On June 18th, Milwaukee Makerspace participated in The Great Milwaukee Race as a challenge sponsor.
The Great Milwaukee Race is a scavenger hunt/series of challenges across downtown Milwaukee that was started in 2010 by Fit Milwaukee and friends. This year’s event was put on by Fit Milwaukee, AJ Bombers and Performance Running Outfitters. In 2010, 50 teams of 2-4 racers competed in the inaugural race. This year 75 teams raced throughout downtown Milwaukee and along the lakefront to find all 10 of the challenge locations and get their passports stamped.
The post i made a couple weeks ago (I’m welding! I’m a welder now!) about my Ridiculously Large Jacks was a preview of the challenge that we would run at the race. After the initial batch of jacks was finished, Sean, Kevin, Adam and David helped me fine tune the game a bit in our hangar before the event itself.
Shane helped me run the event on race day and it worked like this:
- Team would decode the clue to our location and decide on when they should come to our station.
- When they showed up, they had to nominate two players.
- One player was the bouncer and was in charge of bouncing and catching a kickball.
- The other player (the grabber) donned a pair of gardening gloves and had to pick up the jacks.
- On the first bounce, the grabber would have to pick up and hold onto one jack before the bouncer caught the ball.
- On the second bounce, the grabber would have to pick up 2 more jacks while holding onto the previous jacks.
- Repeat for 3 and 4 jacks.
The game only took a couple of minutes when done correctly, but some teams were faster than others. We also saw a variety of techniques. Some grabbers would try to stash the nearly 12″ diameter jacks under their arms. Some folks spread the jacks out between their hands and used them like claws to scoop up the remaining jacks. One women even stashed the jacks in her running shorts, but they were a bit heavier than she bargained for.
We were stationed at the underpass at water and pearson, across from Trocadero. After watching what was happening for a while, the Trocadero bartenders popped out to see what was happening up close. We invited them to play a game and they did pretty well! Another couple came by to watch and started laughing at the silliness they saw so we invited them to play as well. They had a few close calls with some wild bounces, but took care of the round with only a couple of do-overs. They looked pretty happy by the end of the game.
We heard really good feedback from racers and the organizers of the event. The game was odd enough to give people pause before they jumped in, but easy enough that it could be completed in a couple of minutes. The fun we had with this has led us to discuss making some more oversized games to bring to parks in the area. Stay tuned for more info on this front.
Thanks again to Fit Milwaukee and the other Great Milwaukee Race organizers for letting us be a part of this event and thanks to the racers for being such good sports!