Great Urban Race DC 2011

The Great Urban Race DC 2011

[confirmation]Experience level: 1/5 | Bring your thinking caps and be ready to run like the wind![/confirmation]

About the Trip

The Great Urban Race is a race that is held annually in many of the major US cities. The race is sort of like a spin-off of the television show “The Amazing Race” on CBS. You sign up in teams of 2 and dress up in themed costumes, then make a mad dash through the city solving clues and completing required challenges.

We have wanted to compete in this race for years but have always had a commitment on the scheduled race day for our city. We were finally free to register this year. We were even more thrilled about the fact that our great friends Matt and Cathy signed up too! Though we were required to sign up in teams of 2, all 4 of us worked together during the race. It was just more fun that way. Plus, Matt and Cathy know DC like the back of their hand and so their knowledge definitely gave us a competitive advantage.

[warning]Look both ways when darting across the street![/warning]



  • Costumes
  • Camera
  • Metro cards
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Sunglasses
  • Umbrellas
  • Rain jackets
  • Credit card/cash
  • Game faces



  • As we ran through the city as Hawaiians and Jesters (not jokers), it was entertaining to watch peoples’  facial expressions as we dashed by them.
  • At RFD in Chinatown, our challenge was to remove a ring that was stuck in between two horseshoe chains. It entailed finagling the chains in a certain way that would enable the ring to slide off. Matt was just so pumped up during the race that he got his ring off by breaking the chain in two.
  • Throughout the race, you are bound to reach bottlenecks where you can do nothing but wait for those ahead of you to complete clues. While we were stuck in a bottleneck at Merzi we were trying to figure out a riddle which would allow us to bypass the challenge that we were waiting in line for. Cathy saved the day by solving the riddle on our clue sheet! We obnoxiously rejoiced in front of our opponents and then fled to the finish line. It was so clutch!
  • As the metro doors opened at our final destination, there was an inundation of runners bolting towards the escalator. You would have thought that they were all on fire! If you’ve been on a metro, you know that the incline to get from underground to above ground is super steep and so it was quite obvious who was in/out of shape based on how these racers fared on this sprint exercise.  People lost steam quick… was like someone hit the slow motion button on them.  I sort of went into slow motion mode for a hot second too!  My lungs were burning and I needed a few seconds to catch my breath before bolting to the finish line.
  • Though Cathy pulled a tendon during the race, she was such a trooper and remained positive straight through to the finish. We were so proud of Cathy.
  • It did not rain!!! There was only a light misting, but we welcomed that!


We were told by some fellow competitors that the top finishers complete the race in under 1.5 hours! We completed our run in under 3 hours so I think next time we’ll have to step up our game plan.

Also, I learned to never abandon your clue sheet. While doing a shuffleboard challenge at Buffalo Billiards, I put down my clue sheet in order to retrieve the pucks on the other end and when I turned around, my clue sheet was not there. It turned out that some cheater from another team was holding it by her side acting like it was hers!!! I couldn’t believe it! I totally called that lady out on it and snatched it back out of her hand. People are ruthless, let me tell you! Without that clue sheet, we would have been penalized, maybe even disqualified!
[info]Protect your clue sheet and discuss clues in hushed voices![/info]

Show me the dough

2 tickets= ~$96.00
Metro fare=~20.00
Miscellaneous items purchased for the challenges: $5.00

GRAND TOTAL: $126.00