Urban Dare Boston – 16th Place!

Catherine and I had a fantastic time this weekend doing Urban Dare Boston. Urban Dare is kind of like a city-wide scavenger hunt, almost like a one-day The Amazing Race.

The start was a local bar in downtown Boston. There were over 130 teams! We checked in and got our blue t-shirts and our numbers. A brief costume contest ensued, won by Team Guinness (two men in kilts drinking Guinness, they were a shoe-in). Then they passed out the clue sheets and we were off! Winners would be the team that completed all of the clues and tasks and got back to the starting location first.

Urban Dare starting line Boston

Team #956 at the starting line!

There were 11 clues plus a bonus clue (which gave you a 10 minute bonus). One clue was a photo hunt (find three people to do “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” and get two people to reenact the famous WWII kiss from V-J day. Those were my favorite.

Our very sweet V-J Day Kiss reenactors

The other clues involved very skilled googling, which would get you a location in Boston. The real skill came in trying to figure out what order to do the clues, i.e., doing all the downtown ones, then the Back Bay ones, etc. You could take public transportation, walk, or run. No taxis.

Poor confused German tourists that I talked into doing this..

I’m delighted to say that Catherine and I came in 16th out of 137 teams! I had no idea we were that close to the top! It was lots of fun and we certainly got our exercise—we probably walked/ran about 5 miles. The winning team came in at 1:32, and we were just about 30 minutes behind them at 2:07. Not shabby!

Our only complaint was that the entrance fee of $45 per person was a bit steep. However, about a week or two before the race, there was a Groupon for 50% off. Thanks to our procrastination, we were able to take advantage of that, so that made it a lot more affordable. It would also have been miserable if the weather had been bad, but thanks to a brief lull in the wrath of the rain gods, it was an utterly gorgeous summer day.

Here are my recommendations for anyone considering doing an Urban Dare:

  • Wear sneakers and athletic clothing. In other words, dress like you’re going to the gym. There were people dressed in jeans and impractical shoes and I have no idea how they survived.
  • Bring water, but not food. Eat a good breakfast. Chances are, you won’t have any time to eat while you’re running the race. However you will get thirsty.
  • SMARTPHONE. You’ve got to have it, or some sort of access to the internet. If there is any way for both teammates to have one, you’ll be a hell of a lot faster.
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