A steady stream of participants entered Coveleski Stadium Friday evening to pick up their registration materials. Many had pre-registered, but Urban Adventure will accept new registrants until just before the start of the race Saturday morning.
The Urban Adventure Games create a few dozen checkpoints (organizers keep the exact number a secret) throughout South Bend and Notre Dame for high adventure enthusiast and families with teenagers. The hope is to introduce them to parts of the city they may never experience without the game.
"We almost enable the experience to get people here and to have fun and want to come back because if you have a good experience you're more likely to tell people and do it again," said organizer Erin Busch.
Starting at 8:30 a.m., participants rush to complete as many checkpoints as they can until 1:00 p.m. Organizers are tight-lipped about where the checkpoints are located or what participants will be doing, however one checkpoint usually includes rafting on the East Race and a zip line.
"I'm terrified of the zip line across the St Joe River. I've never zip lined before I told him [my husband] to just zip me in, strap me up and push me, don't even think about it," said Sandra Doshi, who is competing for the first time with her husband Robert.
Although Sandra lives nearby, she has never taken advantage of many of the items offered at the checkpoints.
"It was interesting coming here [to Coveleski Stadium] because just walking in I was like wow we've never seen this, we've not been to this park. We have to come here. So we expect a lot more experiences like that."
Urban Adventure said Sandra's experience is common along the race. Last year the games included a photo clue of the Navarre Cabin that stumped many racers.
"I can't tell you how many people don't know it’s there. You pass it every day and I would say every racer has that experience with least at one checkpoint," said Busch. "It's used to showcase the city, get people out to experience it, have fun so they want to do it again. Not just for next year's urban adventure, but so they go out on their own with family and go to of the places that might have been a checkpoint."
Sandra's husband Robert said he's also looking forward to experiencing sights he's never seen along the race.
"Unfortunately when you work and you have kids, life just gets too busy. So being able to do something like this actually forces you to see the things that are out here," said Robert.
Urban Adventure will accept last minute registrants from 6:00 a.m. until 7:30 a.m. at Coveleski Stadium on Saturday. The race begins at 8:30 a.m. for Eliete and Open racers and 9:30 a.m. for Family and Junior racers.
Organizers boast an improved checkpoint layout and new maps for this year's games.
For more information click the link below.