On June 25, 26 and 27 I was a competitor in the 2010 Adventure Team Challenge. The first time I had ever heard of this race was just three weeks prior to the event. This is when I was asked to be on a team. Although I had never been Mountain Biking or White Water Rafting, I decided to take the challenge and go for it. I must say that it was one of the most gratifying events I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of.
I found the ATC to be an incredible opportunity for handicapped and able bodied athletes to truly test their endurance, strength and will to succeed. As a blind man I found the mix of Mountain Biking, Zip Line, White Water Rafting and Trail Running/Hiking, exhilarating. The entire program from start to finish was top notch and getting to experience the Rocky Mountains in this manner was amazing! All of the legs of the race were well thought out and ran extremely well. I felt the element of danger only added excitement and was augmented by the close attention to safety. The two day competition is extremely challenging for both the handicapped and able bodied teammates alike, but this is what helps make the experience so valuable.
The team (Cisco/EyeCandy) I was on worked together to find ways to persevere through each new adversity. We built bonds and friendships that I believe will last a lifetime. In many ways we were all surprised at what we could achieve together. John, Ted, Tim and Neal were awesome guys and exceptional athletes. We laughed, sweat and suffered our way into second place. We were beat by Lumber Liquidators (Eric Weihenmeyers team) by 24 minutes. We had a couple of mishaps including missing a couple of check in points and breaking a chain on the tandem bike. Those kinds of things just helped keep it more interesting.
I personally look for activities that challenge the status quo, well this fit that description. I would highly recommend the Adventure Team Challenge to anyone. Things like this event help reinvent what is and is not a handicap. The rewards are far reaching and inspirational to all. I am truly looking forward to next years ATC!
Sincere Thanks to all involved in the Adventure Team Challenge!