‘Adventure racers’ enliven Bear Creek Park

Traversing with a carabiner, a competitor readies for a hillside landing during an 
“adventure race” in Bear Creek Park Sept. 27.
Westside Pioneer photo
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       If you wondered about all those people eagerly biking, traversing, rappelling, egg-carrying and otherwise charging around Bear Creek Park for several hours Saturday, they were competing in an “adventure race.”
       Sponsored by the Rock Climbing Center in Monument, the event attracted 40 people in all on 17 teams. The events also included orienteering/plotting/navigation, running/hiking and archery/slingshots. First places for teams were (men) Mike Lee and Eric Vaillancourt and (women) Lori Welsh and Kathy Landis; for individuals, Darrel Dearman; and for coed team, Helen and John Stergius.
       Pleased with the outcome, Joe and Lara Groshong of the Rock hope to have similar events at Bear Creek every six months. “There will be different courses and challenges every time,” Joe said. “This race went pretty smooth considering it was our first event like this, and we learned a lot that we will improve upon.”
       Helen Stergius e-mailed afterward that she and her husband had enjoyed participating: “They [the Groshongs] mixed fun mental activities into the race - a clue hunt in a cemetery to find coordinates, some target practice to figure out how many times you had to run an obstacle course, puzzles, and building a structure to protect a raw egg (that we carried during the entire race) from impact after a 7-foot drop (we failed that one...).”
       Perhaps the most eye-catching event was the traverse, in which participants starting from a high rock used a carabiner to glide down a cable to a point on the hillside below.
       According to the Internet's Wikipedia website, adventure races started as early as the 1960s. The only “rules” that have developed over time are no motorized travel, little or no outside assistance and competitors must carry mandatory gear.

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