BY RICHARD RHINEHART
Rancho del Rio, June 27, 2011 – It’s a three-peat for the Lumber Liquidators Team of Erik Weihenmayer, Skyler Williams, Rob Harsh, Brett Landin and Sarah Will at World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Adventure TEAM Challenge. Though the Lumber Liquidators failed to win the final stage of the three-day Adventure TEAM Challenge, the team’s strong showing on Sunday provided ample time to relax a little on the final day.
Lumber Liquidators has won championships for three consecutive years – 2009, 2010 and 2011 – and showed their fellow teams how close teamwork and cooperation can be a winning combination.
Following an epic day of wilderness challenges on Sunday, all of the teams looked forward to an easier Monday. Starting at 7:30 a.m. from the quiet Rancho del Rio Resort on the Colorado River, teams rode mountain bikes and hand cycles west along the Trough Road to State Bridge, where they transferred to Timberline Tours rafts.
The State Bridge to Catamount stretch is a 14.1 mile stretch of the Colorado River and features Class I-II rafting. For most commercial rafters, the trip takes from four to six hours. All Adventure TEAM Challenge teams completed the stretch – this year’s longest float – in less than four hours.
Closely following Lumber Liquidators in the final team standings were three Alteryx, Inc.-sponsored teams, who held three of the top four positions. Rounding out the top five teams was Team Crump.
Although winning and placing high in the weekend event is a welcome goal, most participating teams were in the Challenge for different reasons. “Our goal as the Prouty Team is that everyone finishes,” said Greg Hayes, a member of the Prouty Project’s Mastermind Shapeshifters Team. “This race is not about getting a trophy; it’s all about helping people.”
Teammate Molly Deprekel agreed, noting their team was “going to help other teams when they needed it” – even if it meant their team lost time in the process. Since each five-member team included two persons with disabilities, including one athlete who uses a chair for mobility, Prouty Project teams noticed and cared for others throughout the event. On Sunday, the Shapeshifters spent time in helping another team with a one-off hand cycle safely descend a cliff. On Monday morning, the Minnesota-based team waited patiently while two members helped another team get underway.
Hayes is no stranger to competition – “I am highly competitive and want to win,” he said. However, he acknowledged that other teams also helped the Shapeshifters successfully finish segments of the course.
Helping others as a part of the competition is a unique attribute of the Challenge. Seeing that everyone safely completes the course and does it together is important, not only for building stronger teams, but for surviving in today’s competitive and challenging economy. Adventure TEAM Challenge teams will return to their offices and daily duties more closely attuned to each other’s strength and weaknesses, and be able to meet upcoming business challenges as a team, rather than as individuals. In working with individuals with disabilities, team members understand that challenges can be overcome. Everyone can succeed – not just a selected or chosen few.
Deprekel, who indicated her team may very well return for future events, said it simply. The Adventure TEAM Challenge is “incredibly inspiring and highly impressive.”
Final Team Standings by Finish
Alteryx Team Terrorific
Alteryx Team Detour
Alteryx Clarissa’s Team
Prouty El Capiteam
Prouty Team Triumph
Prouty Mastermind Shapeshifters
Prouty Minnesota United
Prouty Team Apex
Note. All teams finished.
World T.E.A.M. Sports thanks the participating athletes, the volunteers and the sponsors for a successful 2011 Adventure TEAM Challenge. Special thanks to the participating corporate teams – Alteryx, Inc., The Prouty Project, Atlas Advertising, CGSchool, Crump Group, and Lumber Liquidators – for their support. Thanks also to the event sponsors, Alteryx, Inc., Timberline Tours and Vail Honeywagon, and to the event host at Rancho del Rio Resort.