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'Amazing Parks Race' Sends Teams on a Fast-Paced Adventure

About 100 people participated Saturday in the inaugural competition.

Juliette Churchill had a secret weapon Saturday to help her team of six perform well in ’s first .

Her bracelet.

“What's really good luck is the magic cupcake bracelet,” her father Chris Churchill of Aleppo confirmed, pointing out the pink bracelet on his 5-year-old daughter's wrist.

The Churchill’s team, “Crazy Town,” was one of 18 teams that participated in the inaugural "Amazing Parks Race," the Sewickley-area's own twist to the popular CBS reality show

Officials said about 100 people joined the race, a competition that had teams racing to 10 different parks around the Sewickley Valley. The race ended at  with ice cream and an awards ceremony.

Sam Capezzuto, director of the nature center, said the idea was to highlight local green spaces in the area.

But this race wasn't an average walk in the park. Teams were given clues and maps to find each location. Once there, they worked to complete a series of challenges before moving onto the next location.

At in , for example, teams had to find a gnome and identify the color of its cap to the judges. Teams then had to write a limerick and recite the words with passion.

Over at Riverfront Park in teams had to build a model bridge. 

Among the teams to participate were Clark and Katy Ratkovich of Edgeworth, who joined the race as a team with their three boys.

At War Memorial Park, the Ratkovich's worked together to arrange a food chain before completing a physical challenge that involved sending a a tennis ball down a team-constructed pipe line. 

The Ratkovich’s said the race seemed like something fun to do with the family.

“It’s a way to get the kids outside instead of playing computers,” Ratkovich said.

Churchill said they have always loved the parks in the area and do their best to get to every one. He said the race was a great way to kick off the summer park season.

“What better place to start,” Churchill said. 

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