Teams scramble around Edmonds for fun and points Saturday

The Dailer family of Edmonds competed on roller blades! L to R, Kiara (a student at Meadowdale Middle), dad Doug, Maya (Meadowdale Elementary), and mom Francie.
The Dailer family of Edmonds competed on roller blades! L to R, Kiara (a student at Meadowdale Middle), dad Doug, Maya (Meadowdale Elementary), and mom Francie.

They came on foot, bicycle and roller blades. Some were pushing strollers. Others brought pets. Their ages spanned the full gamut from infants to senior citizens.

What brought this diverse group together? It was Edmonds’ first Street Scramble, a fun (some would say addicting) orienteering event organized by the Edmonds Parks Department and Meridian Geographics (better known as MerGEO), a Seattle-based company specializing in navigation-based sports. Local business sponsors are Edmonds Family Medicine, Revelations Yogurt and Dick’s Drive-in.

Chance the Great Dane was joined by housemate lab-mix Penny and their humans  Anne and Steve Price of Ballard. "We've been doing street scrambles since the beginning," said Anne, "and Penny is a seasoned veteran." For Chance, still a puppy at 9 months old, Edmonds is only his second scramble.
Chance the Great Dane was joined by housemate lab-mix Penny and their humans Anne and Steve Price of Ballard. “We’ve been doing street scrambles since the beginning,” said Anne, “and Penny is a seasoned veteran.” For Chance, still a puppy at 9 months old, Edmonds is only his second scramble.

Street scramble contestants participate as individuals or teams. About 30 minutes before the start, each contestant gets a map with 30 locations circled, and a multiple choice question corresponding to each. When the event begins, contestants go to the location, answer the question, and move on to the next. After the allotted time (there are two divisions which are scored separately, 90 minutes and three hours) they return to the starting point where they turn in their answers and the officials total up their scores. Each answer is worth between 10 and 50 points; guessing is a bad idea, as wrong answers subtract that number of points from the total score.

Rob and Jazzy Knudsen compete on a tandem bicycle.
Rob and Jazzy Knudsen compete on a tandem bicycle.

“We aim to enhance and encourage fun outdoor activities,” said Mark Taylor, event organizer for MerGEO. “We’ve been doing street scrambles for more than 10 years. They’re a great family activity, appropriate for all ages. People get to explore their town and find new places. It’s great how many long-time residents find new things about where they live on a street scramble.”

- Edmonds residents Tammy Herreid and Susan Henderson study the map to devise their route to collect the most points in the shortest time.
– Edmonds residents Tammy Herreid and Susan Henderson study the map to devise their route to collect the most points in the shortest time.

Edmonds resident Susan Henderson had a fantastic time. “I live here, and was amazed at the new places I saw,” she said. “Little neighborhoods, dead-end streets I would never have explored otherwise, cute homes decked out for Halloween. I even saw a bald eagle on a piling just off Olympic Beach!”

First place finishers with 430 points, the Gruger Girls!
First-place finishers with 430 points, the Gruger Girls!

“This has turned out to be a great event,” said Carrie Hite, Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services for the City of Edmonds. “It’s got something for everyone from long-time Edmonds residents to first-time visitors. I’m looking forward to doing it again next year.”

— Story and photos by Larry Vogel

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