Last weekend, my son and I competed in The Queen City Stampede, a 5K scavenger hunt race criss-crossing nearly every crevice of Manchester, NH. The race lived up to its billing as parent-child friendly version of “The Amazing Race” reality show with a lot less pressure. In the end, we probably wound up covering about 10 miles — much of the excess devoted to finding an elusive rock sculpture in front of the New Hampshire Institute of Art. There are at least four different NHIA buildings spread out through Manchester, and we scurried to them all.
My father-son team was called “The Inators,” a reference to the wacky inventions created by mad scientist Hans Doofenschmirtz (note the brown shirts) from the cartoon “Phineas and Ferb.” My nephew and his girlfriend teamed up as “Darwin’s Disciples” with homemade shirts featuring the bearded scientist and his evolutionary Jesus fish-inspired logo.
The Stampede involved following a series of clues to famous and not-so-famous parts of the city and completing a challenge at each stop. Some of the challenges were ridiculously easy, such as this hula hoop twirling exercise in which one teammate spins it on his or her arm for three minutes and has to transfer it to the partner’s arm without stopping. Continue reading