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Have you ever watched the EcoChallenge or The Amazing Race and thought, I can do that? Well, here’s your chance. Meet Rick Eastman, owner of Sierra Adventure Sports (SAS). While working as a Stock Broker Rick spent his spare time competing in Adventure Races. He soon tired of balancing his work with traveling hundreds of miles to various races as there weren’t any near his home in Phoenix. He decided to use his experience and stage his own race. With 25 racers participating, The Desert Rage Adventure Race was a hit.
Since that day in 2003 Sierra Adventure Sports, named after Rick’s daughter, has held events in four states and will add two more states to that list this fall. SAS holds a variety of branded events including Scavenger Dash, Mad Mud Run, Desert Rage Adventure Racing, Extreme Heat Adventure Racing, Spin Psycle and the Full Moon 5k. With approximately 25 events per year the participants come from all walks of life but have one thing in common – they like to have fun!
And fun they have. Challenges include scavenger hunts, mountain biking, running, hiking, paddling, orienteering, adventure tubing and, in the case of the Mad Mud Run, getting really dirty. While most racers are competitive by nature, they are generally not professional racers. Many of SAS’s events are accessible to the general population, from those who are regular racers to weekend warriors. As Rick says, “Because most races don’t let you know where you’re going until the start, it’s as much a mental/strategic competition as it is athletic. If you can read a map and in some cases, use a compass, you can do it.” Still, he says, “While we wouldn’t encourage anyone to go from a sedentary lifestyle to a bunch of activities they’re not confident in, most people with average athletic ability can do this. And the best part is, it’s always a fun adventure.”
Although Sierra Adventure Sports makes adventure racing available to the general population, Rick was once surprised when Paul Newby Fraser, winner of 24 Ironman Triathlons and Heather Fuhr, winner of six Ironman Triathlons including the World Champion in 1997, showed up at one of his races. As Rick puts it, “We were simply star struck. Suddenly you realize that your event better be really, really spot on because their word will carry quite a distance.”
And while the company began by catering to individual and team racers, “corporate events were a natural extension, as adventure racing is so closely related to the teambuilding type events utilized in the corporate world,” says Rick. SAS’s corporate events include geocaching, mini adventure races, scavenger hunts, orienteering courses, in-office mini golf courses, group paddling down the Salt River and Turkey Bowling Tournaments.
So, whether you’re a novice or an experienced hiker, a weekend warrior or training for a marathon, a group of friends looking for some fun or a CEO hoping to inspire his or her staff, SAS has an adventure for you.
Carole has spent 19 years working in a variety of positions in the Travel Industry including cruise ships, hotels, adventure tour guiding, international tour management and corporate meeting mgmt. She has the inside scoop on the business of travel and the best information on business and leisure travel. Contact her @ firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her on http://www.examiner.com/x-15231-Phoenix-Tourism-Examiner