The Amazing Newport Race

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The Dynamic Duo team checks out their clues before heading out during CityRace’s Newport Beach Bayside Adventure on Saturday. — Photos by Sara Hall
The Dynamic Duo team checks out their clues before heading out during CityRace’s Newport Beach Bayside Adventure on Saturday.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©

Nearly 100 people raced around Balboa Peninsula and Island last weekend, following clues, solving puzzles and answering questions, all while learning interesting tidbits about Newport Beach.

They were playing Newport Beach Bayside Adventure, the first CityRace Urban Adventure Hunt ever held in the city. John Hennessy, event producer and owner of Race/LA and CityRace, said they hold 15 hunts in neighborhoods around Los Angeles County.

They decided to try Orange County, he explained, so they explored Laguna Beach last year. It was so popular people asked for more OC races.

John Hennessy, producer of the event and owner of Race/LA, goes over the rules before the race starts.
John Hennessy, producer of the event and owner of Race/LA, goes over the rules before the race starts.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©

“This area of Newport Beach seemed like such a logical choice,” Hennessy explained. “It’s a small area, it’s easy to cover on foot… a lot of historical sites here, and a lot of fun stuff here. It’s a fun area to explore.”

Teams received a packet of clues, each worth a certain amount of points, at the start of the adventure. The clues led them to various locations in the designated area, like Davey’s Locker or Sugar ‘N’ Spice, where they had to answer questions. Teams have to complete as many challenges as possible within three hours. The team with the highest score that finished the fastest wins.

Saturday’s group was a mixture of return hunters and first-timers, and locals and out-of-towners.

It was the first time for the two teams of Friends O’ Karit and More Friends O’ Karit. All the women, comprised of friends and couples from Riverside, were there celebrating the 37th birthday of their redheaded namesake, Karie Jundanian. Also on the team Karit were Michelle Ochoa, Stephanie Toole, and Ann and Melissa Monville.

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Mike and Adrienne Alvarado of Corona hurry out of Davey’s Locker after answering a question.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©

The group was excited before it began, although Toole was a little nervous.

“We don’t know anything about what’s going to happen or how it’s going to work,” she said.

They just didn’t want to come in last, they all agreed. At the end of the day, they won the entire event.

“We didn’t realize we were going to be superstars at it, but it turned out we were,” said Melissa Monville.

The organizers make it so that anybody can do it, Toole added.

The third group to arrive at the finish line was Team Birthday, otherwise known as the Serrantino family from Mission Viejo, including: Mom and birthday girl, Lisa, dad Jay, and their kids, Stacy and Scott. This was their first time. They ended up placing fifth.

“It wasn’t over-the-top hard,” Scott Serrantino said, “but some of (the clues) were challenging.”

“It was surprising how little we knew in some areas,” his dad added.

Locals Katie Maloney (left) of Newport Beach and Sheri Newcomer of Corona del Mar try to decipher the clues during the adventure.
Locals Katie Maloney (left) of Newport Beach and Sheri Newcomer of Corona del Mar try to decipher the clues during the adventure.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©

It was a fun way to learn about the city, they said.

“It was nice being back here (in Newport Beach) and exploring,” Stacy Serrantino said. “Spending time with the family.”

Locals Katie Maloney of Newport Beach and Sheri Newcomer of Corona del Mar also participated.

“Most of our answers were wrong, but we had fun doing it,” Maloney said.

“Some of the answers were right under our noses and we didn’t see them,” Newcomer added.

They definitely learned some interesting facts about the area, they agreed.

The organizers did a great job researching it, finding fun clues and writing the questions, both women agreed.

Neither of the women have ever participate in a race like this before,

“It was tons of fun,” Newcomer said. “We might be hooked.”

For more information, visit racela.com.

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The top 10 winners from Saturday’s Newport Beach Bayside Adventure.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
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