Challenge Nation: An Awesome 5K for the Adventurous of Every Age and Fitness Level

challenge Nation

In March of this year Mr. Smooches and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary. We decided that we wanted to do something fun and different.

We searched the internet, like you do, hopefully in San Francisco because the city played a large part of our wedding night. It couldn’t be too strenuous, and in the middle of the day would be best.

I stumbled upon, and it looked like it fit the bill. It is a picture scavenger hunt, with an optional costume contest. Mr. Smooches agreed, so we signed up and waited with bated breath for the day to arrive!

The starting location was emailed to us a day or two before the race, and it was a casual Mexican restaurant that was packed with people ready for a fun afternoon running around the city. We checked in, were given awesome temporary tattoos, and when the time came, we were sent to the parking lot in the back where the team captains stood in a circle with our hands outstretched awaiting clue pages. I felt like I was about to be part of a live action Disney movie; everyone was all smiles, and ranged from wrinkly grey cutie-pies, to giggly stroller-riders, and hard core tendon laden RUNNERS. Once we all received our clues, we were sent off to discover 11 of the 12 locations.

We thought it would be helpful to grab a map from the CVS across the street to map out our path. We later realized the clues were already in order of a nice little 5KM loop… about 10 KM later. HA! We ended up zigzagging around the city, from chalking in our favorite thing about San Francisco at McCovey Cove across from AT&T Park, to hula hooping in a park, to shaking hands with a dog, to acting out a wedding at Cupid’s Span, and finding an old fashioned cigar indian. We were all over the place, laughing and reminiscing about our married years together the whole way.

Even with getting lost a few times and stopping to google clues, we finished 49th, so we qualified to run in the National Championship! It only took us 2:28. Not the best 5Km speed, but honestly, a great time spent together. For a special anniversary treat we had a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries afterward- definitely a fun way to wind down after a fun afternoon.

If you are hoping to win with great running and scavenger hunting skills, there are prizes at stake as well, including $200 for 1st place, and two $50 prizes for best costumes, awarded by your fellow competitors. You have to have at least 2 people for a team, but there is no maximum number of team members. Entry fees vary per city, and they are held all over the country. The only other requirement is a picture for every clue, which makes for a wonderful set of memories- Here are some of our pictures from our experience.

I highly recommend it to anyone of any fitness level or age. Give it a try!


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