It was a race around the world, or rather St. Jacobs, for teams from all over Ontario.
On June 12, family and adult teams were given maps of the St. Jacobs area and instructed to travel the world, with different local businesses flying flags from different countries. Each team was charged with completing a task before heading to the next country.
In one spot, players were challenged to make a slap shot with Grind Hockey Training. Their team had to take as many shots as needed to add up to 300 miles per hour. There was a radar gun measuring the speed of the puck. In another station, teams were taught some tae kwon do, throwing punches and kicks at trained professionals. At Block Three Brewing on King Street, crokinole was the name of the game. Teams had to get three bullseye shots before being able to move on to the next country.
It was a scramble for the teams seen running around St. Jacobs with their maps.
Organizer Mel Fishman says they couldn’t have asked for a better first go-around for the St. Jacobs Amazing Race.
“It went very well. Everybody we talked to were very happy. All of our surveys that we got back have said that people would do it again without a doubt next year,” she said, adding that the sun was shining, and there was a cool breeze in the air on the day of the event. “We got very lucky with the weather. It was excellent. Hopefully we are going to get that kind of weather every year.”
The event was put on to raise a bit of extra cash for the St. Jacobs Community Association, says Fishman, with the money raised earmarked for community improvement projects. The Amazing Race garnered just under $2,000 for the group.
“Kids programs, accessible parks, things like that,” she said. “It hasn’t been decided where exactly it is going to go just yet – just to improving the community.”
The teams were asked to give some feedback after completing the race, and putting their teamwork skills to the test.
“For the most part, everybody said that it was a good length, distance wise, especially for the family teams. People found the events challenging enough but not too challenging. We pretty much got the same feedback from everyone,” said Fishman.
Planning has already started for next year, with big ideas.
“We don’t have a date picked, but it will definitely happen. From what we have so far, it will be a larger, maybe even a two-day event next year,” said Fishman. “We would like to have a few more teams, but I think we have been working very closely with a lot of local businesses on it now and I think we are going to try and make it kind of a come get to know St. Jacobs event for next time. We would likely have some sort of festival going on at the same time as well.”
The winners of the inaugural race were announced earlier this week, and will be picking up their prizes sometime this week.
In first place for the family teams was the Edwards family. They won a 2016 St. Jacobs Amazing Race trophy, Drayton Theatre passes and a gift card to Jack’s Restaurant. In second place was the Watson family. They get to take home a gift card from Xclusive Elements, and a First Choice Haircutters gift pack.
In the adult team category, the Block Three Brewers team took the top spot with a time of one hour and 23 minutes. In second place, was the Bearded Ladies team, with a time of one hour and 29 minutes. First prize is four Home Hardware patio chairs, and an Amazing Race trophy. Second place gets to take home gift cards for Xclusive Elements and Ashfield’s in St. Jacobs.