Lots of Llamas Doing Lots of Good

Have you ever had the time of your life, while doing good?

This last weekend, Nate and I participated in a 24-hour challenge put on by Cotopaxi. As described on the Cotopaxi website “Questival is a 24-hour adventure race that invites you to build friendships, push yourself, experience your surroundings, and have a whole bunch of fun. Your team of 2 to 6 people will do exciting, unpredictable, and downright good things you never thought possible.” (Cotopaxi- Questival)

We were on a team of four, with some friends, Kris and Diana. I’ll tell you, if you ever want to get to know someone really well, spend 24 straight hours with them, while completing challenges and making a fool of yourselves. The friends we did this race with started out as newer friends. Before we began, we figured we would either be worst enemies or best friends by the end of the 24 hours.

Diana, first found the race and asked us if we wanted to be on their team. Nate isn’t a runner, so when I heard the word race, I thought there was no way that he would be up for it. To my surprise, he said it sounded like fun. We signed up and waited the two months until the race.

Pre-Race Challenges

We received challenges before the race started so we could get a head start on points. We had to come up with a team name and a team handshake or cheer. We agreed on Lla Mamas and Lla Papas (Cotopaxi has a llama theme) and quickly filmed a crazy video for our cheer. We spent the next couple of weeks shooting and putting together videos to complete the challenges.

Part of the scoring system was peer judging. On the Questival app, we could go through and watch other people’s videos and swipe left if they were just ok and swipe right if they really wowed us.

The night before the race began, we got the list of about 250 challenges. We got together and started brain storming. There were nine different challenge groups. We had to prioritize the challenges figuring how long they would take and how many points they were worth. We strategized until the kids were so far past there bedtimes that we were doing more parenting than planning.

Race Day

Finally, the day that we had been waiting for. We dropped our kids off at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, picked up Kris and Diana and headed to the check-in point, finishing our plan on the way.

llama6 pm. When we got to the check-in point we found tents, a stage, food trucks and a mass of people. There were a few simple check-in challenges to complete; buy something to eat from a food truck, take a selfie with the llama mascot and participate in the llama dance-off.

7 pm. They had us all gather together, did a little Q&A, a quick llama cheer and we were off. We spent the first hour doing some of the easier, closer challenges; picked up 100 pieces of litter in a park, took a team photo with the Abraham Lincoln statue and dropped off non-perishable food to a homeless shelter.

8 pm. Over the next two hours, we wandered around downtown Boise checking off as many more challenges as we could. I got to give a stranger (construction worker) a 15 second hug and channel my inner Andy Grammar and sing headphone karaoke (the girl at the counter was awesome and started singing along with me). Nate double arm wrestled two strangers and did some skateboard and razor scooter tricks in a parking garage. Kris laid face-down on the sidewalk until someone stopped to check on him and fed us all a hot dog using just his elbows. Diana won a planking contest and got to put her best accent to use.

11 pm. We waited in line for our turn at a karaoke bar. Then Kris and Diana rocked Bohemian Rhapsody. They sang their little hearts out. In my opinion, they performed it better than Queen!

12 am. We ordered the seventh item on the menu at Merrits, the best roadside diner in Boise. Nate critiqued the food like Guy Fieri and Diana tried to toss cheesy, bacon fries into my mouth.

1 am. We drove all over trying to find a store that was open (since when does Walmart close at midnight?). Finally, finding an open grocery store, Diana and I got everything we needed for the rest of the challenges, while the guys napped in the car. I got chewed out for walking on the freshly waxed floor and we got to challenge someone to a hula hoop contest.

2 am. We drove to the state line, crossing over into Oregon and got a video of us doing our best Michael Jackson dance moves (it turned out less Thriller and more Easter Bunny).

3 am. We came back to our house to bake a cake, make a smoothie, dance on the ceiling (yes, I danced on the ceiling), decorate Nate’s face like a cake (and then almost burn his handsome mug while trying to light a candle), make a bulls-eye on a dart board (thank-you Nate) and play egg-roulette (again, thank-you Nate for taking that one).

6 am. We drove to Jump Creek to watch the sunrise and picked up 50 pieces of litter on a hiking trail.

7 am. Kris started a campfire without matches or lighter fluid. We roasted marshmallows and heated up a can of soup. We made educational videos about how to properly sharpen a knife and how to treat a snake bite (better to lose your tongue than die). Diana threw a marshmallow as hard as she could at Kris’ face and made up a crazy, clever rap about a campfire smoke scented perfume.

9 am. Nate took one for the team by doing a flip into 34 degree water and swam under a natural waterfall. Brrrrrr!

potatocamels10 am. We spent the next several hours, going all over Boise, knocking out as many challenges as we could. Diana ate a head of cauliflower whole and serenaded a stranger on her ukulele. We mailed a potato to a stranger in California, flew a paper airplane through the Idaho State Capital (I think we set a bad example for the two young boys that we donated our airplane to), raced to see who could eat a Sloppy Joe the fastest, climbed Camel’s Back Hill and brushed each other’s teeth.

2 pm. We ran over to the West YMCA and Kris sacrificed himself by doing a massive belly flop, followed by 50 push-ups. We challenged another team to a 100 m swimming race and a penalty kick-off.

4 pm. We spent the last two hours, completing the last of the challenges that we had time for, while furiously uploading our pictures and videos to the app to get as many points as we could. In the last hour we moved up more than 70 places.

At 6 pm we finished the race in 33rd place, out of 365 teams. Over the past >24 hours Diana and I didn’t get a wink of sleep and the guys only got little power naps. We were exhausted and feeling awesome! We dropped off Kris and Diana and picked up our kiddos. We went home and everyone crashed.

It took us all a few good nights to catch up on our sleep. It made Easter, the next day, a little more difficult. We came out of the challenge with new inhibitions and lifelong friends. If we have to stay close to home, this was a great way to stay busy, have fun and do good.

If you have ever wanted to have a crazy adventure, close to home, I would suggest looking to see if there is a Questival close to you. You won’t regret it!

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