It is with great regret that we are writing to announce that we will not be hosting a 2016 Endeavor Team Challenge.
We know there were some emails and social media posts announcing that we were doing the event this year, and we apologize for the false start. We wanted to make it work, but then we came to the table and had the tough conversation that led to this decision. Here is our reasoning:
We set out when we created the Endeavor Team Challenge with one goal in mind: to create the ultimate culminating fitness event. In our mind such an event would be accessible for regular folks, but still challenging for professional athletes. It would test all elements of fitness (mental, physical, emotional). It would require teamwork and phenomenal individual effort. It would push competitors beyond their perceived limits, allowing them to learn that they are capable of more than they imagined. And it would be fun. In short, it would be worthy of the folks who showed up to compete.
We came damn close to our goal.
We had young and old finish the event. We had best friends and total strangers compete on teams and finish. We had fathers and sons and husbands and wives finish together. We also had a lot of folks, including professional athletes, fall short and fall out. Some took on the event three times before ultimately finishing.
All of our competitors were relentless. And kind. And amazing. They overcame all types of adversity. Watching them compete, push themselves, and work together inspired us.
They had great things to say about the event:
An “epic adventure” one competitor called it. “A once in a lifetime adventure, not for the faint of heart,” said another. One even went as far to say it was “the holy grail of adventure racing,” which was funny to us because when we designed the thing we hadn’t even heard of adventure racing. Others were less emphatic, but still positive “a fun weekend playing in the woods… you don’t want to miss it.”
Some found it life changing, others, who have competed in everything under the sun, said it was their favorite event. We built a small community of folks who vowed to make it year after year and to help in any way they could – both competitors and volunteers.
All of this made us very proud. And all of this is very hard to walk away from.
But now it is time to pass the baton.
When planning to kick off the event this year, it became apparent that with the increasing outside commitments on our core team that we would never be able to fully accomplish our goal. The Endeavor Team Challenge as it stood was a prototype. It was our first stab at the ultimate fitness event. We needed to pull it apart, break it down to its pieces and rebuild it. We needed to take what we learned and make it fundamentally better in order to achieve our goal. But we didn’t have the time or resources to do this. We only had enough to keep it going in its current state, with maybe some minor tweaks.
We have a strong belief that you are either getting better or you are getting worse. Without the time and resources to make the event fundamentally better, we feared it would slide towards mediocrity. More importantly, we felt a strong sense of duty to our competitors. We did not want someone to pay hundreds of dollars to compete in an event that we were not proud of.
But that does not mean that the dream is dead. We may come back in the future when the smoke has cleared in our personal and professional lives and take a second go at it. Also, we are here to help if someone else wants to pick up the ball and build the next great event.
For now, the decision is made, there will be no 2016 Endeavor Team Challenge.
Before we sign off, we would like to thank some amazing people.
Our Bear Valley Team:
We could not have pulled off the event for three years without the amazing contributions of folks like Chris Aguirre, Reggie, Lukas, and the rest of the crew up on the mountain, Gary Rudy and the National Ski Patrol, Aaron and Kimi Johnson and Mountain Adventure Seminars, Tim and Vicky Johnson (and family) and the Tamarack Lodge, Mattly Trent and the Bear Valley Ski Patrol, Rosie Sundell and Bear Valley Mountain Resort, the entire Sheriff station, the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce, the BVBA, and countless others who were there for us and moved mountains to make sure the event was a success.
We equally could not have made it happen without the volunteers that showed up to make the event successful every year. You know who you are and you are all amazing. But to call out some heavy hitters: Jared Sperli, Neil Markey, Scott McKay, Jud Campbell, David Webb, Tom Lainis, Lane Harper, Nelson and Mandy D’Antonio, Mark Mares and the OMI team, Ryan Southerland, Jay and Mel Schoenberger, Mark, Maddy, Anthony and the rest of the Collective Health Crew, Adam and Mikaela Rivette, Scott Quigley, Jaala Thibault, Pat Moran, Michael and Christine Kolton, Ryan and Laura Kruizenga, Genie Ko, and so many more who were fundamental in the event’s success.
Our wives and parents and kids who tolerated our absences, showed up, helped out and, most importantly, loved and supported us. You are the best.
We said this from day one. This was your event and you made it special. Thank you for showing up and giving your all, for all the kind notes you’ve sent, and for your commitment to the event.
We will miss you all. Please stay in touch.
Kent, Greg, Mark and the rest of Team Endeavor