Fun guaranteed at Amazing Race Wollongong 2014

Wollongong Amazing Race founders Chantelle Drolc and Emily Squires. Picture: GREG ELLIS
Wollongong Amazing Race founders Chantelle Drolc and Emily Squires. Picture: GREG ELLIS

Mercury Series - Making A Difference

A fund-raising event started by two human resource managers at the Novotel Wollongong Northbeach three years ago is not only getting bigger, but supporting more charities that help local people in 2014.

The Amazing Race Wollongong is based on a similar concept to television's Amazing Race and this year 35 teams are expected to take part.

For founders Emily Squires and Chantelle Drolc the emphasis will be fun, which is part of the reason the two women are dyeing their hair pink for this year's event on September 5.

Last year, the Amazing Race Wollongong raised close to $25,000 and this year the target is $30,000.

The goal is to raise enough money so $10,000 can be handed to each of the nominated charities.

"This year we have a number of new teams ready to give the competition a stir, as well as some return teams from the last two years," Ms Drolc said.

"This year, we are fund-raising for three charities, including local charity The Warrawong Project, as well as Light and Hope and Aspect for Autism."

Light and Hope is a mental health clubhouse that is also the subject of another fund-raising campaign called Highlights for Hope. And that is why Ms Drolc and Mrs Squires have decided to highlight their hair.

As organisers, they cannot compete in the Amazing Race on the day. However, they are going to set up a link before the event so people can donate for them being brave enough to go pink.

Mrs Squires said they wanted to stage a record event this year and encouraged teams of four to register now for $250 at

She said businesses interested in hosting a checkpoint for $450 could also contact her on 4224 3152 or Ms Drolc on 4224 3140.

"This year, we have the wonderful Paul Erickson from Xperimental Studios on board again to design our Amazing Race app and website.

"That means for 2014's race you will again need an iPhone or Android device."

All the information required for the event will be online when teams download the RaceGong app free from the Apple AppStore or Google Play Store.

Mrs Squires said the race would again involve some running but that was not compulsory and she emphasised the event was not just a race. Teams would have to stop and make plenty of decisions along the way and strategy was equally important.

There are also prizes for things such as best-dressed team and highest fund-raiser, and promoting businesses that teams represented was encouraged as part of that.

During the event, teams can travel only by foot or by the free Gong Shuttle but there will be some other transport-related activities along the way.

"Teams will also be permitted to bribe the checkpoint marshalls, but there will be some rules," Mrs Squires said.

All participants will be encouraged to stay on for presentation to the winning teams and barbecue. That is always popular, as teams look for bragging rights, networking opportunities and the chance to throw out challenges for next year.