Challenge Nation is a series of urban adventure races that take place across the nation. Our race took place in downtown Indianapolis where we had to solve 11 out of 12 clues by racing around the city and taking pictures of our team at the location of each answer. The clues could be answered in any order but the goal was to find each answer and race back to the finish line first! Racers were encouraged to dress in wacky costumes and enjoy exploring the city while staying fit.
My team called We Do Track-Well, a play on words of my and my sister's maiden name Trackwell, finished 73rd out of 123 teams ... 73rd isn't great but we had a blast running up and down the city streets and just simply spending time together. We had a bit of a miscommunication on the rules and had to go back and re-find a few answers, so I am confident we would have finished better than we did if that mishap hadn't happened, but oh well!
The clues were kind of challenging - we were allowed to use smartphones, gps or phone a friend to help crack the clues, which really helped. The clues were vague, in a rhyme or asked you to find something but didn't tell you were it was located ... you had to use your brain and problem solving skills. The smarts of our phones were a nice addition as well!
To start, the team captain from each of the 123 teams stood in a circle outside of Scotty's Brewhouse and received the clues - each of the captains were asked to not look at the clues until everyone had received theirs - and then we were off!
We started with Clue #1 where we had to run quit a distance to a location north of an obelisk in Military Park and hula hoop. Clue #1 - check:
For Clue #2, we had to locate a small sculpture, that has been stolen 3 times, of "a boy that never ages" and draw a picture, using sidewalk chalk, of our favorite thing about Indy. The little sculpture was really hard to find - none of us had ever heard of it. Colts was our obvious favorite thing! Clue #2 - check:
Clue #3 asked that we go to the location where the King "left the building" for the last time ever, which was the location where Market Square Arena used to stand, and rock out with some props. I love my sister's face as she is singing into the microphone! Clue #3 - check:
For Clue #4, we had to find an out-of-towner wearing non-sports related hometown garb - but not from Indiana. Once we found the person we were asked to take a photo acting out what we think the home is like. The guy we found was from Pennsylvania and he said "there is nothing good about Pennsylvania", so we all gave a thumbs down and made a sad face - the guy is smiling while giving his thumbs down, what's up with that! Clue #4 - check:
Clue #6 was solved by figuring out 2 words to fill in the blanks of a phrase. The 2 words were the names of Indianapolis downtown streets that intersected. At that site, we had to play a quick game and take a photo with the Challenge Nation staff member. Clue #6 - check:
For Clue #7, we had to take a photo with a statue of any President that appears on Mount Rushmore and act out a scene from their life. Abraham Lincoln was our man, and we acted out his death. I was John Wilkes Booth, Melanie was Lincoln and Megan was his wife ... so silly! Clue #7 - check:
Clue #8 was to take a photo of either a clown, a traditional barber pole, a tricycle, a person wearing overalls or any pet other than a dog or a horse. We found a barber pole and a barber that WOULDN'T STOP TALKING TO US ... we just had to run away from the shop after giving the man a few seconds of courtesy conversation. Clue #8 check:
Clue #9 eluded to engraved bricks in front of a famous place. We had to find a brick that bore the first or last name of any Indiana Governor ... the smart phone was of great help on this one. We found a brick at St. Elmo's Steakhouse with the name "James" on it to represent James B. Ray, a former governor. Clue #9 - check:
For Clue #10, we had to buy a postcard, address it, write a message and snap a pic in front of an "old style" blue mailbox. We were surprised how hard it was to find a mailbox, but we finally stumbled upon one. Clue #10 - check:
Clue #11 was a funny one! We had to pair up with another team and 2 strangers and act out a scene from a movie set in Indiana while in front of a theater downtown. We acted out Close Encounters of the Third Kind, apparently filmed at Ball State. This movie is supposedly about aliens. I loved how the strangers got so in to the acting, and my sister makes a fine alien! Clue #11 - check:
Lastly, Clue #12 involved us battling it out as pirates against another challenge team. There were props on Monument Circle to pose with. Clue #12 - check:
After completing the clues, we ran to the finish line to end the race! We did it!
This race was pure fun! You didn't even realize that you were completing a 5K while searching for answers to the clues. It ended up being a nice workout!
Besides sharing this experience with my sisters and wearing a tutu, my favorite thing about the race was how much those in downtown Indy that were NOT in the race, reacted to all of us crazy people running around. I believe there were close to 450 people involved in the challenge. Those people dining at outdoor restaurants and those walking around downtown were so curious about what we were doing and wanted to help us anyway they could. It was great to see strangers get excited for us and cheer us on all in the name of FUN!
Challenge Nation is a great event and a BLAST! I look forward to making this race a tradition with my sisters. Next year's Indianapolis race is already scheduled for August 9, 2014 - consider signing up, you won't regret it!