Best Local Alternative to The Amazing Race - 2008
The Great Urban Race
It's time to face some hard facts. You're never, ever gonna be cast as a contestant on The Amazing Race. No matter how many times you mail in your cute and clever videotape, the producers of the Emmy-winning CBS reality show (which involves a global scavenger hunt and race for $1 million) aren't going to be calling you back anytime soon. After swallowing that bitter pill, soothe your uncastable ass by signing up to compete in the Great Urban Race. Similar to its televised cousin, the competition (which usually goes down each spring in Tempe) involves teams of two or four who decipher clues and complete a number of odd tasks (such as finding a particular political candidate's campaign sign) in order to maneuver through a series of citywide checkpoints and cross the finish line first for cash and prizes. Teams are encouraged to come in costume to add to the zaniness of the event (such as a pair who dressed as Super Mario Brothers this past year). The prizes aren't as big as they are on TV, and it might not be the same as jetting off to South America, but it's still pretty damn fun.