After getting home from the race our family went for a drive listening to the cassette tape with recordings of the families singing their favorite songs. It was great! My kids loved it! They were singing along. We listened to it almost 5 times!!! So while they listened to the music, Jeff and I discussed the race. So here are some of the problems/issues and how to solve it.
1.Many teams finished the race REALLY early!!! Much earlier than we thought they would!
To solve this we need to have someone at the pit stop within minutes after the beginning of the race to greet any who may solve it VERY QUICKLY!!!
Another option would be to have participants have to go to the same number of places and do the same number of challenges but in whatever order they choose so it's based on strategy, skill and how fast they can move!
2. The church parking lot was not a good place for kids to have to hang out since there wasn't a place to sit (no grass no chairs, no play equipment)
I chose that parking lot because the race ended at sundown and would be dark soon. Also because it was private. I knew no one else would be in that parking lot. There was only one park near us that was well lit, but it had no play equipment and no off street parking. In the future end it before sundown at a public park, if the group is small enough end at a home, if someone has a large backyard have participants gather at their backyard. If you have to do it at a place with no seating- take some folding chairs. If there is grass encourage participants to bring picnic blankets.
3. People got backed up at certain challenges
Encourage people not to go in order or move on to another home if they see a lot of cars in front. Tell people to be flexible.
4. People unexpectedly show up who you don't have room to accomodate (THIS LUCKILY DIDN'T HAPPEN WITH OUR RACE)
Either be honest with them and tell them that since they did not RSVP you didn't plan on them. Or if they are a small group see if another car can absorb them and take them with them. If they are a large group see if they are willing to split up. To keep this from happening make extra photocopies of all needed RACE documents. If you go all out, like I did, to make family portfolios you should make a couple extra and then photocopy all documents for an extra participants.
5. How can we make this race better?
Jeff and I next time want to do something else next time. Here's what we are thinking: We'll have like 12 homes next time with about half of them as challenges. I'll buy 12 ink pads at the dollar store and cheap rubber stamps if I need to. Then at each Letterbox I'll have an ink pad and a stamp. Each Team will be given a Passport book. They need to collect all 12 stamps in their book as proof they they went to EACH house. This will ensure that all teams are out for similiar times. Plus... it will be easier to gauge how long they will be out. I think kids or even couples only would have fun collecting stamps in their passports and doing challenges. If it were a 'Couples Only' race there are so many other fun challenges that could be done.
On option to the stamps would be to have the teams collect items from each location and have to bring them back to the pitstop. Like one home may have bouncy balls at their doorstep. Another team may have candy bars. Etc.... and the winner shows up at a predetermined spot with all 12 items!
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