amazing LA race.

7 Jan

This post is wayyyyy overdue, but on December 22nd my roommate Jenn and I participated in a fun local event — called the Amazing Los Angeles Race (it is also sometimes called the Fantastic Race: Los Angeles).  We had a great time and think it would be the perfect event for a birthday party or bachelorette party (for competitive types, obviously).  Jenn had really been wanting to do a race like this for awhile, and we found a Goldstar deal for $35 a person to play.  Done and done.

We met on a Sunday morning a little before 11 am at the Hollywood Bowl.  We were the first team to arrive (obviously).  We signed a couple of waivers and waited for the other 8 or so teams to arrive.  We struggled to come up with a clever team name, so our default was team Lawesome. Whatever, it worked.

waiting to begin.

waiting to begin.

The lead organizer, Larry, explained the rules in a Phil-like fashion.  Jenn and my main motivation for doing this was to experience a little bit of The Amazing Race — a show we’re both obsessed with.


After a few minutes, we were off! I won’t go into every challenge in case this could spoil it for future participants, but the clues had us traversing through the seats of the Hollywood Bowl, trekking to DTLA on the metro and exploring Union Station, Olvera Street, Chinatown, and the cathedral, as well as some tourist destinations in Hollywood.

We’d watched enough of The Amazing Race to know that if we built a lead early, it’d be tough for other teams to catch up.  Our first clue took us on the metro, but we had to solve a puzzle to know which stop to get off at.  While I drove to to the metro, Jenn solved the puzzle, so by the time we got to the station we knew exactly where we were headed.  The same cannot be said for the team who followed us through the Hollywood and Highland metro station (running after us).  They got on the metro and attempted to solve the puzzle as we were sitting pretty waiting for our stop.  We knew they’d just wait and see where we got off, so at about 5 or 6 stops too early, we got out of the car they were in and moved one car over.  We never saw them again the entire race. Mission accomplished.

Jenn is great at puzzles so anything puzzle or game related was her job.  We both know LA really well, so we were probably at an advantage over say, the mother/daughter duo visiting from Australia.  This would be a really fun way to learn a new city, though, and I want to check and see if cities I’m visiting have things like this in the future!

leaving a challenge at el kiosco at Olvera St.

leaving a challenge at el kiosco at Olvera St.

Jenn working her puzzle skills in Chinatown.

Jenn working her puzzle skills in Chinatown.

We saw a couple of teams when we were finishing a portion of the challenges and figured we had a good 20 minute lead.  We ended the challenge and met up with Larry at a bar in Hollywood.  We won!


sunburned and sleepy-eyed.

We finished in about 2.5 hours — and apparently only about 6 minutes off the record.  We had to wait about that long for a metro once — and we stopped to buy water toward the end.  Dang.

We waited about 30 minutes for the next team and enjoyed our celebratory (and complementary) beers and fries. It was fun reliving the day and chatting with the other teams as they trickled in.


I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone — an LA native or not!  It would also be good for families, but probably kids ages 10 and up so they can contribute and not get super tired.  (It is 2.5+ hours of constant movement, more or less).

The company also puts on a separate LA Race (the races on Saturdays are always the same.  We did the Sunday race), as well as a Santa Monica and a Disneyland Race.  I’d love to try their other races!

Do you watch The Amazing Race?

Have you done a scavenger hunt type race before? 

Unrelated: This is my 400th Post on That’s G.  Weird, right?

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