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Ready for a Challenge?

March 29, 2013

Saturday was one of the most exciting days that I’ve had in a while. Two friends and I participated in Challenge Nation – San Francisco Challenge. For those who are Amazing Race fans and have always wanted to do something similar, Challenge Nation is perfect for you! They call it The Ultimate Urban Scavenger Race for good reason. Teams are given 12 clues, where 11 must be completed. No taxis, cars, bikes, rideshares, skateboards, horses, etc. allowed. When you reach the clue, your entire team needs be in a photograph following clue-specific rules.

Registration was between 11:30 am and 12:45 pm so of course my team arrived promptly at 11:30.

Registration - Fresh in Pedro's Cantina

Before the Race

Around 12:55, all the team captains lined up in a circle outside of the start/finish line at Pedro’s Cantina… ironically my favorite sports bar – motivation for me to run back faster for a drink. Each team captain put one hand in the circle, received the clues in an envelope, and ripped the letter open simultaneously when the countdown reached ONE.


Team Captains Lined Up

Getting the Clues

Getting the Clues!

My teammates ran across the street beforehand to avoid the chaos of 1000 people, so I met them at AT&T Park under one of the ticket counters where we strategized for 30 minutes before starting the hunt. We noticed that some teams started scavenging right away before figuring out all the answers, but they key is to answer all the questions and map out your route. Time is important, and running in circles will not get you in the top 25! Efficiency matters. 😉

Going into this game, my friends and I just wanted to do a fun outdoor activity and we didn’t expect to place! In fact, we didn’t even know there was anything besides the top five winning some money.

…But of course in the right setting, we instantly became competitive. It’s simply the survival of the fittest. GAME ON.

All by foot, we placed 22nd out of over 200 teams, meaning we are now qualified for Challenge Championship in Las Vegas! We completed San Francisco Challenge in 2 hours, 1 minute, and 47 seconds.

At the Finish Line! 22nd Place

At the Finish Line! 22nd Place

What I love most about a race like this is that it not only challenges your fitness, but it also tests your ability to problem-solve, and work as a team. These are three things to feel great about after you have completed your mission.

Here are some of our team photos:

Clue Number 4!





This was our first time doing a challenge like this, but it was so thrilling and fun throughout the entire process. Puts thoughts in my head for the future… What’s next?

Amazing Race? Yes please! Great bucket list item.


From → All, Memories

One Comment
  1. It’s awesome seeing your pictures. We didn’t even know about that team leader circle thing! It’s really cool seeing it and hearing about it from your perspective. We really had no idea what we were doing! Congratulations on placing 22nd! And great job on all the clue-solving and strategizing!

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