Mayhem is about to ensue.
Prepare for, "preposterous & perplexing puzzles, cryptic & colossal challenges, daunting & death-defying deeds, fantastic & fearful flights, and mighty-morphing mind benders", as the first Spring Warren County Great Race approaches.
"The spring event is a first, as the traditional Warren County Great Race has been held in September and will continue to be as far as I know," organizer and former racer Bob Dilks said. "The Scavenger Hunt on steroids was conceived as a bonding / fun event for McKissock (Education) employees. They had so much fun that they opened it up to the public and a cult favorite was born."
Times Observer file photo
Participants in the 2008 Great Race work to piece together clues at the beginning of the trek.
Technically the event is heralded as the 2013th 1st Annual Spring Warren County Great Race. We'll reserve judgment on that name until at least next year.
"The Spring event is an attempt to open the event back up to employees of McKissock as well as the public," Dilks said. "In recent years McKissock staff have toiled over the planning and plotting of the race and the public has all the real fun. A group of us that have enjoyed the race in the past offered to step up and plan the race along side a few veteran McKissock race insiders."
McKissock and Youngsville Pharmacy are inviting the brave, the daring and the costume-inclined to register now for March 16's, "genetically-enhanced scavenger hunt/puzzle/road trip on steroids".
"I have worked to put on the race as a McKissock employee the past two Septembers," Organizer Lisa Streich said. "It is really great to see people outside of the company working so hard to put together a race where the McKissock employees will also be able to compete. We have been working on the race since late September, and I can say with confidence this will be one of the best great races ever!"
The "G-Rated" family-friendly event will present a chance for competing teams of up to four individuals of all ages to compete for $1,000 grand prize.
Two sub-categories will also offer $100 first prizes.
The "families with kids" category will, in what must be considered rather self-explanatory fashion, offer a chance for competition amongst teams including at least one adult and one pre-teen. Meanwhile, the "seniors" category will feature teams including at least two members who are 60 years-of-age or older; high school upper classmen need not apply.
Welcome news for tightwads, registration is free and may be completed by visiting the great race website at www.warrencountygreatrace.com.
"What is amazing," Dilks said, "is that Matt McKissock and the company bearing his name continues to support the event via underwriting the cost of planning and executing and even offering a $1,000 grand prize. Trophies, too. All this with no entry fee for participants."
An early check-in for the event will be held late in the day on Friday at 218 Liberty St. between 5 and 7 p.m. Check-in will require signed waivers available by visiting the race website.
For those determined to wait until the absolute last minute, registration and check-in may be completed Saturday morning no later than 8:30. Saturday check-in begins at 7:15 a.m.
Organizers advise against late-registration and check-in on Saturday morning.
There have been lines in the past, long, boring, soul-crushingly tedious lines.
While they expect to be able to accept entrants all morning, organizers warn too many procrastinators could lead them to cut off registrations, meaning you'll be turned away when you already got up early on a Saturday.
According to Dilks, "Early sign up is best so we can plan accordingly."
The event will officially begin at approximately 9 a.m.
Teams will then visit a series of manned stations located throughout the county.
At these stations somewhat ominously named Taskmasters will present challenges teams must complete successfully to move on.
"There is no field manual for the Great Race," Dilks said. "I hope participants enjoy the twisted puzzles, tasks and craziness that we have put together as much as we have enjoyed putting it together over the last few months."
Completing a station challenge will allow you to receive a punch on your Spring Great Race Passport, which won't get you out of the country but may get you a grand.
Clues to station locations will be provided throughout the day and station tasks may provide clues as well.
Taskmasters will ensure you actually arrived on-site by figuring out a clue, effectively eliminating the ability of less than entirely honest participants to just follow someone else around like a lost puppy.
Now why would anyone put up with being a part of such an utterly degrading spectacle?
The event is also a local food drive and helps support Tanzanian orphans.
"The Majengo Foundation, an orphanage in Tanzania, is the benefactor of optional contributions in lieu of an entry fee," Dilks noted.
Participants are asked to bring canned and shelf-stable foods along to donate when they arrive Saturday morning.
Organizers ask that you visit the Majengo Orphanage website at www.majengo.org where useful clues and information may or may not be buried. Organizers lean toward may.
Organizers also encourage teams to sponsor a Majengo child, which costs approximately $650 per-year, or $1.78 per-day, or $.44 per-day per-participant for a team of four. If this seems a bit steep for your budget, organizers encourage at least a $25 donation.
Donations will provide bonus points in the competition.
Further information on the event and an extensive FAQ can be found by visiting the race website or on Facebook.
"The great race is a hard thing to speak about specifically because you just don't want to give out too many details," Dilks added. "Surprise and intrigue are hallmarks of the event."
Accordingly, a theme for this year's race is still being kept from the rightful eyes of the public.