Questival kicks off in Provo, encourages students to ‘do good’

Questival participants pose with the Cotopaxi mascot. Students completed “do good challenges” to earn points and win prizes. (Image courtesy of Jacob Holman)

More than 100 teams of BYU students competed in the first Questival of 2024, which was hosted in Provo from March 22-23.

Cotopaxi Community Engagement Director Jeffrey Steadman said Questival began in 2014 when BYU alum Davis Smith brought live llamas to the BYU campus and told students about the 24-hour adventure race. This year, 10 different sessions of Questival will be held on college campuses in Utah, Washington, Colorado, Oregon and California.

“BYU has been such an important part of the Questival story since it started … we’re very excited BYU (students) will be the first (Questival participants) of 2024 and kind of paving the way for those other Questivals coming up,” Steadman said.

Students play the bells in the BYU bell tower for one Questival challenge. Students had 24 hours to complete challenges and earn as many points as possible. (Image courtesy of Jacob Holman)

Ryan Giles, production manager for the Cotopaxi campus team at BYU, said he helped with recruitment for Questival by holding tabling events on the BYU campus and partnering with BYU clubs.

“I feel like Cotopaxi as a brand and BYU as a brand align really well. They have similar visions in terms of doing good in the community,” Giles said.

To compete in Questival, students round up teams of two to six people and complete “do good challenges” worth different amounts of points. After 24 hours, the team with the most points wins. Challenges include learning new skills, supporting local businesses, donating to charities and more.

“Questival’s adventure-race challenges are designed to help students discover their campus, city and community as well as do good by volunteering and supporting local and national non-profit organizations,” a Cotopaxi press release stated.

Steadman said one of the more unique challenges this year was in partnership with the non-profit United to Beat Malaria. Students had to shave their hair into a mullet and raise a certain amount of money for the charity before they could fix their haircut. Questival participants ended up raising $2,140 to fight malaria in 24 hours according to a Cotopaxi newsletter.

Members of the Hawt Sawce team recreate a prom picture as a do good challenge. Hawt Sawce finished Questival in first place with 58,000 points. (Image courtesy of Tyler Fredrick)

“It really is a real motivator when you have an awful mullet. You’re calling your uncles and your aunts and everybody like ‘Please let me shave this thing into a normal haircut,’” Steadman said.

Tyler Fredrick was part of the 2024 winning team, “Hawt Sawce,” along with Jay Dalton, Grace Robinson, Charlie Christensen and Abby Alley. Fredrick said their team spent nearly five hours pre-planning their route, drove 500 miles and raised $250 for United to Beat Malaria. They also played the carillon in the BYU Bell Tower, jumped in the Tibble Fork reservoir and lit sparklers on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

“It’s just a really fun opportunity to get people together to do things that you would never elsewhere do,” Fredrick said. 

One particularly meaningful experience for Fredrick’s team was visiting Grove Creek Assisted Living in Vineyard to sing to the elderly and get advice from someone who was more than 80 years old. Fredrick said they met a woman named Valerie and sang “I Am a Child of God” to her. Her advice to them was to keep being themselves.

“It really made all of our days. Some of us are planning on going back to visit her again,” Fredrick said.

Fredrick said the Hawt Sawce team wasn’t winning until the last hour of the competition. To ensure the victory, they drove to Park City to visit one last Cotopaxi store. 

Students pose for a selfie on the trail to the Y. Students hiked the Y at sunset and sunrise to earn points for Questival. (Jacob Holman)

“That entire drive we were all stressed out of our minds, but we were all like ‘guys, we might have this.’ And then once we got to that store it was like cheering and relief and screaming, we were all so happy,” Fredrick said.

Members of the Hawt Sawce team won free Cotopaxi packs and two flight vouchers from Breeze Airlines. Other sponsors for Questival included companies such as Hoka, Sun Bum and Built Bar, as well as local sponsors such as Taste 117 and The Quarry.

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