Racers take amazing tour of downtown Anoka

They pitched pumpkins. They bobbed for apples floating in a toilet bowl. They mummified themselves, wrapping head to toe in toilet paper and then racing down Main Street.

In this tombstone challenge (just one member of each two-person team must accomplish) Ross Chambers mummifies teammate Sue Chambers, wrapping her head to toe in toilet paper outside the Anoka History Center.
In this tombstone challenge (just one member of each two-person team must accomplish) Ross Chambers mummifies teammate Sue Chambers, wrapping her head to toe in toilet paper outside the Anoka History Center.Photo by Sue Austreng

Fifteen teams of two raced Oct. 19 from the Boobar family cemetery plot to Main Motors to Jenson’s to the Anoka History Center to the Rum River and beyond competing for inaugural Anoka Halloween Amazing Race bragging rights and the $250 first-place prize.

They were husband-wife teams, father-daughter teams, best friend teams, brother-sister teams.

Some trained for weeks. Some registered on a whim. But all of the Anoka Halloween Amazing Race competitors called it “the best race ever.”

Founder and producer Anders Skaalerud created the race to add another dimension to Anoka’s month-long celebration of the season’s holiday.

He also wanted to celebrate local businesses and boost folks’ knowledge of historic Anoka, the Halloween Capital of the World.

Racers had to complete 12 tasks, earning clues as they accomplished each one and finally crossing the finish line at city hall.

“This will be a lot of fun and it will show people a lot about Anoka – some things they probably never knew,” said Skaalerud – a 2012 graduate of Anoka High School and proud life-long resident of the Halloween Capital of the World – before the race began.

Registration cost for the race was $50 per team with proceeds going to the Anoka Halloween scholarship fund.

“I just think this is a great way to help local students and to promote local business – not to mention how much fun everyone will have,” Skaalerud said last month as teams registered for the inaugural race.

Local businesses providing time, space, volunteers and tools for the inaugural Anoka Halloween Amazing Race included John Ward Park, Oakwood Cemetery, Main Motors, Anoka American Legion, Sterling Trophy, Antiques on Main, Goodrich Field, Ace Solid Waste, Terry Overaker Plumbing, Anoka History Center, Two Scoops ice cream shop, Jenson’s clothing store, Akin Riverside Park, Duall Printing, Coop’s Locksmith, Bronco’s slow-roasted sandwiches and Anoka city hall.

Watch for details of an expanded Anoka Halloween Amazing Race coming for the 2014 celebration of Halloween in Anoka.

Anoka Halloween Amazing Race results

Finishing in just about three hours, 15 teams of two accomplished a dozen tasks, racing from one end of downtown Anoka to the other in pursuit of bragging rights and the $250 first-place prize.  

Results:

1. Megan Ladyka and Lora Steiner

2. Chuck and Kelly Blair

3. Ross and Sue Chambers

4. Jenny Bohler-Penney and Jessie Becker

5. J.D. Wells and Alex Carlson

6. Ashley Nelson and Natalie Skogen

7. Cliff and Angela Vanthul

8. Peter and Christina Hansen

9. Nick and Katie Anderson

10. Paul and Trisha Rustad

11. Molly and Traci Grailer

12. Tammy Kurck and Kirsten Kjome

13. Jocelyn Bendijo and Autumn Murphy

14. Nicole Beach and Sarah Nordvall

15. Scott and Brenda Yonke

Fifteen teams of two scramble to grab gear bags and race to complete the first Anoka Halloween Amazing Race task.Photo by Sue Austreng After locating the Boobar family plot in Oakwood Cemetery, Anoka Halloween Amazing Race contestants write down the dates each member of the Boobar family lived and died.Photo by Sue Austreng With their race partner in the car, another racer had to push the car a specified distance before receiving their next clue.Photo by Sue Austreng Piece by piece, Cliff and Angela Vanthul assemble a trophy inside the Anoka American Legion in order to earn their next Anoka Halloween Amazing Race clue and continue the race.Photo by Sue Austreng On arriving at Goodrich Field, contestants had to climb the home team bleachers to reach their next clue.Photo  by Sue Austreng A contestant heaves a pumpkin over the chain link fence surrounding Goodrich Field, hoping to pitch the pumpkin into a garbage can in the end zone.Photo by Sue Austreng The penalty for failing to pitch a pumpkin into a garbage can? Eat a shot of pumpkin guts. Jocelyn Bendijo forces herself to swallow the guts so that she can receive her next clue on the Anoka Halloween Amazing Race.Photo by Sue Austreng Before leaving Goodrich Field, Anoka Halloween Amazing Race competitors had to complete a 20-yard pass. Tornado football team members served as line judge and receivers for this task.Photo by Sue Austreng Bobbing for apples floating in a toilet bowl, Anoka Halloween Amazing Race contestant Alex Carlson comes up for air, hands over the apple and receives her next clue.Photo by Sue Austreng Inside the Anoka History Center, contestants searched for clues to the 10 Civil War questions on the test that had to be passed with 100 percent score before they could continue the race.Photo by Sue Austreng
In this tombstone challenge (just one member of each two-person team must accomplish) Ross Chambers mummifies teammate Sue Chambers, wrapping her head to toe in toilet paper outside the Anoka History Center.Photo by Sue Austreng After mummifying their Anoka Halloween Amazing Race teammate, contestants race from the Anoka History Center to Jenson’s clothing store to accomplish the next task.Photo by Sue Austreng Anoka Halloween Amazing Racers had to dress themselves in clothes provided and have a photo taken to earn their next clue.Photo by Sue Austreng Ashley Nelson and Natalie Skogen decipher clues from historic markers at Akin Riverside Park before dashing along the Rum River to the next clue.Photo by Sue Austreng Mummified Anoka Halloween Amazing Race competitors race along the Rum River, eager to accomplish the next task.Photo by Sue Austreng Choosing the fastest route to their next task, Anoka Halloween Amazing Race competitors wait to cross Main Street, still wrapped in toilet paper from the previous task.Photo by Sue Austreng After trying a half dozen keys – among 100 or more from which to choose – Megan Ladyka is thrilled to finally open a locked treasure chest and retrieve her next Anoka Halloween Amazing Race clue. Photo by Sue Austreng Lora Steiner fights back brain freeze while gulping down an ice cream cone at Two Scoops – the final task on the inaugural Anoka Halloween Amazing Race. Photo by Sue Austreng Megan Ladyka and Lora Steiner were first to cross the finish line in the inaugural Anoka Halloween Amazing Race. After a cool down and a change of clothes, the winning team appeared in the Light Up the Night parade, then posed for a portrait with Amazing Race founder/producer Anders Skaalerud.Photo by Sue Austreng
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Megan Ladyka and Lora Steiner were first to cross the finish line in the inaugural Anoka Halloween Amazing Race. After a cool down and a change of clothes, the winning team appeared in the Light Up the Night parade, then posed for a portrait with Amazing Race founder/producer Anders Skaalerud.Photo by Sue Austreng

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