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Improve your chances of finishing
It should be obvious that not everyone finishes the Endeavor Team Challenge. After all, it’s the Endeavor Team Challenge, not the Endeavor Team Picnic. At the 2017 Endeavor Team Challenge, 42% of teams didn’t finish. Historically, two areas in particular result in the most dropouts. If you want to improve your chances of finishing the event, make sure you’re adequately prepared for both of these portions.
The Crucible March: 15-20 mile (undisclosed distance) movement with a pack over wilderness terrain. At the 2017 event, the Crucible March was about 19 miles and climbed two mountains, one of which was at nearly 9,000 feet. Trying to move this long of a distance with a pack is a recipe for failure if you are unprepared. How to prepare:
- Condition your legs! This can’t be overstated. Go on long hikes with your pack. Sign up for some 5Ks or 10Ks. Make sure some of your training includes significant elevation changes. If mountains aren’t accessible, find a stair machine at the gym and get to stepping.
- Fuel throughout! During serious exertion and at elevation, your hunger might be suppressed. It’s very important to eat regardless since you’ll be burning a huge amount of calories and your muscles will need fuel to keep functioning rather than seizing up. Salt tablets are handy to replenish electrolytes and help stave off the effects of dehydration as cramps and fatigue will ruin any dreams of finishing.
Night Orienteering: Navigating at night to find points with a map and compass. It’s partly a test of skill with a map and compass, but more so a test of mental discipline and physical determination. Those teams with cool heads and gas in their tank after a long day will prevail. How to prepare:
- Learn how to read a map! If you can’t read a map, you’ll be wandering around the wilderness praying for dumb luck to find points and you need to find your points to be considered a finisher. Being able to read a map will get you in the right vicinity of a point and save you from getting lost and walking around unnecessarily, which neither you nor your partner will enjoy.
- Learn how to use a compass! Being able to use your compass will make using your map incredibly easier and allow you to find your points significantly quicker. Finding points quicker means either more time to collect points for a higher score or more time to rest before the Final Run in the morning.
- Pick a partner you trust! Tensions will be high during night orienteering. You’ve been on your feet for 15+ hours. “I don’t know where we are.” or “We’re lost.” are the last things you want to hear from you partner. Having to backtrack is devastating. During these trials, staying calm and united as a team are critical to finishing rather than derailing.
Following these tips combined and you’ll maximize your chances of finishing the Endeavor Team Challenge.