UpaDowna’s “Really Outrageous Adventure Race,” (ROAR) is back for its second year July 21.
This unique 10- to 13-mile race involves deciphering clues, lifting heavy objects, dressing up, performing team-bonding challenges and more. According to coloradospringssports.org, winning teams receive Rocky Mountain State Games medals and prizes, such as gift certificates to local restaurants, outdoor adventure gear or private brewery tours. The competition for first, second and third is based on the completion of activities, bonus points and time completed. This year, the race theme is super heROARs.
Competitors can sign up in groups of 4-6 people or individually to be placed in a group. Then they decide between the “family” or “competitive” category. A family team must have at least one participant 17 or younger, but all ages are allowed to participate. Family teams also choose one form of transportation, like by foot, bike or jogging stroller. Competitive teams must race with two modes of transportation: feet and un-motorized wheels, like a bike. Each team needs a captain and at least one smartphone.
Randi Hitchcock, ROAR Urban Adventure Race Commissioner and COO of outdoor recreation and education nonprofit UpaDowna, said the State Games, Colorado’s largest multisport festival does a great job of getting the word out about ROAR not only to locals, but to the entire state and entire nation.
One of last year’s winners, Morgan Vlasse found out about the event on Upa Downa’s Facebook page. Her team, “jungle gym” finished the race in 4 hours, 47 minutes.
“I really like the finish (of the race),” Hitchcock said. “Because … when people come in to wherever we finish (usually a secret location), we turn on a siren and everybody cheers them on, and it doesn’t matter if they’re first or last. Everybody’s smiling and having a good time. We have loud music on and it’s just a big party for all the finishers.”
Hitchcock also loves surprising the competitors with creative challenges. She said the second year of the race was dinosaur themed and when the racers got to the finish line, they had one more activity — to ride the bucking triceratops. It was a mechanical bull dressed as a dinosaur.
Hitchcock said these types of activities make people feel like kids again.
It takes skill, strength and stamina to be good at this race. But even a small amount of each will suffice.
“We didn’t do much outside the ordinary,” Vlasse said.
“We were all in fairly decent shape and that was actually the first time I had ridden a bike in a while, so that was interesting.”
Vlasse and Hitchcock encourage others to just do it and have fun. Vlasse suggests running and biking a bit before you go, but other than that not much preparation is needed.
Hitchcock said there are folks 3 years old up to 63 or 73 participating in the race. “So any ability works,” she said. “But I think they have to have an open mind and have fun and be willing to work hard, ‘cause it … can be a tough race for some people, depending on your attitude.”
The outdoors can be very calming, relaxing and endorphin-generating. Hitchcock said she likes that the race is a common ground for everyone, including people with different backgrounds.
“It doesn’t matter who they are (or) what they do: we connect outdoors,” Hitchcock said.