Bakersfield’s Stewards Inc. hosted the first Amazing Race on Saturday, April 13th.
“It was pretty awesome,” said Andrew Saenz, marketing coordinator of the event. Over 150 people showed up to participate in the scavenger and obstacle course. The first place winners of the race were team Talk Nerdy To Me. They were awarded $1,000 in the awards ceremony at On the Rocks Bar & Grill.
The winners of the costume party were another team. They were named team Valley Fever. They won $300 for the best costume. Their team was dressed up as the Bakersfield arch located by Sillect Avenue. Some of the other team names were team Sole Mates, Speed Racers, Valley Fever, 2 Hot Dogs, 2 Tacos, Race To The Alter, Children First, Super Moms, and The Things to name a few among the more than 50 teams that participated.
The object of this game was to start at Stewards Inc. at 2211 H Street and walk or run until the finish line at On the Rocks Bar & Grill in 1517 18th Street while strategically solving the clues given to each team to make their way through the game.
The organizers of this event have already started their countdown for next year’s Amazing Race. It is still going to be open to the public, and it will remain a scavenger hunt and obstacle course. Clues will still be given to teams, and smart phones will still be permissible for the facilitation of navigation.
But “it’s going to be bigger, even better,” said Andrew Saenz. “It’s going to be huge next year.” Saenz said that they are going to make some changes to make that possible.
Next year, they are hoping to get different hosts to participate, and hopefully they will be able to run different games within the race.
Saenz said that this year Mayor Harvey Hall opened up the race by blowing his whistle at noon at Stewards Inc. But next year they are going to see if Hall can host a game as well. They are also looking into getting different hosts to participate in this event. One thing that will not be changed is the location. “We will always try to keep it downtown,” said Saenz.
Sofia Velez, 27, attends California State University Bakersfield and participated in the race. “I lost,” said Velez. “But I did need the exercise, and I helped charity.” Velez said that she will be running again next year. “Maybe I’ll win,” said Velez. “It is $1,000.”
Without dismay, money was a good incentive for part of the Bakersfield community to participate, and to help Stewards Inc. raise profits for the needy.
Stewards Inc. has been helping out the Bakersfield community since the 1990s. It also has another location in Bellflower, California. The organization gives seniors assistance with budgeting their money, and making ends meet by managing the Social Security benefits of the people they serve.