Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Recently I took part in the Amazing Race Jackson, a dynamic race in which teams of two collect clues to travel around parts of this great city of ours. After the fact I only have one word to truly describe this experience and that word is 


The amount of  planning and hard work that was put into this event, for 40 teams to have a good time, was remarkable. The challenges we 80 people faced were meant to test endurance, street smarts, physical fitness, and of course knowledge of Jackson. 

My team mate and I turned out to be a pretty successful match. We placed 4th in time out of 40 teams. I was nearly the youngest competitor in the race and my partner, Bill was the oldest. Only a few, very fit teams, beat us. 

It turned out that my 28 years of living in Jackson really paid off. I normally don't consider myself the best at directions or at reading clues, but to my amazement I navigated the race without a hitch. As we read each clue, directing us to the next Jackson landmark we had to visit, I didn't skip a beat. 

Our travels took us as far north to Ganson and Blackstone and as far south as Ella Sharp Golf Course. Challenges were meant to play on different team members strengths. We faced anything from math skills to memorization to Jackson High School trivia and rock climbing. 

My favorite moments:
1. Every moment I knew where I was going!
2. The challenge that took place at Jackson High School, my alma mater. Not only did I know all the trivia and knowledge of the school, Bill and I were the only two competitors completing the challenge at the time. It gave us a few peaceful moments with one of the most beautiful structures in Jackson. 
3. Getting to climb the rock wall at the YMCA. I was excited to find out that this was the challenge, I thought to myself wooo free climbing! 

The race was long and hard and certainly took lots of endurance- both mental and physical. I met and had conversations with lots of wonderful people. It was a lot of fun bonding with so many new folks on our shared pains and challenges! This race stripped people down to their bare humanity. It's easier getting to know someone when they are experiencing vulnerability. 

Just because they were so remarkable I want to mention just a few of the 24 challenges we faced along the route. 

-Hit a golf ball onto the green in 10 tries or less at the Ella Sharp Golf Course simulator. 
-Paddle a tandem kayak around Cascades pond looking for a limerick to memorize and recite later. 
-Drag a kettle bell back and forth across the grass at Betsy Butterfield Park a total of 100 times. 
-Run up Cascades Falls counting the amount of lampposts, planter boxes, and waterfall lips, remembering all three numbers. 
-Learn six scouting knots from a Boy Scout troop and demonstrate them. 

This wonderful event raised over $6,000 for the Fitness Council of Jackson, gave a lot of fun and challenge to 80 people, and was a remarkable showcase of this city of ours. I wasn't ready to use the word fun to describe the race while I was in it however, looking back now, all I can do is smile big.