Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Get psyched for an amazing race

Republishing this entry, which originally appeared here May 14. I'm just curious: Did any of you wind up registering?

Today's blog entry doesn't really have a whole lot to do with running ... but the name of the event I'm about to plug has the word "race" in it, so what the heck, right?

Next month's Great Urban Race is like "The Amazing Race" for extroverted guys and girls who a) don't like to fly, b) wish the CBS reality competition started and ended in one day, or c) want to do a trial run with a prospective partner before applying for the TV show, to make sure they won't kill each other.

It also, of course, could just be for anyone who wants to have a really freakin' fun time getting to know their city with a close friend or family member. Whatever the case may be, I have a feeling the GUR could be the sleeper hit of the year on your race calendar.

The Charlotte event, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 12, is one of 20 GURs being held in cities throughout the U.S. in 2009. The idea behind the race is simple: Teams of two work together to solve a series of 12 clues. One sample clue on the Web site reads "Return to the finish with a real $2 bill," while other challenges might require players to, for example, unscramble letters to spell a landmark then go have their photo taken in front of it. So yeah, the Great Urban Race is basically a scavenger hunt, and the playing field is the city of Charlotte.

According to the rules, teams are permitted to carry and use GPS devices, cellphones and laptops. Use of public transportation is allowed; but taxis or rides from friends are not.

And there's a special incentive: If you finish in the top 25, you're invited to November's national championship in New Orleans, where teams will compete for a $10,000 grand prize. The top three teams from the Charlotte race get their championship entry fees paid for, and the top two local finishers win cash prizes of $300 and $150, respectively.

Registration is $60 per person through Sept. 11, and $70 per person on race day. Start time on Sept. 12 is "High Noon," and the start and finish is at Fox and Hound at 330 N. Tryon St. in uptown.

It's worth noting that the field is limited to 500 teams. I'd tell you to sign up soon to ensure your spot, however, be aware that none of the 14 races that have already been held this year were sellouts. (L.A. came the closest, with 470 registered duos.)


Anonymous said...

I've heard GU Race is fun. You should also check out High Trek Adventure (it's similar). Though, it is not coming to Charlotte. :(

Anonymous said...

My wife and I did the GUR in Atlanta last year and it was a blast! The costumes, the race, it was all a blast. I am looking forward to the Charlotte race to see how I do on my own turf.

Kate said...

It's also worth noting that there is a series of Adventure Races being held at the Whitewater Center, starting this Saturday. Activities include whitewater rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking, orienteering and special challenges. More info at

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reposting - just signed up!