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Verizon presents an urban challenge

Verizon Wireless hits campus today with a college version of their popular adventure-racing series, Urban Challenge. Not only is this event free, but could land the winner with $1,000 cash.

In the race’s 90-minute span, up to 200 teams will battle to be the first to decode clues, which will lead them to unmarked checkpoints scattered across campus. Teams must take pictures, using the provided LG VX6000 camera phone, at each one of the 12 checkpoints in correct order. The first team to photograph themselves at the most checkpoints in the allotted 90-minutes wins the $1,000 grand prize.

Besides the obvious cash prize, “It’s free, a lot of fun and only takes up 90-minutes of your time,” said Adrienne Heald of VW Frantz ‘ Company.

The event is also sponsored by Delta Sigma Phi.

“We are excited to be working with Verizon to bring a new event to campus for everyone to enjoy,” fraternity President Steve Fink said. He expects a large turnout and is “hoping it’s a great time for the entire campus.”

The teams will receive the clues via Version Wireless TXT Messaging. They must then find the fastest route to each location, all while keeping a look out for “Skip Man.” A picture of this “elusive” man will allow a team to skip any one checkpoint.

There is a twist, however. Participants can use any resource; from by-standing professors, to calling a friend. Anything goes when it comes to solving the clues.

Kevin McCarthy, creator of the race, described it as “fast, frantic, fun and free,” and encourages everyone to attend. “It’s a fascinating way to make $1,000, and it’s not too late to sign up,” he said.

Even for those not interested in participating, guitarist Johnny Freeman will be performing a 30-minute set towards the end of the event, according to McCarthy. Freeman is likely to have free CDs on hand as well.

In addition to the cash prize, other giveaways include an LG backpack, exclusive Urban Challenge T-shirts and an LG Phone with a $50 Verizon Wireless coupon.

With the University being the first campus to have this high-tech scavenger hunt, it is expected to be a huge hit among students. McCarthy encourages those who cannot attend, or would like to play again, to enter the online version of the game at urbanchallenge.com. It costs only $5 to enter and can win players $1 million.

“Whether you race tomorrow or play online, it should prove worthwhile,” McCarthy said.

The event kicks off today at 3:00 p.m. at the Union Oval. For students wishing to participate, registration begins at 1:30 p.m. and is open to all University students with a valid student ID. Spaces are available to the first 200 teams, and those interested can still register online at www.urbanchallenge.com/oncampus.

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