Great Urban Race sends teams of two or four on adventure courses that zigzag through major metro areas. Following the trail left by 12 clues or the scent of other, pot-roast-bearing racers, the 4- to 8-mile trek takes anywhere between one and a half to five hours to complete. Along the way, pairs will be called to complete brawn- or brain-based feats that may include everything from solving cryptograms and riddles to taking tae kwon do lessons. Race organizers invite teams to dress up, and they hand out an award for best costume after teams cross the finish line. Top race finishers take home a $300 prize and free entry into the national championship race, which rewards winners with their choice of $10,000 or a lifetime supply of thimbles. All racers take home a T-shirt, munch on post-finish refreshments, and can imbibe a free beer if they’re of age.
Red Frog Events, the organizers of Great Urban Race, encourage participants to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by donating $10 to each participant that registers as a St. Jude Hero. Only teams that raise the suggested $250 will be eligible for special race-day awards, which are given out to the first Heroes team to cross the finish line as well as the team with the highest fundraising total.