Street Scramble to take over Gig Harbor

Free event on May 24 is an urban scavenger hunt throughout town

Staff writerMay 14, 2014 

Participants in last year’s Gig Harbor Street Scramble consult maps before heading out to find clues.

YMCA/COURTESY PHOTO

From Uptown to downtown to Gig Harbor North, teams of sleuths will be trying to find as many clues on a city map as possible.

Now in it’s seventh year, the YMCA urban scavenger hunt known as the Gig Harbor Street Scramble will have clues hidden all over the city.

“It’s an event to get folks out and active in the community,” said Kirstin Stave, director of community outreach for the Tom Taylor Family YMCA. She said that over the years, more than 650 folks have been out and active thanks to the Street Scramble.

This year’s scramble is May 24, beginning at Skansie Brothers Park, 3211 Harborview Drive. Check-in time is 8:30-9:30 a.m. The race for clues kicks off at 10 a.m.

From there, it’s up to the team to decide where to go next. The map has 30 clues and there are two competition times: 90 minutes and three hours. Checkpoints can be found in any order.

Checkpoints have descriptions on the map such as “sculpture” or “road bend.” Then, the team must prove it was there by answering a question such as “what is the second word on the sculpture’s plaque?”

The race is “person powered,” so no cars are allowed. Bikes, feet, Razor scooters, skateboards are allowed, Stave said.

The race is open to families with strollers as well. Some teams are comprised of all runners. Some are made up of walkers, joggers and bikers, Stave said.

“You discover things about your community you might not have known,” she said. It’s a great way to “find gems” in the city for longtime residents and it’s a perfect introduction to new Gig Harborites.

There are participant ribbons for all and medals to the top three in each of 10 categories. At the finish line there will be booths with vendors, music and family-friendly activities.

It’s the teamwork that makes the scramble rewarding. Stave said that to succeed teams must work together to find the best route and gather the clues. Teams may be made of five or fewer participants.

The YMCA partners with Meridian Geographics, MerGeo, in Seattle. The Gig Harbor scramble is the only free version in the Puget Sound.

“What makes this (Street Scramble) unique is we offer it to our community for free thanks to our sponsors,” Stave said.

Uptown Gig Harbor, MultiCare, the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation, Route 16 Running and Walking and Columbia Bank sponsor the event. The city of Gig Harbor works with the YMCA to put it together.

The first 200 participants to pre-register receive a T-Shirt. Registration will be open early and at the morning of the scramble.

For more information on registration, go to ymcapkc.org/streetscramble.

It won’t be an easy map to complete. Stave said the shear size and scope makes finding all the spots difficult. Clues change from year to year.

“Rarely do people get all of the (clues). It’s designed to be a challenge,” she said.

Karen Miller: 253-358-4155 karen.miller@gateline.com Twitter: @gateway_karen

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