Registration is open for this year's DC Challenge! Buy early for the best prices!

Race Prizes

First Place: $300

Second Place: $200

Third Place: $100

4th-7th Place: $50

Costume Contest

First Place: $300

Second Place: $200

Third Place: $100

4th-7th Place: $50

The next DC Challenge will take place on Saturday, April 12th, 2014!

Proudly Supporting:

What is the DC Challenge?

Back for its sixth year in the District, the DC Challenge is the country's largest urban adventure race! You and your friends will compete against DC's fastest and smartest to solve clues and plot the best race course around the city--the best teams win big prize money!

After the race there'll be the Finish Line Festival, an enormous party at The Fairgrounds, right across from Nationals Park and the Navy Yard Metro. After you finish all the clues, dash back and soak up the sun, live music, food, drinks, outdoor games, and a huge costume contest--you won't want to miss it!

Is this awesome?

Yes, way awesome.

What's this cost? How do I sign up? What do I get with registration?

You can find the current registration price and sign up on our registration page, the sooner you sign up, the better your deal will be. Your registration covers your race entry, finish line festival entry, bunches of bottled water, snazzy souvenir tshirt, and race number bib. Registration will be open online all the way through the night before the race, but we might sell out our capacity ahead of time, so don't delay!

Are there age requirements?

The Challenge is designed to be fun for all ages. Our only requirement is that any participants under 18 have a teammate over 18 with them. Kids 5 and under are free.

Do I need to be really in shape? Are the clues really hard? Really easy?

You and your team will decide your own course throughout the day--so the most important element for success is a clever strategy, though fitness definitely won't hurt. This year, the course will take you approximately 3 to 4 miles and most people will finish in 1.5 to 2.5 hours, though the race course is open for four hours total for those that choose to do their scavenging at more leisurely pace.

The clues themselves are carefully calibrated to be...medium hard. We don't want half the teams to be completely stumped, and we don't want everyone to solve them instantly. You will be able to figure them out without assistance, but any tools you choose to bring along can't hurt!

How many are on a team? 

Each team must have at least two participants, but there's no maximum team size--so sign up as many as you'd like.

What's with the new prizes this year?

We've added three new $100 awards, for the fastest team with a participant under 13, the fastest team with a participant 55 or older, and the fastest team sized 8 participants or larger.

These new awards do not "stack" with the top five place awards...If you win the race in a group of 10, you just get the $500 grand prize. If the new award is larger than the place award (4th and 5th place) then you'd get the new $100 award and the place awards would go to the next place.

How do I replace a teammate, change my team name or make another change to my registration?

This can easily be done on your own. Follow the easy instructions at our registration processor, to change your tshirt size, team name, transfer your registration to someone else, etc.  If you have difficulty doing that, please email us at and we'll be happy to make the changes for you.

How do I add to an existing team?

To add to an existing team, have the new registrant enter the existing team's name in the "team name" box when signing up--that's all they have to do!

When is the registration deadline?

The prices go up the later you wait, but we will be taking online registrations through midnight the night before the race, but we do expect to sell out ahead of time. There will be very, very limited "in person" race day registrations available at a higher cost, so please make use of the online registration. 

Are refunds available?

Refunds are available through March 31st 2015, but after that are not available for any reason. Registrations are easily transferred to another participant--just login to our registration processor,, and transfer your tickets over to the new person's name, there's no need to contact us directly.

When is check-in? When will I be done? 

Race check-in is on the day of the race between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at The Fairgrounds, which is located on Half Street SE, just across from the Navy Yard Metro and Nationals Park. Registration will close at 1 p.m. and then the race will kick off at 1:30 p.m. Every individual needs to check in on their own. You will sign a waiver, get checked off our registration lists, get your race number bib and tshirt, and then you're all set for the clue distribution, which will occur at 1:30 p.m.

The course closes four hours later, at 5:00 p.m., but most Challengers will be done in around 1.5 to 2.5 hours.  The Finish Line Festival will get underway at 2:30 p.m., the costume winners will be announced at 4:45 p.m. and the festival ends at 6:00 although the Bullpen is open a good bit later.

Check out the schedule page for more details on timing.

What is the race course?

You make the course! You'll get a sheet of 12 clues and your team is responsible for figuring 11 of them out and plotting the fastest course between them. You may skip one clue.

What should I wear?

Overall, the number one rule in Challenge attire is comfort. The t-shirt we'll be giving you at check-in is white, lightweight cotton, so should be comfortable to wear if you choose, but you don't have to wear it. 

Costumes are optional, but are strongly encouraged, the zanier and funnier the better--there's pretty big cash costume prizes at stake. If you plan to compete in the costume contest, you must wear the same outfit before, during and after the race for consideration.

What happens if it rains? 

The Challenge goes forward, rain or shine.  However, our paramount concern is always Challenger safety, so the only exception will be due to extremely hazardous weather (lightning, severe thunderstorms, etc.), in which case we'll consult with our venue's management and local authorities to determine whether the race can safely continue or should be postponed.

In that unlikely event, the makeup date will be the following day, Sunday April 26th. Under no circumstances are refunds due to weather possible; if the race is postponed, racers will have the option to participate in the rain date or transfer their registration to the 2016 DC Challenge.

Is there food and drinks at the Finish Line Festival?

Yes, check out the Finish Line Festival page to see the current list of DC's famous gourmet food trucks we've lined up to come serve up their finest eats to please all palates! The Fairgrounds will be slinging beer at a discount all day for our Challengers! There will be plenty of complimentary bottled water available as well. 

What do I need to bring with me?

Pack as light as you can but bring the essentials--don't forget sunscreen! You'll only need to give us your first and last name at registration, but bring your ID for proof of age at the Finish Line Festival and cash for the food and drinks [the closest ATMs are adjacent to the Navy Yard Metro] Smart phones and other electronic aids are allowed.

After I sign up, what happens?

You'll receive an email immediately from our registration service, confirming your transaction. At that point, you're all set to race! We'll send a couple of updates out to our racers as the race nears. We are, of course, always available for any questions at

Can I use a car? A bike? Ride a mongoose around? Okay, no seriously, what about the bikeshare?

Only your own two feet and Metro's bus and rail system are allowed. No bikes, no rollerblades, no skateboards, no cars, no hanggliders. And definitely no bikeshare--we'd more than overwhelm that system and then it wouldn't be fair if all our Challengers didn't have equal opportunity to get a bike. 

Is this family friendly?

Yes, the Challenge is a great family activity and is appropriate for all ages (no beer chugging clues!) And there's a special $100 prize for the fastest team that has a member 13 or under!

Can we run with a stroller? Are small kids free?

Yes, any sort of strollers are fine--we've even had a team place in the top 5 with one! Kids 5 and under are free, but 6 and up require a registration. All kids need a waiver filled out by their guardian on race day. 

Any questions we forgot?

Ask us anything at!