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Dantastic Strategy 101

July 24, 2013

dantasticrevengeDantastic: Revenge is upon us – Danville’s own competitive race/scavenger hunt/road rally/mind-bending puzzler/obstacle extravaganza. Registration is now open and I’m sure as you are recruiting your team, you are wondering “How do I win this thing?”

Of course, there is a $500 cash prize awaiting the winning team at the end of the race, so you want to maximize your efforts. In this blog, you will learn a bit more about how to conquer and crush the opposition. Why should you listen to me? I’ve been a part of the planning and development of this race since we started in 2009.

1. Did you come to win?

There are two types of Dantastic Racers: those who come to come to play and those who come to win. If you don’t intend to win, don’t worry – there are enough fun and crazy challenges to keep you and your friends busy all afternoon and give you more than enough memories for a long time to come! If you plan to win, be prepared to face some of the fiercest competition you can imagine. Every year, I am amazed at how well the winning team comes together and crushes every obstacle in their path. If you come to win, get in that mindset and be prepared to show no mercy.

2. Recruit your team wisely.

If you plan on simply having fun, just bring your favorite three people and you’re all set. If you plan to win, you want to load your team with members that are capable of physical speed and agility, able to creatively solve problems, and have knowledge of local (Danville and Boyle County) history and landmarks. 

This race isn’t as strenuous as a 5K and it certainly isn’t a marathon, but the ability to quickly move from point to point is essential to getting the lead. Creative problem solving is as important as physical abilities in this race, so remember to add creative minds to your roster. Since this race is centered around Danville and Boyle county locales and clues, you will want at least one local team member that can help you piece together the clues that may evade an outsider’s eye.

If you have a team member that cannot complete a challenge that requires the entire team’s completion for success, you may have one team member do the challenge twice (i.e. run an obstacle course) in place of the missing member.

3. Challenge bypass opportunity.

The Dantastic Race is run by the Community Arts Center, and at its heart, the race is a fundraising opportunity for this organization. By raising $500 for the Arts Center (outside of your $100 entry fee), they thank you by allowing  you to skip a Dantastic challenge of your choosing. Although you must still arrive at the site of the challenge in order to play your “skip” card, this opportunity is a game changer: since the incorporation of the challenge bypass, no team has won the race without it. Some have come very close, but not close enough for the victory. 

You can be creative about your fundraising: have a bake sale, an inter-office support fund, a car wash, sell a kidney, etc.

Knowing which challenge to skip is imperative to making this opportunity work for your team.  Some challenges appear harder than others and you may find that you skipped a relatively easy challenge only to be faced with a harder one at the next stop.  If you arrive at a challenge and find other teams frustrated and struggling to complete it, that may be your cue to play your skip card.   

Take note that the final challenge leading to the finish line may not be skipped.DSCN1663

4. Follow the rules.

Be sure you understand the rules of the challenge you are being asked to complete. If you are in doubt, just ask the judge on site for a clearer explanation. Keep in mind that some challenges may have more than one solution or alternate means of completing the requirements. We like to see teams at their most creative when it comes to completing challenges.

Know that some things will get you disqualified, like traffic violations or deliberately sabotaging other teams. We had a team get disqualified for speeding in 2010.

5. Use technology to your advantage.

In the earliest years of the Dantastic Race, we discouraged the use of smartphones because we felt they gave teams an unfair advantage, but fast forward four years and everyone has them – leveling the playing field. Use GPS and navigation systems to help you find your way to challenge sites. If you come across a challenge that can be solved by a smartphone app, by all means use it to your advantage. We try to keep all of our clues Google-able, so if you are stumped, you may only be a web search away from the answer.


photo6. Drive the right car.

…And I’m not talking about a Ferrari. Actually a Ferrari might be a disadvantage. The entire team must ride in the same vehicle, so keep in mind the difficulty of loading and unloading teammates going to and from challenges.  A Dodge Caravan might be more advantageous than a Dodge Viper – just be sure you take the car seats out of your mommy-mobile before you hit the Dantastic trail. Passenger maneuverability trumps vehicular speed, especially considering that traffic tickets = disqualification. The only team to ever win the Dantastic title back-to-back drives a jeep with the top off.

7. Ask for directions.

If you are lost or stumped, don’t hesitate to ask the well-meaning and well-connected friendly folks of Danville and Boyle County for directions. This isn’t Who Wants to Be a Millionaire… so don’t be afraid to “phone a friend.”

8. Know the roads.

The Dantastic Race is known to use all of Boyle County for its map. Previous races have included challenges in such distant locales as Perryville, Junction City and Forkland, so be sure you know your way around Boyle County’s backroads. Some distances may be shorter than others, edging you closer to victory.

9. Have fun!

Don’t forget that the Dantastic Race is all about having a good time. There may be some challenges that are a breeze while others may be near infuriating. Just remember to take it all in stride and have fun.

10. Follow the Community Arts Center’s social media.

You never know where we might drop clues or helpful advice (like this blog). Be sure to follow the Community Arts Center on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and start a conversation with us and your teammates about Dantastic: Revenge! You could even share your own tips, talk smack to other teams (friendly, sportsman-like smack), make a pin board for team costume ideas or fundraising ideas… use your imagination! You can even get a bonus by visiting our event sponsor, Danville Bike and Footwear, and posting about it on our

Facebook page. So really, why wouldn’t you tune in to the Arts Center’s social media?

…Now that you’ve completed Dantastic Strategy 101, you’re ready to register and win this thing! See you on August 31 at…

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