Test Your Know-How — If You Dare
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
2006 Urban Dare national champs Erik Carpenter, left, and Tyrone Summers.