PLEASANT HILL -- Hundreds of residents are expected to race the clock and comb the streets of Pleasant Hill on Sunday looking for clues during the second annual Amazing Race of Pleasant Hill.

The race, all in the name of education, is like the TV reality show "Amazing Race," which takes teams all over the world exploring new places, intertwined with the game show "Minute to Win it," said organizer and Foundation for Pleasant Hill Education treasurer Sue Noack.

"The Amazing Race of Pleasant Hill does a bit of the same -- taking participating teams to spots throughout Pleasant Hill that they may not have discovered in their everyday life," said Noack. "And by having activities at each of the locations, the teams get to experience the location as well as becoming aware of its existence."

Noack said last year's race focused primarily around FPHE-supported schools and included fun activities like balancing dice on a Popsicle stick and tossing balls onto a pail balanced on a teammates head. But it also included thought-provoking questions related to civic leaders, local history and states in the union.

Patty Alden said her family tag-teamed it at last year's event. Of the five kids, only three were on the course at any one time. She explained that some had swimming and baseball activities they had to attend to during the event and another participated via email as he was elsewhere serving in the Navy.

"It was nice to have the family together. And, we did some studying beforehand, so it was kind of like we were more prepared," said Alden, who with the help of her brood, took home third place last year.


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She laughed, recalling one of their stops during last year's race.

"I think the funniest was the whole library one," she said, " ... where you go to the library and check out a book. And you show up and you've got library fines, so you've got to pay them. That was funny."

Alden admitted her team was lucky enough not to have any outstanding fines, but the team in front of them was not so lucky.

As for this year's activities, Noack said they will be upping the antics with activities for people of all ages and abilities.

In one activity, "you've got to pick up penne pasta with spaghetti in your mouth without using your hands. So even if you're in a wheelchair, you can do that one."

Or like the "Minute to Win It" egg roll, this year's contestants will try their skills at moving Dixie cups using only the air of a balloon.

"It's really a fun family event, which is the thing that we wanted to try and do -- something that was really family and community driven," said Noack.

Just like the reality series, the mode of transportation on race day is up to each team. Team spirit and matching outfits are recommended as the FPHE will be awarding a special team spirit prize. Recognition and prizes will also be awarded to three teams with the best times.

One thing is certain: By the end of the race everyone will know a lot more about Pleasant Hill and the real winner of the day will be education.

The race benefits the school grant program of the Foundation for Pleasant Hill Education, a volunteer organization working with the community to enhance education and provide enrichment for students in Pleasant Hill public schools.

Teams and supporters are encouraged to come early for brunch from 10 a.m. to noon at Magoo's Grill (the starting location), 1250 Contra Costa Blvd. Magoo's will donate 50 percent of all online brunch purchases to FPHE.

If you go
What: Amazing Race of Pleasant Hill -- a family friendly version of TV's "Amazing Race" and "Minute to Win It" -- benefiting Pleasant Hill public schools
When: noon-4 p.m. Sunday, April 28
Where: Starts at Magoo's Grill, 1250 Contra Costa Blvd., and continues throughout the city
Cost: $50 per team; limit of four members per team
Information/registration: www.fphe.org