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Imagine combining two of Coloradans’ favorite things—the great outdoors and competition—into an epic, multi-day adventure with a group of fellow explorers. Now you can, thanks to Outdoor Adventure Quest (OAQ).
This challenge allows teams of two to six people to compete against other participating groups to see who can earn the most points in three days. Here’s how it works: Gather your team and your gear, download the free app (available on iTunes), and build your own expedition from OAQ’s list of more than 250 outdoor challenges across the state. Log all your moves (with photos) in the app to rack up points for your team.
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If that sounds like something you can get on board with, get ready: OAQ’s inaugural event, The Colorado Challenge, starts August 26 at 6 p.m. and runs through the weekend, offering participants a chance to explore, climb, raft, hike, drink, and socialize throughout the Centennial State. Challenges will also be hosted in Arizona (November 11–13), New Mexico, and Utah in the coming months.
The company’s founder (and self-proclaimed adventure junkie) Lindsey Beres hired Denver-based PocketScience to formulate the app. Its functionality includes both geolocation and a photo verification system to keep track of the teams’ points. Forty-eight hours before the challenge begins, teams can create their adventure itinerary, based on interests, experience, and location. Twelve categories of activities are outlined in the menu, rated by difficulty on a scale of one through five. “If you have a group of all rock climbers, you can do only rock climbing challenges across the state, but the point is to do something you may not have done before or have always wanted to do,” says Beres.
Once the tasks are selected, teams will receive GPS coordinates of where to go, plus instructions on how to complete them. To earn credit, team members must pose for a photo at the end of each challenge and answer a question about it. Event staffers will then approve their points.
Beres says the app will keep track of participants with the geolocation feature, and will also direct them to sponsored events throughout the weekend, where teams can interact and earn more points. Tourism boards from Breckenridge and Durango are sponsoring the Colorado Challenge, along with Denver Beer Company, Dry Dock Brewing Company, and several other local businesses.
Groups can win by accumulating the most points, accomplishing at least one task in every category, being selected as the winner in a photo competition, or as a staff pick for creativity. Winners will be announced the Friday following the event, September 2.
Beres anticipates approximately 2,500 participants in the Colorado Challenge. Unsurprising, considering that the Centennial State embodies what she says is the lifestyle and culture of Outdoor Adventure Quest, where everyone can participate—“from casual outdoorsmen to people who jet off and adventure every weekend.”
Explore: Registration for the Colorado Challenge costs $25 per person. Use code “busqueda” to receive 50 percent off. Free event registration is also available for first responders and public school teachers with code “OAQThanksYou”.