Brand-new Outdoor Adventure Quest event brings ‘pick your own’ format to racing | SummitDaily.com

Brand-new Outdoor Adventure Quest event brings ‘pick your own’ format to racing

You remember the "choose your own adventure" stories from when you were a kid, the ones with dozens of ways to find glory — or doom — for your ink-and-paper hero?

Welcome to the real thing, circa 2016.

This summer marks the debut of the Colorado Outdoor Adventure Quest, a brand-new event built around the old-school "choose your own" concept. For 72 hours from Aug. 26-28, a nearly unlimited number of teams across the state will begin tackling adventures. Every adventure is given a point value based on difficulty, like a cross between traditional racing and the fabled Game of Gnar (Google it), and the team with the most points at the end wins.

What kind of adventure are we talking about? Anything and everything in a whopping 11 overarching categories: hiking, biking, camping, climbing, rafting/paddling, driving/off-road, outdoor education, hot springs, alternative, extreme and breweries.

Yes, this is the kind of race you can potentially win by touring breweries before an afternoon lounging at the hot springs.

But, chances are, top teams will combine one or more activities from each of the categories, like a morning raft trip before lunch at the brewery, followed by a bike ride to the hot springs in the afternoon, capped off with something wild — maybe a starlight hike?

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"We thought this was great because it encompasses all of Colorado, and Breckenridge has so much to showcase: hiking, biking, the adventure park — all sorts of stuff," said Sandy Metzger with the Breckenridge Tourism Offices, one of more than a dozen event partners across the state. "They are even getting to things like trying the local brewery or distillery."

The game gets even more modern with the Outdoor Adventure Quest app. Two days before the start of the Colorado event, organizers will populate the app with every qualifying activity, location and partner. From there, teams build a winning itinerary for the weekend and then track their completed tasks as they travel across the county — or state.

This is one of four proposed events across the region, including Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Eventually, organizers want to launch a cross-state event made just for the Four Corners.

"I thought this was great," said Metzger, who noted that BTO will sponsor a GoBreck team to compete. "You can be any person of any ability and make this race your own. You build your own adventure, and that really gets everyone involved."

How do organizers keep everyone honest? Easy enough: Teams also load photos and video of their adventures into the app, creating a 72-hours-of-adventure-style album to share with friends and judges.

It's what you'd be doing on Instagram anyway, only this time, the rewards are better than a few new followers: Winning teams come away with prizes and giveaways from sponsors, including vacation packages, outdoors gear, gift certificates and beer.

Registration for the Colorado event is currently open online.

2016 Colorado Outdoor Adventure Quest

What: A 72-hour “pick your own adventure” challenge, with teams across the state collecting points based on the difficulty and variety of adventures

When: Friday to Sunday, Aug. 26-28

Where: Statewide

Cost: Free to enter

The event is free to enter but most adventures require cash. For registration, rules and more info about the format, including a preview of the Outdoor Adventure Quest app, see the website at http://www.outdooradventurequest.com.