Adventure Park Athletes Compete In Sandy Spring's Treetops at First Ever "Iron Monkey Challenge"
November 19, 2015 (PRLEAP.COM) Lifestyle NewsNovember 19, 2105 - The spirit of fun, adventure, and competition was palpable at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring Friends School on October 18th, as fifteen brave individuals participated in the park's first annual Iron Monkey Challenge. This unique adventure race maximized the park's zip lines, floating discs, tire crossings, and other suspended obstacles, as climbers ran through all thirteen of the park's courses, in whatever order they desired, in a timed sprint.
The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring, as well as all the other Adventure Parks operated by Outdoor Ventures, is designed to offer novel, accessible climbing and adventure experiences to families and children. But the Iron Monkey Challenge was conceived with a different goal in mind. "We're going for a different market for this event," says Bahman Azarm, president of Outdoor Ventures and designer of the park. "This allows us to appeal to athletes, age 15 and older, who want to compete and might not have considered climbing with us before."
First place went to Noah Booz, who ran through all thirteen courses, including transition times, in one hour, 33 minutes and 42 seconds. This "all-around athlete" has previously worked at the park, and his family is "very into" adventure parks, according to park manager Emilie McIntosh. In addition to the coveted "Iron Monkey" title, Noah took home a season pass that will allow him unlimited climbs during the 2016 season.
Second place went to twelve-year-old Braha Paull, who has climbed at the park over 100 times this season to date. Her time of two hours, one minute, and forty seconds reflects her family's commitment to the park; they climb almost every day that the park is open, truly taking advantage of their season pass.
Third place went to local athlete Nathan Walker, who has competed on previous seasons of the TV show, American Ninja Warrior.
These times are a stark juxtaposition to the typical Adventure Park customer experience, which lasts 2-3 hours and allows an average guest to climb 3-4 courses in a non-competitive environment. Guests typically consist of families, adults, teens, and children, with some of the courses accessible for children as young as five years old.
In spite of the competitive nature of the event, the inclusive spirit of the Adventure Park was alive and well at Sandy Spring on October 18th. Athletes were allowed to pass others, and were encouraged to help their fellow climbers if someone was struggling. Time penalties were issued only if someone actively attempted to prevent someone else from passing – which never occurred.
"Everything went really smoothly," according to McIntosh, "and everyone wanted to do it again. We're looking forward to future events."
The Iron Monkey Challenge, in this, its inaugural year, was also conducted on November 15th at another Outdoor Ventures park location in Virginia Beach at The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium.
For those climbers looking to experience the Adventure Park in a less competitive environment, the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring is currently operating on its fall schedule through November 29th. The Park is open evenings from Wednesday through Friday, and all day on Saturday and Sunday. More information can be found at http://sandyspringadventurepark.org or by calling 240-389-4386.
About The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring Friends School
Located on five acres of the Sandy Spring Friends School property at 16701 Norwood Road in Sandy Spring, Maryland, The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring Friends School is the largest aerial forest ropes park in the United States. Offering some 13 different color-coded aerial trails, each composed of a combination of zip lines and climbing bridges between tree platforms. These aerial trails range from introductory through advanced challenge levels, with suitable challenges for climbers age five through adult. Previous climbing or zip lining experience is not necessary. All participants participate in an interactive safety briefing and wear harnesses that are continuously connected to a safety cable throughout their climb. The Park site also features beautiful pathways on the grounds that parallel the action in the trees and are free of charge to those not climbing. Picnic tables available on-site.
The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring Friends School is designed, built and operated by Outdoor Ventures.