Instead of a trip around the world, participants will be making their way around St. Jacobs in the local version of the Amazing Race.
For the first time, the St. Jacobs Community Association is hosting the St. Jacobs Amazing Race, hoping to bring new people into town while also raising money for the betterment of the community.
Melissa Fishman, one of the organizers, says the first year of planning has been a whirlwind, with enthusiastic responses from both local businesses and those taking part.
“We are completely sold out. We sold out on the first day. We have had a huge response. It has been amazing. We will have 50 teams of between two and five people,” she said. “We have around ten local businesses that are participating in the race as stations. We also have about 12 more businesses that are helping with prizes and things like that. They are heavily involved.”
The event, which takes place on June 12, is modeled on the television show where teams of two travel around the world completing tasks to receive a clue leading them to the next obstacle.
“It will all be on foot within a five-kilometre radius around town. We have a family division and an adult division. We also have a lot of kid-oriented businesses participating, for example, the Grind Hockey Training will be here,” said Fishman. “They will set up obstacles that are relevant to their business to promote themselves, but also be challenging enough that people have to complete the obstacle before they can carry on, just like the show.”
Fishman says she doesn’t want to give too much away about the different stations and obstacles the teams will be facing, just so nobody has an advantage.
“We will have a few mind-type stations like puzzle solving, there will be some from Safety Tree Canada, who run the Home Alone courses and the babysitting courses, and those will be related to their business,” she shared. “So for example, maybe a dad is going to have to properly change a diaper and feed a baby before he can get his next clue. There are all sorts of different ideas for how businesses are setting up their own stations and I think that we have Elmira Bowl coming down to set up a bowling lane as well.”
The response for the race was something Fishman and the organizers weren’t expecting, but they are running with it.
“It was a surprise, but I think that the collaboration of the local businesses, everyone had it on their social media, it was shared on Facebook at least 24 times by people that I didn’t even know. It was re-Tweeted by businesses Ontario-wide, so we have people signed up from Sarnia, London to run the race as well. It surprised us a little bit, but in a fantastic way. If this is something that we can do every year to bring people into St. Jacobs then by all means,” she said.