Are you ready for the new age of archery competition?
On August 22, 2015, in Hastings, Minnesota a group of 64 archer/athletes met up for the first ever Red Bull Archer’s Paradox, an hybrid archery competition combining trail running and target archery.
At the event athletes were challenged with running a one-mile loop and shooting at a series of targets positioned along the way. From the initial field of 34, competitors were broken into heats of eight to race. The four individuals with the best time and accuracy from each heat moved on to the next round.
By the end of the day three lucky, tired, and skilled archers had each won themselves brand new Mathews Bows.
The one-mile loop was not akin to jogging leisurely around the local track. Held at the Afton Alps ski slope, the runners were challenged with vertical climbs, slippery conditions, and other challenging conditions trail runners crave. By the time the competition had wrapped up, finalists had put in over four strenuous miles of trail.
Shooting challenges were also amped up from the traditional backyard practice shoot. Archers had to focus hard in order to hit spinning targets, lace arrows through tiny shooting windows, or shatter dinner plates. Event managers had laid out a total of five unique shooting stations along the course. Each archer could shoot twice at each target and a double miss would result in a devastating 30 sec. penalty.
Devin O’Brien posted the top time at the Red Bull Archer’s Paradox, with a convincing time of 8:34. His next closet competitor was nearly 40 sec. behind.
Where will this competition lead? With the booming popularity of archery today, combined with the obsession of the millennial generation to stay fit, we could see more of these hybrid competitions begin to pop up across the country. Check out redbull.com events to look for the next competition date.