What is Challenge Nation?
Challenge Nation is America's largest urban adventure race series, visiting 35 cities across the country in 2014--our fifth season!
The Challenge is like a scavenger hunt on steroids! It's a miniature "amazing race" personalized for your city that combines the brain-twisting challenge of clue-solving with the active excitement of a foot race, while having tons of fun with your friends and family along the way!
When the race begins, teams of two or more will compete against each other to solve 11 out of the 12 clues we've carefully crafted, each of which will lead you to a unique challenge in a new location in the city. The quickest teams to return to the finish line after completing all the clues will win the cash prizes and qualify for our $5,000 National Championship in Las Vegas!
Is this awesome?
Yes. Way awesome.
Do I need to be really in shape for this? Who can participate?
The Challenge is designed to be a blast for all ages and ability levels--you can choose your speed, whether that's a mad dash from clue to clue or a more leisurely walking pace, enjoying the urban exploration at a slower clip.
The most important element for success is a winning strategy, so a team with much more brains than brawn is usually quite competitive. In total, an ideal Challenge route you strategize will take your team from 3 to 4 miles throughout the city. All ages are welcome, but anyone under 18 needs a responsible party 18 or older on their team.
How many people can be on a team?
There's no maximum team size--so sign up as many as you'd like. Though we've had teams of 10 people place in the top three, if you are looking to maximize your mobility, it might make sense to break your friends into groups of 4 to 5--remember, you'll have to take a picture with everyone at each stop!
We do ask that each team consist of at least two members, no "one-man wolfpack" teams!
What does the Challenge cost in my city? What do I receive?
The entry costs vary in each city, so check out its individual page by clicking the links on the right. In general, it costs less if you sign up early.
Your entry includes your souvenir t-shirt, race number bib, a temporary tattoo, clue sheet, bottled water, drink specials at the afterparty, costume contest and of course a chance at the big cash prizes and entry to the National Championship for our top finishers!
Is this family friendly?
Yes, the Challenge is a great family activity and is appropriate for all ages (no beer chugging clues!) In fact, we have a $50 prize for our top family finish (a team member under 13 is required to be eligible for this prize)
Can we run with a stroller? Are small kids free?
Yes, any sort of strollers are fine--we've even had a team win with one! Kids 5 and under are free, but 6 and up require a registration. All kids need a waiver filled out by their guardian.
How do I add to an existing team?
To add to an existing team, have the new registrant enter your existing team's name in the appropriate box when signing up--that's all they have to do!
When is the registration deadline?
We will be taking registrations online all the way until the race begins. We strongly encourage you to sign up as soon as your team is ready so that we can guarantee your correct t-shirt size. In-person registrations on race day are limited, so we urge you to sign up online.
When is check-in?
Generally 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. for Saturday races and 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. for Sunday Races. Check your city's page for the exact start/finish locations and when the fun begins! Mega tip: show up early to check-in to beat the rush!
How long does the race last?
It can vary slightly from city to city, but our fastest finishers usually complete the Challenge between 1 hour and 1.5 hours. Scroll all the way down on your city's page to see last year's results. Our average finish time is around 2 hours and we'll continue to take finish times for approximately 3 hours after the race begins for those that are enjoying themselves out there!
What is the race course?
You make the course! There is no set course from clue to clue--everybody's route is different.
What's the Challenge Championship? How do I qualify?
The Challenge Championship is the biggest race of them all--held at the end of the year in Las Vegas, the only way to qualify is to participate in one of our races across America and finish in the top 50 teams! The top 5 teams in each city additionally receive FREE entry to the Champmionship. All champions will compete for more than $6,000 in prize money! All of the details can be found on our Challenge Championship page.
What should I wear?
Remember that you'll be getting a t-shirt at registration, so plan ahead to wear that if you'd like--it's a white, lightweight, 100% cotton tee. Otherwise, you should wear comfortable gear appropriate for the weather forecast--we'll go forward rain or shine, as long as it's not hazardous. Running shoes are probably best. About 1/3rd to 1/2 of our racers choose to participate in our awesome crowd-judged costume contest at the end of the day, so dress up if you want!
What happens if it rains?
The race goes forward, rain or shine. Racer safety is our primary interest, so the only exception will be due to extremely hazardous weather, in which case we'll send an email to all the attendees, post a notice on our website, Facebook and Twitter with further details about a new race date.
Are refunds available?
All registration sales are final and non-refundable for any reason, but are easily transferrable to someone else at any time using our online registration system, using these directions. In the case of a extremely rare postponement due to hazardous weather, your registration will automatically transfer to a make-up date or the next year's Challenge.
What do I need to bring with me?
Very little, really. If you're drinking afterwards, don't forget your ID, but you won't need it at check-in or any printouts from the internet--once you register online with us via our Eventbrite registration partner, you're on our list and all set.
Smart phones are allowed as a tool, and one digital camera/cameraphone per team is required to snap a picture of your team at each stop. Some teams designate one person with a backpack to carry the load for everyone else. You can pretty much bring any resource (all electronics, GPS, travel books, etc) that you want to carry along!
After I sign up, what happens?
You'll receive an email immediately from Eventbrite, our registration service, confirming your transaction. You can print it for your records if you'd like, but you don't need to bring it on race day. We'll send a couple of updates out to our racers, about a week out and then again about a few days out. We are, of course, always available for any questions at email@example.com
Where do we meet?
The start/finish location varies by city--check your city's page out to the right to get the exact details on the starting location.
What size tshirts are available?
The shirts are white, 100% cotton and preshrunk. They're unisex sized and in our experience, they run a little large. They'll still shrink a tiny little bit more after the first wash, though. We offer sizes S, M, L, XL, and 2 XL. For exact size details of the model shirt we use most often, visit this page. In general, we have extras of all sizes on event day, so you can trade out if you want to switch.
Can I change a person on my team, my team name, or tshirt size?
Yes! Use these directions at Eventbrite to change any of these details. Don't sweat tshirt size and team name too much--we have extras of most sizes if you'd like to switch and we finalize your team name at the finish line for any last minute changes for the final results.
Can I use a car? A bike? A taxi? Ride a mongoose around?
Only your own two feet and public transit are allowed. No bikes, no rollerblades, no skateboards, no taxis, no cars, no hanggliders.
Okay, my city has a bikeshare system; can I use that?
Unfortunately, even though it's a form of "public transit" we can't allow the use of a bikeshare system because our Challengers would overwhelm it and it'd be unfair for those that didn't get a bike. So any bikes are strictly off limits!
Any other rules?
Teams must stick together for each clue photo and cross the finish line together to record a finish time. Teams must complete 11 of the 12 clues, which allows you to skip one clue that might stumping you or becomes unexpectedly unreachable on race day.
How many people are competing?
In most cities, we have 400+ racers on more than 100 teams. We'll update you on the number of eager Challengers in our update emails to participants before the race!
Any questions we forgot?
Ask us anything at firstname.lastname@example.org