On Saturday, my husband Dave & I competed in City Solve Urban Race Boston. It’s our 2nd year competing and it’s pretty fun.
It’s kind of like a scavenger hunt around Boston & you race to finish first.
When you arrive at the start, you’re given a clue and multiple choice answers. Then you need to run to the location mentioned in the correct answer to get the game clue sheets.
This year the question was “which of these bands are NOT from Boston” and gave multiple choice answers.
There are 10 clues to the game and you’re allowed to skip one, but 3 clue locations are mandatory and can’t be skipped. I like the way the clues are worded because a lot of it is stuff you can google but that alone will not get you a correct answer. For one example, you needed to know a bunch of numbers (year of Matt Damon’s birth; “Sports Hub” radio station number) and then insert those numbers into a math problem to get you an address on Boylston street to go to for your challenge.
Our strategy is to solve all the clues first, then eliminate the location that’s the farthest away from the rest of the route. Last year, there were clue locations all over Boston but this year they seemed much closer to each other so it wasn’t an obvious choice for which to skip.
At the locations the clues lead you to you need to either compete an activity or just take a picture of your whole team and the location (sign, statue, etc).
There are also bonus photos that take time off your overall finishing time, but this year we didn’t do any of those. (We figured if we’d spend more time finding the item to take a photo with than we’d save in the time bonus, it wasn’t worth it.)
One of the challenges was to identify candle scents. I didn’t take any allergy medicine that morning (oops) so my sense of smell was gone. I told the people at that challenge, “I probably couldn’t even smell a garbage truck right now!” So, Dave tried his hand but could only identify 1 of 4 candle scents. We asked what we have to do if we couldn’t identify another and were told “30 push ups”. I said, “OK! I do November Project! I’ve got this!” and started 30 push ups right away. Then they said all team members had to and Dave joined me. (Sorry honey!) We finished and ran off to our next location.
The jerks who made us do push ups – my husband & me
We won’t know what place we finished in till CitySolve blogs about the Boston race.
We’ve been told that will be on Wednesday. Edit: We came in 11th out of 45 registered teams!
We had a good time, despite the rain.
We only had 2 complaints for the day –
1) One of the clues was wrong and incorrectly said something was near Central Square when they meant Kenmore. Luckily I’d ignored the part of the clue that said where the store was near because I knew the store, Nuggets in Kenmore Sq.
2) We were forced to either fundraise $10 for Youth Build or donate it ourselves. This was a mandatory challenge.
I work in nonprofit fundraising for a living and even I wasn’t comfortable asking someone to donate $10 to a nonprofit I learned of for the 1st time that day.
Dave & I ended up donating $10 out of our own pocket.
Last year, the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network was the charity City Solve worked with. (I’m a YNPN member.) YNPN did NOT have any fundraising in their challenges last year and they ended up donating what was raised to One Fund Boston instead of keeping it for YNPN!
All and all though, it was a fun day and I ended up earning 9 Weight Watchers Activity points for all our running/walking through Boston. We started near North Station then went all the way to Kenmore Sq to complete challenges.
Thanks again to Yelp Boston for sponsoring City Solve and giving me & Dave spots to compete!
You can read Dave’s view of the day at his blog: CitySolve Boston Recap