Experience the Thrill of the Challenge this September
World T.E.A.M. Sports‘ annual Adventure TEAM Challenge brings together disabled and able-bodied athletes for three days of competition in the high desert wilderness of western Colorado. Debuting in 2007 as the Real Deal Inclusive Sports Adventure, the Challenge inspires and challenges athletes of all abilities. With each team of five including two athletes with disabilities, one being a wheelchair user, the Challenge provides an opportunity for competitors to work together toward shared goals and rewards.
This September 13-15, 2013, the Challenge returns. It will include rafting, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and other exciting outdoor activities. Teams compete mostly against the clock – to finish all stages is an accomplishment in itself – but also to claim the title as the Adventure TEAM Challenge champion. Along the way, teams are challenged both physically and mentally, and learn that innovation and teamwork are the keys to success.
Since the first Challenge in June 2007, the events have been hosted in Colorado. The first five were held in the high mountains near Rancho del Rio along the Colorado River north of Eagle and south of Leadville along the Arkansas River. In 2012, a new course west of Grand Junction and Fruita in the McInnis Canyon National Conservation Area near the Utah border debuted.
Explore the 2013 Adventure TEAM Challenge page.
Support of the Adventure TEAM Challenge
“Throughout our history, Alteryx has evolved from a product-based company to one that values our ongoing relationship with customers. Participating in the Adventure TEAM Challenge was a perfect way to learn from amazing people how to create an exceptional community. By fielding a team, we discovered that showing up, participating with a full heart and finishing together is what transforms ordinary individuals into extraordinary heroes and ultimately creates a community of solution providers, and this continues to inspire our shared ingenuity. ”
– Ned Harding, CTO, Alteryx, team participant.
“ATC allowed me to really push my limits both physically and mentally. Our team was forced to deal with situations that were unforeseen and out of the ordinary which created even a deeper team bond. Both myself and my team left ATC feeling stronger then when we arrived, and had already began planning for the next year.”
– Sgt. Neil Duncan, double-leg-amputee, team participant.
“The ATC 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.”
- Nino Pozgaj, 2010-11 team participant, Alteryx.
“I have been fascinated by adventure sports, but in a wheelchair, it didn’t seem likely that I could ever participate. The Real Deal was beyond my wildest dreams. It was amazing to see an event absolutely integrated, with able-bodied and people with different disabilities and everyone working together seamlessly. It gave a whole new meaning to the word teamwork. It forced me to reframe things I’ve learned. I didn’t want to be pushed or pulled on my mountain bike. But, I realized that the smart teams worked together on the uphills, with a tandem bike pulling a handbike. My pride was costing me and my team time. It was a complete, and welcome paradigm shift in my thinking. We all got a chance to be real. It was magic.”
– Bob Vogel, freelance journalist, photographer, professional ski instructor, disabled athlete and team participant about the 2008 Real Deal, precursor to the Adventure TEAM Challenge.
“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. 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.”
– Erik Weihenmayer, blind adventurer, team participant, 2007-2012.
Recap of the 2012 Adventure TEAM Challenge
The Adventure TEAM Challenge returned May 18-20, 2012 in the spectacular red rock canyons west of Fruita, Colorado. Presented by Alteryx, the 2012 event featured the same exciting and inspiring competition as in past events, but in an all-new high desert environment.
Featuring two military teams and the event’s first all-woman team, the 2012 Challenge included five athletes per team, of which two were disabled. One member in each of the teams was a wheelchair user, requiring teammates to pull, push, carry and assist the athlete through a rugged course featuring mountain biking, hiking, river rafting, orienteering, climbing and rappelling.
For Denver-based Team Lumber Liquidators, the unfamiliar terrain and various challenges – including roping with a lasso and fixing a flat – provided small margin for error. At the end of the three day event, the winning team had only a 61 minute lead on their closest competitor, the first-year Team Fire Strategies, a team of firefighters based in Colorado Springs.
Sponsored by Alteryx, a software development and services company headquartered in Irvine, California, the Challenge provided an opportunity for participating teams to work together and creatively solve challenges and problems through cooperation and support. In each participating team, the skills and determination of the disabled athletes usually provided the key in clearing a challenge. This included blind adventurer Erik Weihenmayer, of Team Lumber Liquidators, who successfully solo climbed a difficult sandstone rock with a top rope. With his team mates guiding him on from below, Erik’s ascent was one of the highlights of the Challenge.
For all of the participating teams, however, simply finishing the Challenge was a success. Exploring the red sandstone high desert of the region, rafting the Colorado River, and participating in group meals at the Bureau of Land Management’s Rabbit Valley campsite, individual athletes experienced the benefits of working together as teams and overcoming adversity. Able-bodied participants were inspired by their disabled colleagues, and those athletes with disabilities showed themselves that they can excel in a competitive wilderness adventure.
In a weekend bracketed by a stinging desert sandstorm and a solar eclipse, the participants of the sixth annual Adventure TEAM Challenge learned that by using ingenuity, cooperation and hard work that the ultimate team adventure can be successfully met by all competitors.
Explore the 2012 Adventure TEAM Challenge page.
Recap of the 2011 Adventure TEAM Challenge
The 2011 Adventure TEAM Challenge, presented by Alteryx, was a unique and powerful event. A three-day, multisport adventure race along the Colorado River near scenic Eagle, Colorado, the Adventure TEAM Challenge teamed able-bodied with disabled athletes to mountain bike, white-water raft, run, zip line, climb and rappel, while navigating the rugged high country wilderness.
Building on the success of previous challenges, the 2011 course was not for the faint of heart. From seasoned adventure athletes to weekend warriors and desk jockeys desiring adventure, this race was designed to challenge and to excite. Participants joined with their teammates to dig deep within their mind, body and spirit to compete in the ultimate team adventure. They met challenges, built camaraderie and celebrated diversity by working together to overcome obstacles. Magnificent terrain, big mountains, icy water and inspiring competitors provided an event to be long remembered.
In the end, the Lumber Liquidator$ team held off all challengers for their third consecutive championship. Though the team failed to win the second stage of the challenge – being defeated in an exciting rafting finish – they had built a significant lead on the first stage to claim the championship. All teams completed the challenge, an incredible accomplishment.
Explore the 2011 Adventure TEAM Challenge page.
Recap of the 2010 Adventure TEAM Challenge
In June 2010, Leadville, Colorado hosted World T.E.A.M. Sports‘ Adventure TEAM Challenge. The most exciting to date with only 29 minutes separating the top three teams following two full days of competition, the 2010 Challenge offered new challenges requiring innovation and cooperation. The defending champion, Team Lumber Liquidator$, found the new course challenging, and led by only six minutes after the first day.
Many competing teams focused on overtaking Team Lumber Liquidator$ on the second day. The participants awoke Sunday to perfect, sunny skies, cool temperatures and intense competition by determined teams. The zip line was dramatic, the mountain biking along an abandoned 19th century stagecoach trail was difficult enough that carrying bikes was a frequent choice, and the Arkansas River was fast, cold and huge. When everyone reached the final river crossing and the final bike stage, the finish line was a welcome sight.
In the end, the Lumber Liquidator$ team of Sarah Will, Erik Weihenmayer, Rob Harsh, Skyler Williams & Scott Swaney successfully defended their 2009 title just 24 minutes ahead of TEAM Cisco, and 29 minutes before TEAM Alteryx, a first-year team.
Adventure TEAM Challenge Media
Adventure TEAM Challenge Photo Galleries
2012 World T.E.A.M. Sports Flickr image gallery.
2012 Peter Wayne Adventure TEAM Challenge image gallery.
2012 Tom Nardi Adventure TEAM Challenge image gallery.
2012 Colorado Adaptive Sports Adventure TEAM Challenge image gallery.
2011 World T.E.A.M. Sports Flickr image gallery.
2011 Alteryx Flickr image gallery, including images from several photographers.
2011 Team Crump Picasa image gallery.
2011 Prouty Project YouTube image montage.
2011 Tom Nardi Shutterfly image gallery.
2011 Team Atlas YouTube video.
2010 Adventure TEAM Challenge World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Flickr image gallery.
2010 Adventure TEAM Challenge Peter Wayne Photography Smugmug image gallery.
2009 Adventure TEAM Challenge World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Shutterfly image galleries.
Adventure TEAM Challenge Media Coverage
Explore media reports about the 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 Adventure TEAM Challenge events at the World T.E.A.M. Sports Press by Event page.
Learn more about the 2008 Real Deal Inclusive Sports Adventure, the predecessor to the Adventure TEAM Challenge at the Denver Post, and at AXS Vail Valley. NBC Sports’ World of Adventure Sports featured the event in November, 2008.
Explore the 2007 Real Deal Photo Gallery, featuring images by Don Patterson.
2007 Real Deal Shutterfly image gallery.
The inspiration of the Adventure TEAM Challenge
Video courtesy Team Atlas Shrugged/Topher Downham.
Video courtesy Alteryx, Inc..
Video courtesy Topher Downham.
Video courtesy Alteryx, Inc..
Video courtesy Alteryx, Inc..
The 2010 Adventure TEAM Challenge.
The 2009 Adventure TEAM Challenge.