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BU’s Amazing Race Welcomes Tacky Tourists

Student teams: register by tomorrow for Saturday’s scavenger hunt

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Boston University BU, Student Activities Office, BU Amazing Race, Boston scavenger hunt

Student teams could win up to $3,000 in BU’s Amazing Race this Saturday. Photos courtesy of the Student Activities Office

Time to get out your fanny packs and loud Hawaiian shirts.

The Student Activities Office is hosting its fourth annual Amazing Race this Saturday, November 8, and this year’s theme is Tacky Terriers on Tour. Much like the famous CBS reality show it’s modeled on, BU’s Amazing Race pits teams against one another as they compete in a Boston-wide scavenger hunt, tracking clues to historic and popular monuments around the city and performing individual or group challenges to earn the next clue. This year’s participants are encouraged to wear their tackiest tourist ensemble. Previous years’ competitors dressed like superheroes or as characters in The Hunger Games.

Participants must register by 5 p.m. tomorrow to join the fun.

The point of the event is “to get our students out into the city and learn a little bit about Boston,” says Taylor Sevigny, SAO’s coordinator of programs. The course changes every year, but teams are generally sent to hot spots like Mike’s Pastries, in the North End, Cheers, on Beacon Hill, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, on the Fenway. “There are a lot of younger, newer people to the city. We want them to recognize where they’re going,” Sevigny says.

BU’s Amazing Race begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, rain or shine, and is expected to wrap up around 4:30 p.m. Teams are eliminated over the course of the day until just five remain. Contest rules stipulate that students may travel only by public transportation or on foot to track down their clues. The use of bikes, cars, or cabs results in instant elimination. There is no scheduled lunch break, so students should bring snacks to power through the day.

“Students are quite exhausted by the end,” says Sevigny. She remembers one group a couple of years ago that ran to every spot. A teammate pulled a hamstring on the home stretch, forcing the group to be disqualified. (Everyone ended up just fine; SAO ensures that EMTs are available on race day.)

Baritones William Maness (SMG’14) (from left), David Frankenfield (COM’15), Gregory Yim (SAR’15), and Adrian Tanner (ENG’15) of BU In Achord won the 2013 BU Amazing Race in the student organization category.

Baritones William Maness (SMG’14) (from left), David Frankenfield (COM’15), Gregory Yim (SAR’15), and Adrian Tanner (ENG’15) of BU In Achord won the 2013 BU Amazing Race in the student organization category.

The first student organization to arrive back at BU wins a $3,000 prize, which they can use to cover club expenses and programming events (rules state they cannot give their winnings to charity). The first team not affiliated with a student organization to finish gets $1,500, which is distributed evenly among members. With awards for best costume, team spirit, and best teamwork, the remaining teams can still take home a prize.

In the past, SAO officials limited the race to 30 teams, but found they regularly had a waiting list 10 teams deep. This year will be different. “We’re blowing it open,” Sevigny says. “We’re hoping for 60 teams to register.” More participants means an increasingly competitive field.

Last year, the baritone section of the a cappella group In Achord won top prize for the fastest student organization. Adrian Tanner (ENG’15) remembers thinking that “there’s no chance we’re going to win. We’re music kids; we’re not athletic.” But being from the Boston area, he and fellow group member William Maness (SMG’14) gave their team an advantage: they didn’t have to dilly-dally figuring out how to navigate city streets or public transportation.

Their strategy? “We did a lot of running,” Tanner says. “After we won, I Google-mapped it and we ended up having run 13 miles.…I couldn’t walk for practically another three days.”

In Achord used some of the winnings to buy group sweatshirts and sound equipment for a recent concert, but most of it was saved to offset the cost of making a full-length CD, which the group plans to record in the coming months.

The win inspired more In Achord members to sign up for this year’s race. And this time, they’re coming prepared.

“We’re training,” Tanner says. “We go to FitRec and run.”

Student teams can register for BU’s Amazing Race here. Registration closes at 5 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, November 5.

The Student Activities Office is looking for volunteers to help the day of the event. Contact Taylor Sevigny at tsevigny@bu.edu or Devin Smith at devsmith@bu.edu for more information.

2 Comments
Leslie Friday, BU Today, Boston University
Leslie Friday

Follow Leslie Friday on Twitter at @lesliefriday.

2 Comments on BU’s Amazing Race Welcomes Tacky Tourists

  • Marisa Pond on 11.04.2014 at 9:09 am

    Sounds fun!

  • Taylor Sevigny on 11.04.2014 at 1:04 pm

    Just to clarify, the first group to cross the finish line is the official winner. If that group is a student organization, they win $3,000 or if that group is not registered as a student organization, they win $1,500.

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