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Monthly Archives: July 2010
I’m no hardcore gamer, that’s for sure. But I have my share of gaming history. I think my first game was Rygar, which I played on a pc with a monochromatic monitor (yellowish). That was in the late 80′s. Then eventually, as many kids of my generation, we had the Nintendo. Wow, that was high tech. In any case, I’m not here to talk about my childhood. The gaming industry has tremendously progressed and although I’m not a hardcore gamer, I do appreciate the creativity and brains that are put in making game titles. There’s some really awesome stuff out there. For instance, the other day I stumbled on this article that shows a video of a physics engine. Wow, that is just insane. Having a physics background, I’m no stranger to particle systems and numeric simulations, so this kind of stuff gets my attention.
Well, another aspect of gaming that got my attention lately is gaming tournaments. There’s a huge gaming community out there and there are some companies that specialize in organizing video game tournaments – some of which are HUGE. Take the World Cyber Games for instance. It’s literally the Olympics for e-sports. In addition to the WCG, you have multiple other organizations and events of varying size that hold live tournaments. But what I noticed is that most of them, as far as I can tell, take place in the USA or different places in Asia and Europe. What about Canada? Aren’t there enough hardcore gamers to participate in such events, or is it just that we don’t have organized events?
Thankfully though, there’s one tournament taking place this fall in Montreal, and promises to be quite nice with over 400 participants. It’s the WCG Canada tournament organized and hosted by LAN ETS (http://wcg2010.lanets.ca/). It’s taking place September 3 – 5 at ETS school. I’ll be passing by to see the action. But that’s one event. What about others?
Is it just that I haven’t heard about other serious events? Are Canadians just not hardcore gamers? Let me know what you think.
Last weak I participated in the Spartan Race that was held in Mont-Tremblant, Canada. For those who haven’t heard, this is a 5k race with numerous obstacles ranging from mud pits, barbwire, cargo nets, and more, inspired from Navy Seal training and American Gladiators.
The Spartan Race is for athletes and people who are tired of the tedium of the usual races and workouts and yearn to recapture the spirit of an adventurous age. This international race is set up to test not only the strength and stamina but the cunning and creativity of each athlete’s warrior essence. Participants will confront obstacles ranging from extreme to absurd that gain their inspiration from sources as varied as Spartan training, Navy SEAL training and American Gladiators.
Needless to say, it was challenging but extremely fun. I had just started to train again at the time I registered, which only left me with two months to get ready for this race. I obviously didn’t make the top 3 but it helped me get back on track with my training and push forward to the next challenge. Now I’m seriously training and getting ready for a marathon this fall. This will be my first marathon but I’m definitely looking forward to it. It feels great to get back in shape and I’ll soon be in better shape than ever.
So overall registering to the spartan race, even knowing I wouldn’t win, was a great decision. After living through this small challenge, I’ve been exposed to a much bigger challenge, the Canadian Death Race. This a physical challenge beyond anything I have imagined. It’s 125 Km in the Canadian rockies that must be done under 24 hours – not your average race. The race’s description from the official Canadian Death Race site reads:
Since the start of the millennium, elite racers have come to the Canadian Rockies to cheat Death in one of the world’s toughest adventure races. The 125 km course begins and ends on a 4200 foot plateau, passes over three mountain summits and includes 17,000 feet of elevation change and a major river crossing at the spectacular Hell’s Gate canyon at the confluence of the Smoky and Sulphur Rivers. During the August long weekend each year, extreme athletes, individually and in relays, push themselves to the limits of their endurance against the breathtaking background of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Each year, well-trained and totally committed, they battle heat, cold, altitude and themselves. There are no big prizes for winning: finishing is hard enough. And the bragging rights are priceless…
That is one extreme race. But its something I want to achieve. A few days after the spartan race I went to buy some new running shoes for some serious mileage. I went to the specialized store called Pegasus in Centropolis, Laval (Pegasus CENTROPOLIS, 120, Promenade du Centropolis, H7T 0B3 Laval, Canada). While I was trying on some shoes, the owner saw the marking I had on my arm and said “hey, you went there too?”. It so just happens she was at the spartan race and saw my race number marking, like the one she had. On one of the walls there was a poster of the Canadian Death Race. So I asked her if she knew what this race was like. It turns out she actually did the race. Wow. A string of coincidences lead me to decide to go for this race myself. BTW, if you’re looking for a good pair of running shoes, I strongly recommend you go to this store. They know their stuff. They had me run in the store and looked at my footing then recommended different shoes based on what they had seen and my feedback. In the end I found an awesome pair of shoes that feel perfect.
Sometimes I find life is just like sweet BBQ ribs. You got to get your hands dirty and sticky, but once you take a bite, man oh man it’s good. You just can’t stop.