Buzz Wor­thy

Test Your Know-How — If You Dare

The Washington Post Sunday - - Sunday Source -

After­com­pet­ing in Canada’s Rat Race — a cross-coun­try cy­cling com­pe­ti­tion in Bri­tish Columbia — Ar­ling­ton na­tive Kevin Keefe, 48, was in­spired to start a tongue-in-cheek ver­sion in the States.

So Keefe, a fan of triathlon and ad­ven­ture rac­ing, set about cre­at­ing Ur­ban Dare, a com­pe­ti­tion that com­bines six phys­i­cal chal­lenges and six trivia ques­tions about lo­cal land­marks and his­tory. Two-per­son teams sort through clues to an­swer each ques­tion, then go to the ap­pro­pri­ate land­mark and send a pic­ture of it via cell­phone to the event or­ga­niz­ers. They are then as­signed ei­ther an­other trivia ques­tion or a phys­i­cal dare. The race usu­ally takes two to three hours to fin­ish, and the first team to com­plete all the el­e­ments wins a gift cer­tifi­cate and tro­phy.

“It’s kind of a big puzzle they have to fig­ure out,” Keefe says. “They get a clue sheet and usu­ally call peo­ple and get help, with their friends look­ing up stuff for them.”

Some of the dares in­volve climb­ing a wall or ca­noe­ing, while oth­ers in­clude three-legged games, dart-throw­ing and Fris­bee golf on the Mall. Team­mates Erik Car­pen­ter, 32, and Ty­rone Sum­mers, 31, both of Wood­bridge, took on all those chal­lenges on their way to win­ning last year’s race in Wash­ing­ton.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever had to un­curl frozen socks and put them on, but let’s just say it takes a few min­utes,” Car­pen­ter says of one of the dares. He and Sum­mers went on to win the first Ur­ban Dare na­tional cham­pi­onship last De­cem­ber in Or­lando, where they com­peted against teams from nine other cities.

This year’s Wash­ing­ton race takes place April 21. Reg­is­tra­tion, which is $90 per team and cov­ers con­test fees, T-shirts and lunch, is open un­til the race starts. Keefe also is or­ga­niz­ing Ur­ban Dares in a dozen other cities this year, in­clud­ing Bos­ton, Philadel­phia, Chicago and San Fran­cisco.

“I had 50 peo­ple or so the first year; last year I had about 100. I think this year it’ll be well over that,” he says of the lo­cal race. If you can’t make the chal­lenge but would like to con­trib­ute dare or quiz ideas, send them to Keefe at kkeefe@ur­ban­dare.com. April 21 start­ing at noon, Free­dom Plaza, 14th and E streets NW. $90 for teams of two. To reg­is­ter, call 703-931-1769 or visit www.ur­ban­dare.com.

— Akeya Dick­son

ERIK CAR­PEN­TER

2006 Ur­ban Dare na­tional champs Erik Car­pen­ter, left, and Ty­rone Sum­mers.

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