COVINGTON, Ky. - If you're looking for a local adventure this summer, the Covington Quest (CQ) returns on June 22 to spark your inner explorer.
"This is the Center for Great Neighborhood's sixth year for the Quest," said Jane Anderson, Director of Development. "We are a not-for-profit, so this has always been a really good way for us to build community development. We have 20 teams so far, but we're hoping to get up to 40; it just makes it so much more fun."
The Covington Quest is a public adventure that sends participants on a scavenger hunt full of physical and mental challenges. The goal is to support the improvement of Covington's communities while participants compete for cash and prizes.
"The Quest is a fun way to bring together people of all ages with its Young and Not-So-Young age divisions, while enjoying an afternoon of foolishness for a great cause," said yearly Quest competitor, Nancy Hiltibrand. "The clues challenge your mind and the physical challenges are always interesting and worth a good laugh. You really have to have a good knowledge of Covington because you'll definitely start questioning yourself."
New year, new rules
Returning Questers will encounter new rules this year.
"It used to be that the winner was the first to cross the finish line, but not everyone can run the entire time," Anderson said, explaining the new point system.
"Being the first to cross the finish line is still worth points, but it doesn't necessarily determine the winning team," Anderson said.
The Quest has brought back faithful participants over its six-year run. PJ Lonneman, 33, was on the first CQ planning committee, then went away to school, and then came back again to take part. He is now a volunteer.
"The most memorable thing from that year was practicing the tomahawk toss," Lonneman said. "We worked with the Boy Scouts to set up a challenge site at the Dan Beard House in Licking Riverside, and the teams had to successfully throw a tomahawk into a tree stump. The site was run by the Boy Scouts, and they really got into it by dressing up in buckskins."
Creativity can also get you a winning prize at the Quest. There is a $200 prize for the team with the Best Team Costume as well as a prize for Best Team Name.
"Our team really likes the costume challenge because it gives us all a day off from being grown-ups and having to be serious all the time," Hiltibrand said. "It brings out the kid in each of us."
CQ participants can enjoy food and music at the after-party hosted in conjunction with RoeblingFest. There is a formal presentation of awards and door prizes. Spectators may also buy an after-party ticket on site.
"The Quest benefits the community in bringing people into the area for a super fun event," Hiltibrand said. "My friends and I plan to continue running/walking the race until we are in our 80s. Maybe even longer."
You can connect with Covington Quest on Twitter @CovingtonQuest