Things Not to Do When Running the Elm City Challenge

On May 31st, I participated in the first annual Elm City Challenge hosted by the Keene Young Professionals Network. The Elm City Challenge is an adult scavenger hunt that has teams scrambling to find locations throughout the city using picture clues and riddles. My team was not the last team to finish, but we only beat the last team by about two minutes. Based on this, I have a learned a few things that are not so wise to do when participating in this challenge.

When taking pictures for the challenge, it is acceptable to pretend to wear a mustache.

When taking pictures for the challenge, it is acceptable to pretend to wear a mustache.

1. Don’t stop for a beer

At one point, we decided that since we had completed three of the challenges, it would be fine for us to reward ourselves with a leisurely beer. The sun was shining and one of the challenges just so happened to be a bar with a patio. So, why not, right? Well, a good deal of the points received has to do with your speed. We saw a few teams sprinting by us while we sipped and we just laughed. ‘Ha ha,’ we said, ‘We have this challenge in the bag. No need to rush.’ We were, in fact, wrong.

Making new friends is encouraged.

Making new friends is encouraged.

2. Don’t do the challenge in the wrong order

Before we left the meeting area at the beginning of the challenge, we put our heads together to try and solve our riddles and mark each challenge down on a map so that we could make sure we weren’t putting in more work than necessary. The answer to one riddle seemed to elude us though, and we ended up having to double back to the other side of the city when we finally figured out the answer. On our way to the Elm City Market (definitely not Elm City Brewery – which is where we were convinced the riddle was leading us), we received text messages from the judges asking about our whereabouts. When the judges ask you where you are, it’s basically time to pack it in.

Taking creative selfies is a good way to get more points from the judges.

Taking creative selfies is a good way to get more points from the judges.

3. Don’t let one teammate be the hero

By that, I mean beer challenges. The Elm City Challenge judges, in all of their judge wisdom, included five beer challenges as part of the greater challenge. These beer challenges did not have to be completed, but if they were completed and completed correctly, your team would receive extra points. If your team chooses to participate in the beer challenges, make sure that you spread the responsibility of the beer drinking out over your entire team. If just one person drinks all of the beer, that person will slow you down.

But really, just have fun with it.  Even if that means pretending to be monkeys.

But really, just have fun with it. Even if that means pretending to be monkeys.

4. Don’t be a poor sport

This is something I did not learn from experience. We had a BLAST. Even though we didn’t really win any prizes or score any real points, we had so much fun running around Keene wearing fairy wings and tiaras. We even ran into another team and traded stories about our adventures for that day. If you choose to participate in the Elm City Challenge next year, make sure that you enjoy fun and that you don’t mind losing, because there is a good chance that you won’t win.

The Elm City Challenge hosted by the Keene Young Professionals Network does not have an official date for next year, but it was so much fun that it will be hosted a second time, maybe even a third and fourth. Tickets are only $15.00 per person and the proceeds are donated to a great cause. If you enjoy fun, riddles, and a whole lot of walking/running, you should join us next year.

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