Urban Dare Comes to Honolulu

photos: courtesy urban dare

The traveling adventure competition Urban Dare (think Amazing Race) comes to Hawaii for the first time this January. Its primary rule: Bring your smart phone. Launched by Kevin Keefe in 2005, Urban Dare is a chance for people to get to know their city while following a set of 12 clues to various checkpoints.

“I’ve done every type of race imaginable—marathons, triathlons, adventure races—and some of the reality TV shows inspired me to start this. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” says Keefe. “I thought it was just going to be a hobby, but now it’s my full-time job.”

Pairs of 20-to-35 year-olds (and a few in their 50s and 60s) will race around the city with digital cameras in hand, searching for clues. Teams are allowed to walk, run or take the bus as they follow their clues to checkpoints where they complete dares or snap photographic evidence.

Dares can include the old-fashioned three-legged race or free throw variety, or can get a little messier—like plunging your face into a plate full of whipped cream to find a buried piece of gum and blow a bubble.

“The dares are designed so that everybody can get through them. I don’t want anyone to not finish the race because of a dare. Some people get through them quicker than others, however, which allows for separation in the pack,” Keefe explains. He adds that winners typically finish in less than two hours, while most people take about twice as long.

Keefe attends 30 events a year, and usually visits a city a few days beforehand to single-handedly design the race. He hires local people for race-day work, such as stamping play passports after participants complete dares.

Honolulu’s winning duo will be awarded $300, and the top five teams are given free entry in next June’s “Super Dare,” where top teams from around the country will meet in Milwaukee to compete for $5,000.

Registration is $90 for a team of two, and part of the proceeds benefits the United Breast Cancer Foundation.