BY RICHARD RHINEHART
Holbrook, New York, January 26, 2012: World T.E.A.M. Sports’ inclusive team competition, the Adventure TEAM Challenge, returns this May 18-20 to the western Colorado wilderness.
Held annually in Colorado since 2007, the Challenge features teams of five participants, two of which must be disabled, one being a wheelchair user. Even more so than other multisport team competitions, Adventure TEAM Challenge teams depend on close cooperation and team building to successfully meet the event’s many physical challenges, ranging from mountain biking to river rafting to climbing and ziplining.
For this year’s Challenge, up to 20 teams will be competing in the high Colorado Plateau desert near the Colorado River west of Fruita and Grand Junction. Previous Challenges have been held at higher altitude, near State Bridge and Leadville.
Presented for a second year by Alteryx, Inc., a software development and services company headquartered in Irvine, California, the Adventure TEAM Challenge was created by Golden, Colorado blind adventurer Erik Weihenmayer. A member of the World T.E.A.M. Sports board of directors and a frequent participant in the non-profit organization’s events, Weihenmayer had participated in an Eco-Challenge event and felt the team nature of multisport multi-event competitions would fit well with World T.E.A.M. Sports’ inclusive mission. For more than two decades, World T.E.A.M. Sports has created events teaming disabled and able-bodied participants, including several cross-country bike rides like this summer’s Sea to Shining Sea ride, a world bike ride, two climbs of Kilimanjaro, an annual bike ride from Washington to Gettysburg, and Soldiers to the Summit, a series of challenging outdoor expeditions for wounded warriors from our nation’s military.
“The beauty of adventure racing is that there are no superstars; everyone on the team plays an integral role and has to cross the finish line together,” said Weihenmayer of the Challenge. “Everybody has moments when they suffer and are in pain, moments when they need help to keep going, and moments when they shine. The best teams are those which can tap into the talents of each member and find a collective team strength which becomes bigger than its parts.”
Nino Pozgaj, a two-time competitor whose Alteryx team includes his 16-year-old daughter Clarissa, who has a rare congenital disorder called arthrogryposis, is very supportive of the Adventure TEAM Challenge. “The Challenge gives people the inspiration to achieve, no matter what the obstacles are, and to live life no matter what. It shows others what can be done and gives them the confidence to do the unthinkable. This confidence and inspiration is not just for the disabled, but even more so for all of us able bodied people.”
With the venue change to a lower-altitude desert environment, the Challenge also is seeking to attract additional participating teams. Alteryx has pledged to assist with the event entry fee for up to five teams through their 2012 Team Sponsorship Program. For information regarding this sponsorship program, contact Alteryx by e-mail.
Team registration has begun for the 2012 event through the World T.E.A.M. Sports Adventure TEAM Challenge event page. Military and non-profit teams are encouraged to participate.