Fitness challenge: A Conqueror Challenge

Person riding a bicycle in the country with hills
The Pacific Crest Trail - The Conqueror Challenge

The goal: 4,000km in under 550 days
The result: 4,000km in 546 days
Will I do this challenge again? No
Should you do this challenge? It’s a LOT of work

Want to walk from Mexico to Canada? How about The Shire to Mordor or along Hadrian’s Wall? The Conqueror Challenges let you do that, and give you medals to prove it.

You can choose from many challenges, with both real and fictitious treks. I chose hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. I thought it would be exciting to virtually travel along areas where I’ve lived. Rookie mistake: the trail is more inland, so I skipped San Francisco and Seattle and didn’t end up in Vancouver. Oh well.

My other rookie mistake was probably more just being naive. But 4,000km is a long way. I broke it down to an easy distance per day, but forgot to account for pandemic lockdowns and winter darkness and extremely hot summer days. I normally walk a lot, but it’s hard to fit that much in. I used the rowing machine at the gym, I ran, I rode my bike, I walked even further… but it was still a slog.

That tells a bit about the challenge, but not all the story. Wow, that sounds ominous. Accidentally so. There’s a convenient app to track your distances and you can choose how to do it. I think I was able to link in my watch but I chose to add steps manually. If you’re doing a few of their challenges concurrently, you can choose where to allocate your efforts. Oh, and most of the challenges are a LOT shorter than the Pacific Crest Trail, which is why people do choose to do them concurrently.

Most of the challenges cost AUD49.95 regardless of the distance. The medals are gorgeous and included. They’ll send it once you’ve logged your last distance. It felt like I was getting a lot of value for the 4,000km. Technically, I was, but oh, 4,000km.

There are two reasons why I unsubscribed from the Conqueror Challenges emails and won’t do another one. Neither are bad on them: it’s all on me. First, I need to be pickier with what I do. My second reason kind of fits into that, I want to do fitness challenges that make a difference. The Conqueror Challenges organisation will plant trees, but Oceans to Outback saves human lives. That means more to me.

If you want to complete a famous trek without the international travel, sign up today. It’s just not for me.

Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash

More about Bianca

Bianca's a nerdy, book worm who is constantly curious and appreciates being alive while the internet exists. During the day, she's a content writer for a tech company. The rest of the time she's reading, and running, and bike riding, and sipping coffee, and taking photos around Melbourne, Australia.

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