Red Bull & Mathews Inc. Team
Up for Extreme Archery
Event Red Bull & Mathews Inc. Team Up for Extreme Archery Event

Imagine your favorite archery warriors – Katniss, Hawkeye, Legolas and Merida – racing across the battlefield, struggling to keep their footing. They’re panting, leaping logs and ducking beneath limbs while nocking arrows, drawing Mathews bows, and shooting in one svelte motion.

The stamina required for such movie-worthy feats is incredible. Yet 34 average dudes and dudettes delivered Oscar-worthy performances on a course that would impress the Capitol Gamemakers.

The course was designed by Red Bull and Mathews Inc., who collaborated to host the first Archer’s Paradox in August. Why the “Archer’s Paradox?” A paradox, by definition, features two contradictory elements. In this case, archery and trail running.

The 1-mile course featured five shooting stations at 10- to 40-yard distances. One mile. Easy, right? Not so fast. The event was at the Afton Alps ski resort, so imagine those steep black and double-black diamonds, but without snow. Competitor T.C. Worley described the course as an “unrelenting suffer-fest.”

“Straight up the ski slope to target #1, your heart rate was pegged,” Worley said. “The course led us along loose sandy roads, rocky, rutted, and slippery single-track and up-winding switchbacks.”

Steadying your heart rate while shooting flat-footed is hard enough, but imagine sprinting to your target (with bow and equipment in hand), planting your feet and then shooting. Plus, it’s a race against the clock. These skills require patience and determination.

Archers shot twice at each target. If they hit their first shot, they ran to the next target. If they missed both shots, 30 seconds got tacked onto their final time. Spinning targets demanded a perfectly timed release. Only the best archers advanced to the four consecutive rounds.

Four exhausted yet determined archers competed in the fifth and final round. The three fastest finishers won Mathews bows and a combined $2,000 in cash.

They say Red Bull “gives you wings.” If so, the winner must have had double sets of wings. He finished the strenuous course in 8 minutes, 35 seconds.

If you’re seeking a similar experience, try outdoor field archery. These competitors experience all the beauty of a wooded, roving course, but without the running and mountain scaling of the Archer’s Paradox.

Are you ready to pick up a bow and arrow for the first time? Find an archery store near you.

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