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If you find you’re not tired of all the “mental challenges” of your day job, and you don’t mind leaving your air-conditioned house to run around outside in sultry weather, then go ahead and fork over the $100 to join the GO Urban scavenger hunt taking place in D.C. Saturday.
The Prince of Petworth is (or so he says).
Actually, it sounds cool. The race, which recently got shout-outs on PoP and welovedc.com, is part of the GO – Get Outside – initiative of the Vallon Institute, which promotes healthy, environmentally-friendly living and urban adventure. We here at City Paper certainly support those two things, at least in principle.
The GO Urban site, where you can register, gets a little sappy about D.C. – “a city with no limits, historically, currently, and into the future; will your DC adventure ever end?” – but who cares. The organizers love cities so much they’ve incorporated trash pick-up into the race.
The basics: There are two-man teams, each of which will get clues leading competitors to a GOpoint, or stopping point, where they will have to meet some physical or mental challenge (perform a work-out, say, or solve a riddle) to get the next clue. No one’s alone out there: You can tap away on your iPhone, or call your mother, or even carry a laptop if you think that won’t slow you down. Get between GOpoints by running, jogging, walking, or taking public transit; no cars, taxis, bikes (including Smartbikes, we assume) or Rollerblades allowed!
Start at noon at George Washington University, and finish by five. If you’re too slow, don’t feel bad, but do return to the finish area for the post-race festivities, which include (possibly) a free glass of wine or beer for your efforts.
Aside from the entry fee, the main qualification seems to be a fully-charged cell phone with a good texting plan, as clues come via SMS, but that certainly won’t rule anyone out in this town.
The race in the District – grand prize: $400 and bragging rights, for what they’re worth – is the first of 13 taking place through May of next year. The championship will be held in D.C. next summer.