BY RICHARD RHINEHART
Eagle, Colorado, June 23, 2011 – It’s adventure time for the athletes of the 2011 Adventure TEAM Challenge from World T.E.A.M. Sports. With participating athletes traveling to Colorado from 11 states and Canada, the Challenge will field its largest field yet in the June 25-27 event.
Sponsored by Alteryx, Inc., teams for the 2011 Challenge include five persons, two of which must have disabilities. One member on each team must be a wheelchair user.
Following registration in Eagle, Colorado on the morning of June 25, team members will travel northwest into the rugged Colorado River Valley, to the small resort community of Rancho del Rio. Located on the southern bank of the Colorado, Rancho is a popular fishing and rafting camp near the scenic Gore Canyon, a rugged gorge containing only the river and the Union Pacific railroad. No paved highways penetrate this wilderness, with only county and Bureau of Land Management tracks providing visitor access. It is in this spectacular mountain country that the 2011 Adventure TEAM Challenge will be held.
For the first time in the Challenge’s five year history, 13 teams with 65 athletes will compete in a variety of demanding events, ranging from river rafting to mountain biking to orienteering and sliding along zip lines. The competition will be fierce, as Team Lumber Liquidators, featuring Golden, Colorado adventurer Erik Weihenmayer, will attempt to defend its championship for a third straight year. Corporate teams from Alteryx, The Prouty Project, the Crump Group, Atlas Advertising and CGSchool will work to see that Weihenmayer’s team is not successful in their effort to have a “threepeat” of their championship.
Weihenmayer, a successful Seven Summits mountain climber who has been blind since age 13, is eager for the competition. “Of course, I’m in it to win it with my team, Team Lumber Liquidators, for the third year in a row,” he reports. “But several teams have thrown down the gauntlet and are gunning to break our winning streak. Bring it on!”
Though competition will be keen at the event, winning is not everything. Alteryx CEO and President Dean Stoecker reports that although the Challenge “will excite all of us,” the real benefit to participants will be overcoming obstacles in this inclusive event. “Each participant is preparing to join with teammates, digging deep within their mind, body, and spirit to compete in this ultimate team adventure–meeting challenges, building camaraderie, and celebrating true diversity by working together to overcome obstacles.”
The 2011 event includes paraplegic and quadriplegic athletes, along with athletes with Cerebral Palsy, Lupus, brain injuries, hearing and vision disabilities. Success will be dependent on teams working together on rafts, on mountain bikes and on ropes.
World T.E.A.M. Sports is the creator of inclusive events with disabled and non-disabled athletes. The non-profit organization’s events range from the AXA World Ride in 1995 to last October’s successful Soldiers to the Summit climb of 20,075 Lobuche East, an ice-covered Nepal peak not far from Mount Everest, to this April’s Face of America bike ride from Washington, DC to Gettysburg, featuring 93 wounded warriors. Upcoming events include the Adventure Teen Challenge in Washington in August and the inaugural Face of America Texas in November.