When my friend Jeric asked me to join the 1st Environmental Law Society of the Ateneo (ELSA) Amazing Race, I was awestruck at the top cash prize – Php 12,000.00. The fact that the race rules disallowed the use of private cars, guides, support crews and stipulated a limited fare allowance galvanized my positive decision. Electronic gadgets, cellphones and iPad’s included, were strictly prohibited. The huge cash prize juxtaposed with “four Metro Manila cities” sounded daunting.
“Challenge accepted!” I told myself, quoting the iconic Barney Stinson.
Back in our freshman year in college, James and I (plus some of our track & field and volleyball friends) joined a similarly patterned race, albeit at a far lesser scale. Also in that year, I served as part of another friend’s support crew for the AXN Adventure Race. Those two races, as well as my commuting street smarts and track & field background, pretty much summed up my insufficient Amazing Race curriculum vitae.
Although I expected a fairly difficult course, little did I know that we were in for a prolonged battle of wits, endurance, quick-thinking, and patience.
We assembled in Rockwell for registration. Thinking of a team name proved to be a hard task, with options like “Pining Garcia,” “Ping Guerrero” (a Joe Baricaua brainchild), and “Makati Brief Co.” (yet another Joe invention) meriting quick dismissals. We settled for the innocous “Team Andrei Blancia,” as a tribute to the self-descirbed “ultimate flaker” himself.
Ample supplies of Gatorade and mineral water were distributed, as our bags were checked for prohibited items. We were introduced to our designated “runners,” personnel from ELSA who observed our adherence to the strict rules. After a few words from the race organizers, the game was on.
Read more of this post