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Bookstore offers ‘Race to New York’

Sara Felsenstein | Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How can you get free Hacienda chips and salsa, a free T-shirt and backpack, and the chance to win roundtrip airfare, hotel accommodations and tickets to the Notre Dame vs. Army game at Yankee Stadium?   

By participating in the Race To New York, an “Amazing Race” style contest run by the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore. Teams of two will travel around Notre Dame’s campus, competing to perform various tasks and solve clues. 

The race will take place on Oct. 2 at 8 a.m. The entry fee is $50 per team, or $25 per person. All money benefits the United Way Agency Partners, said Kristin Blitch, marketing manager at the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore.

Blitch said if your team gets stumped during competition, all is not lost. 

Teams are permitted to carry up to $50, Blitch said, which can be used to buy $5, $10, and $20 clues. These clues will make where a team is headed more obvious. For example, a $20 clue might plainly state where the team is going, Blitch said. This extra money is also donated to the United Way. 

This year, Blitch said the race has added a new rule that should make the game even more exciting.

“By paying $50, one team can hold another team back for a half hour,” she said. “The only way that team can get out of the hold is to find someone with a cell phone, and make calls to get [an outside source] to donate $20.”

The Race To New York event, in partnership with Anthony Travel and the United Way, was created in 2009.

Last year, the Bookstore held the Race to San Antonio, which raised $2,200 for the United Way, Blitch said.

The course last year took students to the far reaches of campus, including the Aquatic Center, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, and various parking lots. 

“Last year’s race was very successful,” Blitch said. “Those who participated had a fun time.”

Blitch said the Bookstore hopes to raise even more money for the United Way at the Race for New York.

“It may not happen this year, but we’d like to see this event eventually raise $5,000 for United Way,” she said.

This year, the course will bring participants to different parts of the Notre Dame campus, including some areas they may have never visited before. 

“There is nothing people won’t be able to do physically,” Blitch said. “We have our staff run it, so we know it’s all possible.” 

Blitch said it has been difficult keeping specific details of the race in complete secrecy. The planning team has been cautious not to reveal the names of the various campus partners. 

“We started mapping out the route on a campus map, but you have to be careful not to leave that map out anywhere or someone could have a cakewalk,” she said.  

Blitch encouraged students to participate, because for just a small fee you can have a great time, donate to a good cause, and get a shot at winning a $2,000 prize package.

“[Students] are at an advantage,” Blitch said. “This is their campus. For 25 bucks a person you get to see if you can win a chance to go to New York.”

For those concerned about Notre Dame’s football game against Boston College, Blitch said, “there’s no need to worry. The race will be over well in time for the BC game.”

Students interested in participating can contact Blitch at (574) 631-6469 by Sept. 24. or visit HammesRaceTo.com for more information.