- Facility Listings
- Contact Us
- Board of Trustees
- Sponsorship Opportunities
- Strategic Plan
- Park Bench & OSPRI Updates
- Volunteer Opportunities
- Gift Cards
- FVPD Green Team
- Scholarship Program
- Memorial Tree and Bench Program
- Park Foundation
- Public Notices
- Rules and Regulations
- Freedom of Information Act
- Eola Fitness Center
- Prisco Fitness Center
- Vaughan Fitness Center
- Splash Country Water Park
- Phillips Park Aquatic Center
- Outdoor Season Passes and Daily Rates
- Outdoor Water Parks - Weather Closings/Updates
- Outdoor Swim Lessons & Programs
- Vaughan Indoor Water Park
- Indoor Swim Lessons & Programs
- Indoor Water Exercise
- Indoor Annual Passes and Daily Rates
- Aquatic Policies
Conquering crazy clues: Amazing Race returns Aug. 3, 2013
Posted July 23, 2013
A high school math teacher, Nicole Faulstich is smart enough to do the calculations. And in this case, things just didn’t add up.
But her team – 4 Femmes on the Fox – was determined to defy the numbers, even if they were against them.
“The challenge was to catapult water balloons over the Fox River – or run to the other side,” said Faulstich. “We all knew deep down that no matter how hard we flung those balloons, none of them were going to make it. But it was so hot that nobody wanted to run.
“We lost a lot of valuable time. We should have just figured it out from the start and done the run!”
Decisions, decisions … so go the challenges in the Fox Valley Amazing Race, the local adaptation of the famously frenetic TV show in which teams follow clues, perform crazy capers and conquer bizarre challenges in pursuit of victory.
Faulstich and her fellow Femmes will be back for more mind games and physical challenges when this year’s event – the fifth annual – is held on Aug. 3, launching from the Vaughan Athletic Center. Registration is open through this Saturday (July 27).
Whether it’s slinging water balloons, eating habanero meatballs or digging in sandboxes for the right amount of loose change, these seemingly silly exploits are serious business for the dozens of teams that will tackle this odyssey of adventure.
“Our goal isn’t just to meet every challenge – we need to finish every challenge,” said Dana Rodriguez, who’s teamed with husband Victor since the event began in 2009 to form the Dojo Mojo Smurfs. “It’s hard to get through them all, but I love it; it’s like the mini version of the TV show.”
Whereas the TV show features competitors that jump from continent to continent across the globe, Fox Valley’s turf is the three-city metropolis of Aurora, North Aurora and Montgomery.
Teams of four will traverse the communities via car and foot in hopes of conquering each challenge, outsmarting the competition and navigating their way on a map to victory. Call it a scavenger hunt on steroids, requiring brains, brawn and savvy instincts.
“There are some physical challenges, but it also involves navigation skills, planning and decision-making,” said event organizer Matt Odom. “Teamwork is the No. 1 component – those who work best together will have the greatest success. Every team member needs to bring different strengths.”
Without giving away specifics, Odom said the race will feature upward of 10 sites and 30 different challenges. The race course will include stops at any of the Park District’s 164 parks and many of its facilities such as Blackberry Farm and Red Oak Nature Center, among others. Non-Park District sites will be in the mix as well.
Faulstich hopes her team benefits from a little “home course advantage.” Teammate Quyen Huyen grew up in Aurora, so she has plenty of local knowledge to share with teammates Kari Nicholson and Jenn Furuglyas.
“We want to win it, but what we really love is the journey and trying to figure everything out faster than everybody else,” said Faulstich. “It’s a lot of fun hanging out with friends and enjoying good times together.”
The competition will end with some friendly camaraderie. After chasing and solving and conquering for five-plus hours, teams will celebrate with wings, pizza, pasta and drink specials at Mike & Denise’s, with an awards ceremony to boot.
Wonder if anybody will try to eat an Oreo off their forehead at the party? Or order freeze-dried minnows on their pizza as they share their tall tales and amazing stories?
Jeff Long is the public relations manager for the Fox Valley Park District. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org