Twenty-five corporate teams ran, biked, boxed and bribed their way around the city yesterday, in the third annual Amazing Race Wollongong.
Teams of four set off from the Novotel Wollongong Northbeach at 1pm, following a set of clues that led to challenges and tasks - some entertaining, some exhausting - dotted around the city, with contestants raising money for Mission Australia.
Novotel human resources manager Emily Squires said participants raised up to $20,000 through donations, as well as a system of "bribes" to get an advantage in - or even skip altogether - some of the difficult challenges.
"We wanted to showcase Wollongong and the local attractions and businesses we have," she said.
"Teams got to have an experience in all different activities and see what the city has to offer."
Tasks included paddle boarding around Belmore Basin, a tug-of-war with a team of costumed superheroes, basketball and soccer challenges, and dressing up in bridal wear in Market Square.
Just like the television show, teams had to beat challenges and solve clues to progress. But in an innovative twist, contestants downloaded an app to their mobile phones, which tracked their progress after scanning a QR code at each checkpoint.
Judie Topper competed as part of Team House With No Steps, her team coming a close second behind winners Essential Personnel, who completed the 20-stop course in just under two hours. She said the Savvy Fitness and basketball challenges were the most demanding, but their team had a lot of fun in the sun.
"We couldn't have asked for a more fun day," she said.
Graham Wilson, manager of Best & Less in Wollongong Central, was part of a GPT group. His team enjoyed challenges around guessing pizza ingredients and beer tasting, and said they spent "a reasonable amount" bribing their way through the tougher challenges.
"We got to see a lot of beautiful Wollongong, getting to spend most of the day down near the beach," he said. "It was a really great Friday afternoon."
Ms Squires said plans were already in motion to bring the Amazing Race back next year.
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