Great City Race – Roswell, GA

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An Amazon discount dropped the price on this scavenger/clue type hunt from $40 to $20.    That included a T-shirt and the opportunity to get out of the house in the early Spring.   Well, they were out of XL T-shirts by the time we registered, and Spring was not yet apparent in the moist, cool morning.  But, the $20 was worth the fun.

You start off with 12 clues.  The first two-person team to return with evidence of 11 correct solutions wins.  It took the winning team about an hour and 10 minutes.  With a reported 350 participating, we finished 40th of 175.  Not bad... especially since we didn’t run.


The clues were, in a way, fairly obvious as there is only so much history within walking distance, yet challenging, because you had to be certain to pick the correct historic two story house, for example.   As compared with Challenge Nation, which we’ve done a couple of times, it was as well attended with clues that were a little more difficult.  That meant smart phones were required more than ever.

My wife bowed out due to other priorities, so my best friend, Gregg (also the groomsman who cut the unity candle wick during my wedding... resulting in the minister trying to dig it out... resulting in the minister taking one of the smaller candles and forcing it into the heated wax to make a candle stand upon the larger unity candle)... stepped in.   Yes, Gregg.  You made it on my blog.  Welcome.

To the Clues!

1. This building was the childhood home of President Theodore Roosevelt’s mother.  Go there and take a picture saluting the camera with your teammates.

Answer:  That would be Bulloch Hall, and we’ll spare you the picture as “Selfies” weren’t our strength.


2.  Go to these coordinates for a physical challenge from a volunteer.  N 34”1’ 25.4814”;  W 84”21’ 41.475”.  

Only, Google Maps doesn’t take that format.  So, search on Google for “coordinates for Google maps” and... Presto.   That accomplished, I typed the results into Google Maps and... it’s a long, mountainous hike north of Nepal.  Or, NW of Tibet if you prefer.  Anyway, if you remember to put the “-“ sign in front of the Longitude to distinguish West from East, it puts you on a triangular park right smack in Roswell, at the north end of our clue loop.  And, it’s where we probably had the most fun.

One person of the team is blindfolded and has to throw a beanbag through a corn hole challenge, with the teammate giving directions/feedback.  If it was a competition just for that, we may have won.  You get your clue sheet stamped upon completion.


I’d like to see more of these types of challenges rather than “Find and take a picture with a person who lives in a State that doesn’t border the Atlantic, who’s wearing a hat that isn’t a baseball cap, and who has a large zit on their nose.”  Those types of clues get annoying, and it’s fun for a one-off but otherwise a lazy approach for this event.

3.  Go to where the King family once lived, one of the “founding families” of Roswell and make a letter R with your teammate in the picture with this home in the background.  No, problem, we did it together, but I wouldn’t want to read a book with letters spelled this way.


The answer was Primrose Cottage, now an events facility, and home to Roswell King.  Roswell, get it?

4.  “Like” Great City Race on Facebook or Twitter then take a picture of the two of you in front of any City of Roswell sign and post it on one of the above pages.

I won’t bore you with the picture, but I hope everyone had smart phones.

5.  Go to this man made waterfall in Roswell land take a picture jumping in the air with both teammates feet off the ground and having a dam good time. 

Okay, there’s enough clues there to choke a horse, as a River runs nearby.

That’s me on left, jumping like it’s no big deal, and to my right is Gregg, who has a special expression for every occasion.  Anyway, we nailed it on the first attempt.

6. Find this location and reenact this photo exactly! (followed by a photo of a guy and girl in a courting pose on a covered bridge). 

We stood near each other, and... oh my.  I seem to have lost that picture.  It was good enough for the judge.

7. This perfectly preserved two-story farm house complete with servant quarters, cooks house, corn crib, barn, carriage house, water well and a spring house is where you take your photo at this location.

That would be the Archibald Smith Plantation Home, located just north of City Hall.


It’s a nice place, I’m sure, but we didn’t stop to visit.

8.  This place is a “long abandoned Creepy House” where the town hangman used to live.  Go to this spot for a challenge from one of our volunteer staff members.

It was also a promotional spot for Roswell Ghost Tours, one of the sponsors. We had to crawl into a musty crawl space, aptly named, and return with a (plastic) bug.

Great City Race Saturday 1-3-14-199-M

Yeah, that space. 

The race obviously had a photographer who zipped around snapping pictures – other photos can be viewed HERE.

(We interrupt this list of clues to bring you my favorite costume.  The race had many, many costumed participants, as well as a surprising number of people who actually ran the Race.  Anyone who watched the Olympics should get the joke. Click the picture to enlarge to read the fine print:

Great City Race Saturday 1-3-14-286-M

9.  During the Union occupation of Roswell this place was the headquarters for Garrard’s cavalry.  Take a picture here.

Although the answer is listed on a page of the City’s government site, it doesn’t come through on a search for this “Gerrard” person and “Roswell”.  And the Yanks only stayed 12 days, so he’s not really worth the notoriety.

Persistence eventually yielded Barrington Hall, located just across the street from the Start line.  Or Finish line.  We didn’t knock ourselves out on this one.


10.  Tic Tac Toe:  Just make one winning line

This was followed by the game symbol with various challenges, from which you would have to choose three to form a line.  It’s the equivalent of finding strangers with zits.  We skipped this one.

11.  This turbine housing, wheel pit and tailrace arc are still visible from the Roswell Manufacturing Company.  Go to this location for a mental challenge given out by a volunteer.

The challenge was to take the year it was burnt and subtract the year it was built.   1864 and 1839. Do the math.

12. This house of worship was established in 1839.  Go there and take a picture in front of the Georgia Historical Commission sign.

Been there, did that, at Roswell Presbyterian Church.


Overall, we were smart about it, figuring out enough of the answers to make a single loop for all the clue locations.  And, along the way, we smelled this:


That would be Spiced Right Ribhouse ... which made for a suitable end to the competition.  Less the promised T-shirt.


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