Outdoor enthusiasts from Central Wyoming College and the Wyoming Catholic College took advantage of one of the last warm fall days by participating in an adventure race in Sinks Canyon State Park.

Students and a few staff from each institution competed in trail running, mountain biking, rock climbing and a Tyrolean traverse on the last Sunday in October.

“It was more fun than competition,” said CWC Outdoor Education Professor Darran Wells who along with WCC activities coordinator Tom Zimmer created the adventure course. The expedition-style race capitalized on the typography of the state park, challenging the teams to push physical limits, he said.

Working in pairs, 17 teams began the race with endurance activities, including trail running interspersed with physical challenges, like climbing over large boulders.

“Learning to work with other people was a big part of it,” Wells said of the essential element of adventure racing. “It was certainly educational.”

After running to the top of a cliff, the competitors raced down to the river where each navigated across the water on a rope. From there, the athletes jumped on mountain bikes and sprinted down to the Sandstone Buttress where they were required to ascend a 50-foot fixed line, traverse across the ledge and then rappel back down.

The race concluded with another two-mile mountain bike ride to the CWC Sinks Canyon Center where they completed a final mountain route before crossing the finish line and a celebratory barbecue.

“They had a lot of fun,” Wells said of the students who are already asking when the next race is scheduled. “It was a chance for the students (from the different institutions) to get to know each other.

Photo: Kate Herden on the Tyrolean Traverse across the Popo Agie River in Sinks Canyon State Park