Challenge Nation Seattle – May 19, 2012

Owen and I participated in our 4th scavenger hunt/Amazing Race type of event on Saturday.  This was our first with Challenge Nation.  Us at the starting line.

We knew two other teams there, the Plewe’s and the Roos’.  Roos’ ended up running/walking/riding the race with us.  We started at the Pyramid Brew house right across the street from Safeco Field.

How this race works is everyone receives their clue envelope at the same time.  They count down to when you can open your envelope.  There were 241 teams with around 900 participating.

We opened our envelope and I took a picture of the clue sheet and emailed it to Kim our “phone a friend”.

Then with the help of the Roos’ and Kim we figured out 9 or 10 of the 12 clues (you  have to complete 11).  We figured we’d figure the rest out on the way or from Kim.

As we were walking toward the busses we walked past a local man.  He asked if we needed any help finding anything.  We said we were good and I asked if he was from out of the state.  We needed for one of the clues to find someone with a driver’s license from East of the Mississippi.  He said his was from Florida.  Great.  We were suppose to make the shape of his state with our arms for the picture.

We took our pictures with him and he asked if he could help with anything else.   We asked him if he knew where there was a huge statue of the King Tut exhibit.  He told us it had just gone up at Union Station.  Great – one clue we didn’t know now taken care of.

We headed towards Union Station and found a car with an out-of-state licence plate with a letter W or higher in the alphabet.  Check off another clue.

As we walked toward Union Station we saw a man who had just had his picture taken with other people in the race.  We asked him if his baseball cap had a sports team not from Seattle (another clue).  He had the canuks hockey hat on so we struck a our best hockey pose.  Great another clue checked off.

We then headed to Union Station where we had not problem seeing the HUGE statue to promote the King Tut exhibit at the Pacific Science center.  Score – 4 clues down really easy.

We then hopped on the light rail (first time riding that in Seattle) and headed to Westlake Plaza.  While on the train we asked another team if they knew where clue #11 was located.  They told us and we offered to help them with a clue.  The only one they didn’t have was the driver’s licence from a state east of the Mississippi.  I started asking everyone on the train til we found a family on vacation from Georgia.  Nice to be able to give back to a fellow racer.  We were looking for “Blue Trees”.  Brian was great and lead us right towards it.

We then headed to Pikes Place Market to find the pig.  No problem finding it, only problem was getting in the not quite line of participants and tourists trying to get their picture at the pig.

We headed to the waterfront and found the wooden structure where we had to act out a movie with another team.  Can you tell what we are doing?

Rocky scene!   Of Course.

We knew that another clue had to do with anchor’s and then headed back towards Safeco Field direction.  We saw the almost constructed Ferris Wheel a couple of piers down (didn’t know we were getting on of those the water front.  Should be amazing at night – future date for sure) and realized that was part of the clue that hadn’t made sense to us.  Now we had all the clues figured out.

We found the plaque that shows where the Seattle Fire started, but soon realized it was only part of the clue.  Looking around we saw lots of race participants getting their picture taken around this sculpture.  We sneaked into a hole and took our teams pictures while others were using the whole sculpture.  Who said we aren’t a wee bit competitive.

We had figured the rest of the clues left were in the Pioneer Square area.  Hardest one was to find out white structure which was only kept clean by the rain near the oldest cafe in Seattle.  Turns out it was the Smith Tower, but we were stumped for a few minutes.

We are making the initals of W A.  Incase you couldn’t figure that out.

We then headed to the firefighter memorial to pose as firefighters.

With that one we had finished 11 of the 12 clues, but the last clue was 5 stores back up a street so we figured we’d hit all 12, just in case and to get our money’s worth.  It was a museum which sure seemed like the most boring museum ever.  Not sure I’m going to head back anytime soon.

We then high tailed it back to the finish line.  We were shocked that we had arrived in 54th place out of 240 teams.  Especially since we mostly walked with running to make a light.

Lots of fun – loved doing it with Owen and fun to have the Roos’ join us for a race.  Here is a copy of our map and losely where the different clues were.

Comparing Challenge Nation to Great Urban Race (We have done 3 of their races) there are a couple of differences.  Challenge Nation was shorter by an hour or so – everything was much closer together.  Great Urban Race had activities you had to do at some of the clues (eat food, tell a joke to the judges, put together a puzzle, look up in a magazine to find a specific place, etc.).  Challenge Nation clues you had to read really carefully because there were lots of instructions of how you were suppose to pose in the pictures.  Challenge Nation had groupons so their prices was cheaper than Great Urban Race.  That said, I’d so either again.  In fact the Great Urban Race is on Aug 11th, we’d love to do it with you!

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