years in the making and finally a first ever win. The team had conquered Asia’s Largest Race at the Bridge over the River Kwai!
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