Featured photo for Hal-o-ween Adventure Challenge Scavenger Race

Hal-o-ween Adventure Challenge Scavenger Race

After the race-of-a-lifetime Furnace Creek 508, I figured I’d retire from crazy athletic events—at least for a little bit while I used my time and energy for other worthwhile things. Well, a “little bit” turned out to be only three weeks. Blame it on Living Social.

“We MUST do this event,” I wrote Kelly about a Halloween adventure race in Boulder. I’ve never done an adventure race before, and this one included mountain biking, orienteering, hiking, zip-lining, and rappelling. It also included a costume party afterward and the all-important free beer at Avery Brewery. What’s there not to like? “Yes, we MUST!” I implored.

In addition to Kelly, I was able to rope my friends Eddie and Jen into the event. We would all race as one team. As Jen would be moving to Washington, D.C., a week after the race, this would be her last Colorado hurrah. It turned out to be a great one.

We all to do this race “just for fun,” but it didn’t take too long for the race to tap into our competitive tendencies. This event with the longest name ever (“Living Social’s Hal-o-ween Adventure Challenge Scavenger Race”) was part adventure race and part scavenger hunt, with the latter providing us with ample opportunities for time bonuses. The challenges included taking photos with statues, giving a hand-drawn picture to a grandparent, finding and applying temporary matching tattoos, forming a human choo-choo train with as many people as possible, bringing back a pumpkin, and downing an Avery beer containing 17% alcohol within 5 minutes (we let Eddie do this one).

It included about 14 miles of mountain biking (almost all on pavement), 1 mile of running on snow and ice, another mile of hiking and bushwacking, 120 feet of rappelling, and 30 feet of zip-lining. [Approximate route] Everything went smoothly aside from a stretch of road that was steep enough to reduce Kelly and her bike to walking speed, proclaim that she hated me for dragging her into this race and that she’d rather watch The Little Mermaid instead.

Below is a video that gives you an essence of the rest of the event:


We came back to the start/finish area at Avery Brewery almost four hours after we started, and when factoring in our time bonuses, we came in 4th place. Not bad for “just having fun.”

Afterward we had an excellent Oaxacan dinner at Agave‘s in Boulder. The restaurant even made salsa at the table and served dinner in ancient-looking stone platters.

It was just about the perfect day, with the only thing not going to plan were our costumes, or lack of. Initially we were going to dress up as “I Don’t Care Bears,” but we ended up not doing so because the owner of the costumes didn’t want them to be wrecked. Considering all the bushwacking we had to do in between the zip-lining and rappelling, this turned out to be a good call.

But I think next year if we do the event again, we MUST dress up.

Jen and Kelly by the Apex van.
Felix, Kelly, Eddie and Jen in front of a statue at the Pearl Street Mall.
Kelly sees some frog statues.
Not sure what this statue was supposed to represent.
With a statue off the Canyon recreation trail.
With another statue off the Canyon recreation trail.
Running on snow and ice to get to the zip-lining area.
Eddie stays warm underneath a sleeping bag and gorilla mask.
Eddie decided to take off the gorilla mask.
Kelly zip-lining across a creek.
Following bush-wacking Eddie and briefly getting lost!
Riding along the recreation trail towards the Flatirons.
Hiking up to the rappel station.
More hiking up to the rappel station.
The great canyon view from the rappel station.
Fred Flintstone at the rappel station.
Scooby Doo at the rappel station.
Jen, Kelly and Eddie staying warm in the sun while waiting our turn to rappel.
Eddie, Kelly and Jen getting tied in by some army dudes for the rappel.
Jen and Kelly rappelling down a 120-foot cliff.
Jen and Kelly having safely rappelled down.
Back at Avery Brewery.
Felix, Jen, Eddie and Kelly with the Frank Shorter statue in Boulder.
Jen, Eddie, Kelly and Felix Wong with the Fred Folsom statue in boulder.
Taming a bull on the Colorado University campus.
Jen hands over my hand-drawn picture to a bona fide grandmother for a time bonus.
Biking towards the Pearl Street Mall.
With a statue on a bench near the Pearl Street Mall.
Our team posing with a serious-looking statue.
I drew a picture of Eddie on his bike.  Looks just like him, huh?