ISO Absurd Adventures

I love a good challenge. Even more, I love a ridiculous challenge. I’m not particularly competitive against other people but I do like to see what I personally can accomplish, and if it’s fun, all the better. I’ve only signed up for two races ever: one was just running, and one was a large obstacle course where I had to variously crawl and climb through tons of mud, crawl and run through live wires, and jump into a dumpster full of ice (among many other things). Guess which one was more fun? The latter wasn’t even timed as it was more of a challenge to see if you could complete it, and it was very teamwork oriented, which I loved.

In thinking about challenges recently, I’ve come up with a short list of weird competitions I’d like to participate in at some point:

Wilderness Woman Contest
Talkeetna, AK
This particular challenge has been on my radar for a few years now, after seeing it mentioned in a blog. The Wilderness Woman Contest has events ranging from racing while wearing bunny boots and carrying two full five gallon buckets, to snowmobiling, to moose hunting (shooting paintballs at a bachelor in a moose costume), to preparing and serving a sandwich and beer to a bachelor. Did I mention this goes along with the Talkeetna Bachelor Auction and Ball? Apparently “the odds are good but the goods are odd.” Sounds like a hilarious weekend and I would love to win the contest!

Pack Burro Race
Leadville, CO
I just saw this one recently in Misadventures Magazine. Also part of a larger event, Leadville Boom Days, this is a 15-21 mile trail race where you are leading a pack burro loaded with mining gear. There’s even a Western Pack Burro Ass-ociation. I’m actually going to be in the area at the right time this year so I’m tempted to sign up but I’d need to run A LOT before then and I don’t know how I’d do running at elevation any way. I do have some horse experience but no donkey experience. Maybe I’ll give them a call and see what the requirements are.

Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake
Gloucester, England
After reading about pack burro racing, I went searching specifically for ridiculous competitions, and struck gold with this one. First of all, it’s cheese-related, so that’s awesome. A large wheel of cheese gets rolled down a steep hill and competitors go running / tumbling down after it. The event has been held unofficially the past few years, as the officials no longer want to deal with logistics of its growing audience and many injuries. Unfortunate, but at least it’s still going. I can’t decide if I’d actually want to participate in this one, or just watch. Looks like Canada has a Cheese Rolling Festival as well.

Do you know of any other similarly ridiculous outdoor contests?

1 Comment

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  1. Thanks for the shout-out — and you should definitely attend the Talkeetna Bachelor Auction and Wilderness Woman competition! As noted in my article, we usually rent the entire top floor (read: three rooms) of the Latitude 62. There’s usually enough beds for everyone; for latecomers there’s a rollaway and a couple of couch-like things.
    Remember: The more of us stay there, the cheaper the weekend will be. I’ve paid as little as $30 for two nights.
    If you want to attend, start looking for an inexpensive fare to Anchorage for the first weekend in December. Then e-mail me at SurvivingAndThriving (at) live (dot) com. We’ll leave the light on for you. 🙂

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