Fayette County

More than 100 traverse downtown for Urban Dare contest

Urban Dare participants Brian Ramey and Michelle Hogg jumped rope with the help of Urban Dare official Aaron Slatten at Chase Bank Plaza in downtown Lexington on Saturday. Participants also faced trivia questions and had to make their way to various Lexington landmarks.
Urban Dare participants Brian Ramey and Michelle Hogg jumped rope with the help of Urban Dare official Aaron Slatten at Chase Bank Plaza in downtown Lexington on Saturday. Participants also faced trivia questions and had to make their way to various Lexington landmarks.

Urban Dare, a combination footrace, trivia challenge and scavenger hunt, attracted 65 teams of two to downtown Lexington on Saturday for their one-day Amazing Race-like adventure.

The teams were tasked with finding 11 checkpoints, all between Chevy Chase and downtown, in any order. Most were photo clues, requiring them to find and snap pictures of themselves at various Lexington landmarks.

People from all walks of life took part. Amy Reneer and Stella Loveland, teachers at Russell Cave Elementary, answered the questions and mapped the sites before venturing out from the beginning meet-up at Lynagh's Irish Pub.

Lexington police officers Samantha and Tim Moore figured they had an advantage. "We know where things are," Samantha said.

Eric and Tara Stamper were celebrating their 11th wedding anniversary, which was Friday. Eric works at UK, and Tara is a personal trainer. "He thought this would be fun for our anniversary," Tara said.

At three locations, the teams had to perform dares. One was to jump rope five consecutive times along Main Street. Contestants had to find two volunteers to turn the rope. Another was to find two people to re-enact the famous photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt in which a sailor kissed a nurse in Times Square as people heard World War II had ended.

The advantage for most clues went to Lexington residents. Robert and David Ferguson of Bardstown were in town visiting their father and stood perplexed in front of the Bell House.

"We're kind of lost. We don't know Lexington," said Robert, noting they had solved two clues in about 45 minutes.

It took just 1 hour and 23 minutes for winners Dave Tweedie and Dave Kuendig to finish. Tweedie, 32, and Kuendig, 31, who were friends from the University of Kentucky, ran about 7 miles between the various checkpoints, Tweedie figured.

They sprinted toward Euclid Avenue at one point after reading the clue that said to find a beer establishment with the same name as the family in The Sound of Music.

"We figured the von Trapp family pretty fast," Kuendig said. The two went tearing off to the Beer Trappe.

Meanwhile, the pair's support staff — Kuendig's wife and another pal's girlfriend — were solving other clues, plotting locations on a map, and feeding the guys the answers over the cellphone, since all competitors could call friends for help.

"We got lucky because we didn't do a lot of back tracking," said Kuendig, who swam with Tweedie at UK.

From the Beer Trappe in Chevy Chase, the clues took them to Thoroughbred Park on East Main Street, the Henry Clay law office on North Mill Street, the Patterson log cabin at Broadway and West Third Street, and the Mary Todd Lincoln House on West Main.

The team won $300 and qualified to compete in a national Urban Dare contest that is tentatively scheduled for May in Chicago, said organizer John Toner.

The Lexington event was one of 45 Urban Dares being held nationwide this summer. The idea originated with Toner's partner, Kevin Keefe, about five years ago.

The idea is nothing more complicated than "just to have fun," Toner said.

After winning, Tweedie and Kuendig sat in a booth at Lynagh's drinking water with friends Greg Hengel and Brian Plitnick, who also swam for UK. Hengel, who came up from Sarasota, Fla., and Plitnick finished in an hour and 53 minutes.

Kuendig said they were all going to shower and head to Keeneland to watch the running of the Belmont Stakes.

"It's a good weekend," Hengel said.

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