Tales of a Transplant: The Amazing Race

By Ryan Galindo, Staff Writer
@rygalindo

To tell you the truth, before this past weekend, I have never taken a tour of Boston―not one Duck Tour or a single yard on the Freedom Trail. I made it a point on my bucket list to go on a tour one day because I feel it’s almost mandatory as a transplant to do so.

Finally, after three months of procrastinating, I can finally say that I’ve taken a tour of Boston―or something like it―and it’s not the way I had planned it to be. I didn’t ride a single Duck Boat or follow a single brink of the Freedom Trail.

On Sunday, I participated in Boston University’s annual Amazing Race, which pits teams made up of BU students in a race around the city of Boston. Much like the reality television show it gets its inspiration from, the race included figuring out clues that lead contestants to their next destinations, and at some of these destinations, a task had to be completed in order to receive the next clue. The winning group would win $1500, but if the group were one of BU’s active student groups, it would win $3000 instead.

I was one of eight people that represented my favorite club, the Boston University Filipino Student Association. It sounded like a good idea. I absolutely love watching “The Amazing Race” on CBS and always dreamed of being part of it, so it was almost automatic that I agreed to play the moment I was asked to join the team.

With the race beginning at 9 a.m. sharp, I woke up at around 8 a.m. to get my things ready and do a bit of stretching. I thought nothing could ever wake me up that early on a Sunday morning, but apparently the prospect of $3000 can!

When the race began at the Student Activities Office, my team and about 30 other teams ran toward the Kenmore T stop in order to get to Arlington because that was where the first clue told us to go. In actuality the clue was a bit more vague and had asked us to go to Medieval Manor Theatre. We didn’t understand what the clue meant, so it took us roughly 30 minutes to figure out where we needed to go. We ran down many streets, confused―and we weren’t alone. Other teams were just as perplexed.

When we finally found the theater, we were asked to perform a short Shakespearean skit, which we (horribly) did, thus earning our next clue.

And that was the first leg of the race.

We had many other stops to reach. We went from the Charles River Campus, to Arlington, to the South End, to Chinatown, to the TD Garden, to the John Hancock House, to Columbus Park, to the site of the Boston Massacre and even gruelingly raced up Beacon Hill. Did I mention it was grueling?

Unfortunately, we didn’t win the race nor the $3000 as we were one of the later teams to arrive at Cheers near the Boston Common and were eliminated. It was bittersweet: bitter, because we had lost and sweet, because that was one of the hardest and strenuous things I have ever done. We had a good run though. I believe we were one of the top 20 teams to finish.

Would I recommend this race to anyone? Yes, I would. It’s really fun, and you really do get to see Boston and interact with its citizens because we weren’t allowed any electronic devices to help us find our way around the city. We got around the city through our own personal knowledge and the kindness of pedestrians that helped us.

We lost the race, but I personally believe I’ve gained another level of appreciation for the city in which I live and the people I share it with.


Fewer people fell during BU’s amazing race, based on the CBS reality show “The Amazing Race.”

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