Challenge Wheeling Scavenger Race to Start With a Bang

If you are in downtown Wheeling on the morning of Saturday, June 16, you may hear what you think is a cannon blast. And you’d be right.

On June 16, Challenge Wheeling racing teams will take off to find Wheeling hotspots using a set of written clues — and in its fifth year, there are changes to Wheeling’s 5k Scavenger Race.

This year’s changes include an earlier start time — 10 a.m.; a new sponsor — The Health Plan; and a more emphatic start than in the past.

“We will have a cannon start the race at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 16,” said Tammy Kruse of Youth Services System. Proceeds from Challenge Wheeling benefit YSS’ work.

”If you are downtown at that time, you will hear the start of Challenge Wheeling.”

Challenge Wheeling is West Virginia’s original scavenger race where teams collaborate to solve a set of clues, race to the location in the clue, where additional challenges may await them, and document their journey.

From left are: Tammy Kruse, director of development, Youth Services System Inc; Wendy Hodorowski, marketing director for The Health Plan; and David Contraguerro and Michael Contraguerro Jr. from the Flooring Center.

Challenge Wheeling is presented by the Flooring Center.

“Each year, we work to make this event a bit better and different,” said Mike Contraguerro of the Flooring Center. “Everyone that comes out has a great time. It’s fun to see the team costumes.”

David Contraguerro from the Flooring Center agreed. “Teams go from matching T-shirts to themes like the Scooby-Do Gang,” he said.

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Scooby Scavengers, from left, are, Susan Ratcliffe, Christian Turak, Teena Miller, Joshua May and Leslie Chaddock as, respectively, Velma, Shaggy, Daphne, Fred and Scooby.

The Health Plan, with its newly opened Wheeling headquarters, will join Orrick, Wheeling National Heritage, Kohls, the Cafaro Foundation, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and BB&T as event sponsors.

“We are excited to support this very unique event that showcases Wheeling,” said Wendy Hodorowski, marketing director for The Health Plan. “Summer is a busy time, and this race brings people into the city.”

Team Love, from left, are: Brian Mularcik, Mike Ennis, Kevin Schreffler, Risha Marple and Renee Schreffler.

Challenge Wheeling starts at race headquarters — River City Restaurant, 14th  and Main streets. Teams will be given a clue sheet with 12 clues, and team members will have until 1 p.m. to complete the race.

After the race, there will be food and drink for those competing. Team costumes, an option, will be recognized at that time along with the top three race winners. Cash prizes and gift certificates will be awarded. (First place, $500; second place, $100; third place, $50; $50 gift certificates to River City for top three best costumes.)

The West Virginia National Guard will be present that day with their climbing wall.

To register and for more information, visit Online registration closes on June 14.

The coveted Dead Last trophy, 2017 edition.