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A few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but notice a beautifully shot video making the rounds on Facebook.  I watched, enthralled, as groups of friends took part in an epic adventure race, sprinting across sand dunes, climbing boulders, surfing, howling at the moon, and laughing and smiling their way through awesome challenges.  This was my kind of race!  Thus, a few choice text messages later, and I had scavenged myself a team of fun loving friends and signed us up for Questival San Diego!

Part marathon, part scavenger hunt, Questival is a 24 hour adventure race put on by the outdoor gear company, Cotopaxi. The day before the race, teams are sent a list of tasks which range from hiking and climbing, to picking up garbage, and giving flowers to strangers, with the overall theme of the race being, ‘Do Good.’

When we got our task list the day before the race, my team, Vamoose, prepped as best we could, packing our van with outdoor gear, deciding which challenges we wanted to tackle and when, plotting our route on a map of San Diego, and of course designing our ever-important team uniforms!  We hopped in the van, battled our way through traffic, and then…the next 24 hours were a blur!

Team Vamoose performed trash pick ups at both a beach and a park. We complimented strangers, gave out flowers, served coffee to people in need, and donated mosquito nets for malaria prevention. We did Tai Chi on the beach, demonstrated the proper way to tie various survival knots, and then sang an awkwardly amazing rap song around a campfire in front of dozens of others people. We watched a cloudy sunrise, biked around the bay, and crashed and burned while attempting tandem cartwheels, among hundreds of other challenges completed over the course of 24 hours.

In order to accomplish so much, both silly and serious, it took more effort than I think any of us might have expected going into the race. We were constantly planning, constantly moving, and constantly exhausted! Something I found interesting too, was just how much the theme of ‘Doing Good’ actually played out in everything we did. Not only were some of our challenges doing direct good for the environment and other people, but as a team we were constantly required to do good for each other and even for ourselves.

Whenever one of us got tired or frustrated, the others were there to give encouragement and break the tension with laughter. Each of us, at times, had to push our limits and step way out of our comfort zones, doing things we never would have imagined doing otherwise. On top of that, our moose antlers and our crazy antics definitely garnered attention everywhere we went and dozens of conversations were had about the Questival, which allowed us to spread the word about Cotopaxi’s various Grantees, and all the volunteer efforts taking place that weekend.

Good can come in many forms and it seems they were all to be found in that crazy 24 hours!  Beyond this, Questival was fun and challenging, and just a perfect excuse to run wild with friends. I found it to be a very unique and rewarding experience and I would definitely recommend taking part if a Questival comes to your area!

If you have any questions about the event, please feel free to ask.  I’d also encourage everybody to check out Cotopaxi, to find out more information on Questival, the Grantees, and opportunities for volunteer work and donations.

Happy Adventuring Everybody!

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