An Amazing Race

For over ten years couples have been traveling around the world completing challenges on the CBS reality show The Amazing Race.  Each challenge must be completed in order to receive clues that lead to the next destination and the next challenge.  It is a race against other teams, time, and your emotions.  Those who watch the show often dream about competing in the race with a friend or loved one.  For most, this will always be just a dream.  Luckily, there is a great option locally that gives them an opportunity to feel the rush of The Amazing Race.

Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation recently held its 5th annual Amazing Race.  This event gave local families the chance to solve clues, complete challenges, and tour our great city.  Clues took the teams to local businesses and beautiful parks located around the city where obstacles awaited.  We, as a family, volunteered to run a challenge station during the morning session of the race.  We arrived at Shoaf park early Saturday morning and set up the challenge called Puke Pong.  Recent college grads or those who partake in parties and tailgate activities have probably played this game under the name of Beer Pong.  That is exactly what our challenge was, minus the beer.  In this twist on the game, the drinks would be far less enjoyable.  Teams would bounce ping-pong balls into cups consisting of delicious refreshment.  Players had to consume the contents of the cup before the next ball could be thrown.  In all, 12 cups needed to be consumed to complete the challenge and receive the clue to the next destination.  Our question entering the day was “How many people will vomit?”  We debated this as a family as we drove to the park.  I, personally, didn’t think anyone would puke after reading this list of drinks:

  • Relish
  • Cranberry Kiwi Juice
  • Maple Syrup
  • Soy Sauce
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Gatorade
  • Hot Sauce
  • Beef Broth
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • Lemon Juice
  • Milk with Cottage Cheese
  • Peach Tea

It did not take long for me to realize that I would be wrong.  The first team of the day did not finish the challenge due to someone throwing up.  Ten minutes into the day and the puke bucket was already in use.  Team after team struggled to complete the challenge.  Men, women, and children all struggled to drink, and keep down, the contents of each cup.  However, in the end, it was obvious that each team was having a great time.  They were spending time with friends and family.  They were laughing, high-fiving, and offers words of encouragement to each other as they faced each undesirable cup.  Each team was competitive.  They wanted to win.  It was fun to watch.  Disgusting at times, but fun.  I always enjoy volunteering with my family.  This experience was no different.  We had a great time.

According to its website, Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation has a mission to “enhance the quality of life in Fort Wayne by providing positive opportunities for leisure time and by being stewards of our park lands, facilities, public trees, and other resources entrusted to our care.”  If you spend time in any of our city parks, you know they are fulfilling the mission.  We are blessed to have so many great parks and public spaces within our city.  These places are the perfect backdrop for a stroll with a loved one, a quick game of Frisbee golf, and even an amazing race.

Visit www.fortwayneparks.org to learn more about the programs, facilities, and parks managed by the organization.

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