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The Great Urban Race

Updated on November 12, 2014

Like The Amazing Race...Only Shorter

Recently I discovered a cool event called The Great Urban Race. It's a race held in cities across the country where two person teams compete against each other to complete a set of fun challenges throughout the city.

Consider it a mini-Amazing Race that anyone can join and have fun with!

My wife and I competed in this race one year and had a blast. Below are some of the things we learned and our tips for running the race successfully.

How Does It Work?

Race rules.

Teams get a list of 12 challenges to complete. Some are mandatory and others optional. The goal is to be the first team to complete 11 of the 12 tasks.

Each challenge is different and could be a puzzle, physical task, scavenger hunt, etc. The rules are loose...basically you can bring anything you want (cell phone, laptop, GPS, etc) and can only walk, run or use public transportation.

Check out the official race rules for more info.

Are There Prizes?

Yes! The top three teams in each city win a cash prize and free entry into the National Championship race which is held in a different city each year. There are also prizes for best costume and family division first place.

The top 25 teams in each city qualify for entry into the National Championship race. The winner of the Championship race wins $10,000!

The 2014 Great Urban Race Schedule

Plan now to run in The Great Urban Race!

The 2014 Great Urban Race will be held in the following cities:

1/25/2014 - Los Angeles
2/1/2014 - San Diego
2/8/2014 - Austin
2/22/2014 - San Francisco
3/1/2014 - Tampa
3/8/2014 - Jacksonville
3/22/2014 - Houston
3/29/2014 - Washington DC
4/5/2014 - Atlanta
4/12/2014 - Portland
4/26/2014 - Philadelphia
5/10/2014 - Boston
5/17/2014 - New York City
5/31/2014 - Chicago
6/7/2014 - Toronto
8/9/2014 - Vancouver for the Championship

Have You Run In The Great Urban Race?

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Tips To Compete In The Great Urban Race

Identify your support team - Ask friends or family who are good at finding information on the web or know a lot about the city to be your on call support team.

Communicate - You'll need good communication with your teammate and your support team.

Solve the clues first - Take time up front to solve as many clues as possible and map them out.

Ask locals for help - Everyone we asked on the street for information or to help us take a picture was very helpful.

Cooperate with other teams - At some of the spots the only people around to take your picture will be another team.

Check on public transportation - Familiarize yourself on subways and bus routes. Check for any scheduled maintenance that could slow you down.

Recommended Race Gear

Camera - Other people will need to use your digital camera to take your picture. Bring a small camera that's easy for strangers to use. Make sure it's easy to get in and out of your pocket quickly.

Water - The only water you'll have is what you bring or stop to buy along the way. Get a Camelbak to carry your water easily.

Map - Bring a paper map that you can mark up and plot your course on.

Comfortable Clothes - You'll be outside and probably doing a lot of running, walking and other crazy stuff. Be comfortable.

What do you think of The Great Urban Race? Have you competed in any other events like The Amazing Race? Please leave a comment below.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I participated in the GUR Toronto the other day, the challenges were quite disappointing. Most of them just consisted of the person at the location telling us the answer. For the money, it is not worth it, maybe if you buy a groupon. The GUR is nothing but walking outside in the heat. The Extreme challenge in Toronto was doing some karate moves at a location that no one even went to.

    • profile image

      racingdatabase 4 years ago

      I run half marathons, and even tried a marathon or two, but this sounds like a lot more fun!

    • bigjara lm profile image

      bigjara lm 4 years ago

      I have never... but I would sure love to!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Sounds cool

    • profile image

      Parfumi_sLOVEnia 5 years ago

      That's a good idea

    • CozyKitty profile image

      CozyKitty 5 years ago

      The Great Urban Race looks like lots of fun! I'm also a huge fan of The Amazing Race ...

      ;-)

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      Sound like great idea. We should do something similar in Europe too!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Completed the Scottsdale race on yesterday! It was out first time and we had a BLAST!!! I highly recommend it if it comes to a city near you. It's a great relationship builder...or breaker :-)

    • RomanticMe profile image

      RomanticMe 5 years ago

      Really interesting subject, I'd love to do one!

    • Kettlebellsuk profile image

      Kettlebellsuk 5 years ago

      This looks great fun.

    • JanezKranjski profile image

      JanezKranjski 6 years ago

      This is the first time I heard about Urban race, but it looks very interesting.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I'm participating in Great Urban Race this year.. Im looking for sponsors, those who sponsor me will be entered into a drawing for a NEW IPOD NANO 8G..... https://waystohelp.stjude.org/sjVPortal/public/dis...

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      My partner bagged out on me for fur DC this weekend. Looking for a partner. I can be serious or wacky. I'm athletic but also willing (and secretly hoping) to wear a costume. If interested please post to this blog. Thx!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Had a great time! I just wish the races were in some order to closeness of states or time frame was spread out more between races! I would love to do all of the races!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Like this? Check out the Urban Assault Ride. Bikes, beer, and big wheels. The ORIGINAL urban adventure race.