Outdoors

‘Amazing Race meets the Fair’ is the newest way to do the Puyallup

Answers to important questions nobody has asked me yet:

How many calories would I burn if I played the role of a sheep at a Puyallup fair mutton busting event? (And, yes, I’m well aware it’s called the Washington State Fair.)

I have absolutely no idea, but you might be able to find out for yourself Sept. 7.

For the first time, the Puyallup fair will stage a race, and when it comes to putting giving it little different spin than a standard 5K, officials aren’t messing around.

“It’s like the Amazing Race meets the Washington State Fair,” said Beth Brooks, manager of the fair’s foundation fund, the beneficiary of the race.

The races start at noon and 6 p.m. when the fairgrounds are packed with people and the event is designed to reward teams for their cunning and speed.

The fields are limited to 500 people each (the earlier race is for all ages and the later race is for those 21 and older), and there is no established route. Racers, split into teams of 2-5, will be given a list of clues to solve, tasks to complete and pictures to take.

All of the tasks are top secret, Brooks said, but they could include anything from filling in for a mutton busting sheep to asking a stranger to pour a bottle of water on your head to obliterating your diet at the Krusty Pup stand.

“It will be wild and wacky,” Brooks said.

The fair partnered with the Xplore Adventure Racing Series, a nationwide urban racing tour, to stage the race.

Each team needs a data-enable tablet or phone. And it must have a camera. Brooks also recommends downloading the “Washington State Fair” app to help navigate the fairgrounds and solve clues.

Brooks estimates the races will take about 3-4 hours each, depending on how well the teams know the fair and, presumably, how distracted they are by the smells coming from the Elephant Ear stand.

The winner is determined by their speed and points earned by completing tasks.

The winning team gets $100 and the choice of a “fair experience.” Second and third places get $75 and $50, respectively.

Entry is $35 and includes admission to the fair. Or, for an extra $20, you’ll get a second ticket to return to the fair on another day, a shirt, decal and a bonus clue to use in the race. Kids 5 and younger are free.

Booth said contestants are warned to be respectful of other fairgoers and to be cautious when dashing around the facilities.

“It’s going to be fun, a chance to see the fair from a different perspective,” Brooks said. “… I’m really excited to see the wackiness that ensues.”

For more information visit thefair.com.

Aren’t Volksmarch walks typically pretty easy? What if I want something a little more challenging?

If you’re a fit, experienced walker you won’t have much trouble finishing a volksmarch,

The walks typically have a 5- or 10-kilometer option, and are geared to be welcoming to most people.

The Capitol Volkssport Club, however, is ratcheting these walks up a few notches when they host the Quinault Walking Festival Friday-Sept.7 in the Quinault Rain Forest.

Over the three days they’ll host four walks covering as much as 95 kilometers (59 miles) combined, according to Perki Sweet, the club’s publicity chairwoman.

One walk even climbs about 3,500 feet to the summit of Colonel Bob Peak, 4,492 feet above sea level.

Of course, there will be easier walking opportunities too.

The Quinault Rain Forest Nature Trails Walk has 7- and 10-kilometer options that visit the world’s largest Sitka spruce tree as participants hike through the “Valley of the Giants.”

The Kalaloch Beach and Nature Walk has 5-, 10- and 20-kilometer options and chances to explore tide pools.

The longest option is the 42-kilometer (nearly a marathon) hike though Enchanted Valley. A shorter, 10K, route is also available.

Sweet recommends boots, trekking poles, a day pack, first aid kit, a hiking buddy and plenty of water and snacks.

The hikes offer various opportunities to work toward volkssport challenges. The event is free, but $3 per walk for those looking to earn American Volkssport Association credit.

For more information visit capitolvolkssportclub.org.

As the world’s slowest swimmer, do you have a recommendation for a first triathlon this late in the season?

If you swim as poorly as I do (and odds are you probably don’t), you’re likely looking for something with a short swim section so you can test how you feel in the water.

As I wrote previously, I should have done this before I tried my first triathlon, a half Ironman race with a 1.2-mile swim. My mistake cost me and I was out of the race before I was even within sight of my bike.

The season is winding down, but there are still a few options for trying a tri. Here are two:

Saturday: Mary Meyer Life Fitness is staging the Cottage Lake Tri, 18831 NE Woodinville-Duvall Road, Woodinville. This race is nice and short with a 400-yard swim, 9-mile bike and a 1.6-mile run. But if that’s too easy, many athletes jump back in and do the race again (without their wetsuit). marymeyerlifefitness.com

Sept. 14-15: Nolte State Park near Enumclaw hosts a half Ironman, Olympic and sprint distance triathlon and other races (including a duathlon if you want to ditch the swimming entirely). But Sept. 15, the event has a non-competitive Tri-It race that has a 440-yard swim followed by an 11.4-mile bike and a 2.8-mile run. aasportsltd.com

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