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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Dubai's Rush-A-Way challenge will test your mettle

Ahead of the big day, we look at some of the fitness and mental tasks that previous contestants have faced – and the skills needed to win

Past contestants in the Rush-A-Way challenge have had to cycle around JLT, delivering eggs without breaking them. Courtesy Rush-A-Way
Past contestants in the Rush-A-Way challenge have had to cycle around JLT, delivering eggs without breaking them. Courtesy Rush-A-Way

The Amazing Race may be the inspiration for Rush-A-Way, but Dubai’s three-year-old fitness challenge has really come into its own, both in terms of the tasks it sets and the prizes it offers. A Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe doesn’t come easy, though, so in order to win this year’s challenge, participants – who can sign up as teams of between two and four – will need to hone skills that go far beyond physical fitness. Teamwork, mental endurance, logical analysis, creative thinking, reflexes and even highly-developed taste buds are some of the attributes that may be put to the test. And while the founders could not reveal the exact line-up of tasks that teams will be faced with on October 27, here’s a round-up of challenges from previous years and the skills they tested.

Parrot as you paddle

Two members from each team were required to pick a number before getting onto a paddleboard at Watercooled, Jebel Ali Beach Resort. They had to then make their way towards a raft, find the quote corresponding to their numbers, memorise it, and paddle back to the shore to write down the quote accurately from memory. “Even if you’re physically able to paddleboard, it takes a lot of mental strength to be calm in the face of a deadline, especially when you’re simultaneously trying to maintain your balance and keep the words in your head,” says Rush-A-Way’s creator, Neha Gaggar.

Take a bow

Set up in the archery arcade at Flip Out, Al Quoz, this task required members to share a single bow, and work out who could hit the varying targets the fastest. “A good aim aside, trust and patience were the main things tested here, as we saw people battle their annoyance when their team members missed a target, or when one came up that they thought they could have hit more quickly or easily,” says Gaggar.

Behind the wheel

Held at Emirates Kart Zone in Oud Metha, this task needed one member per team to make their way around the go-kart circuit four times at full speed, without crashing into obstacles. “We can all go-kart, but to be able to judge which member of your team will be the fastest, and then for that member to manage expectations as well as control their reflexes at a high speed, made for a high-energy activity,” says Gaggar.

Taste test

At Beesket Jumeirah, teams were given two concoctions with three ingredients each. Members had to taste the juices and guess the ingredient combinations of both. “It’s not easy to convince another that what you think is kale might well be spinach, but this task is a good way to get a sense of the delicacy of your palette,” says Gaggar.

Make your escape

This logical reasoning game was held at Al Barsha Park. The contestants had to decode a number of symbols scattered across the park, the solutions to which corresponded to a crossword puzzle grid given to each team. “Logical thinking and concentration often take a beating in the face of a ticking clock – as do tempers. The team that won the escape game last year quickly worked out that in one case, two boards had to be solved in order to form a single solution,” says Gaggar.

Balancing act

Two members from each team doubled as delivery people for Zoom stores in Jumeirah Lakes Towers. They had to cycle around JLT collecting eggs from various stations, place them in metal baskets on the bikes and deposit them at the designated locations without breaking any. “This called for a combination of speed, balance, delicacy and, in some cases, a change of clothes,” says Gaggar.

Strength in numbers

It pays to have one super-active member in each team, as last year’s Boot Camp-style activity proved. This involved multiple back-to-back endurance exercises: cycling, rowing, battle roping and vertical jumps, all conducted within an allotted time. “Physical prowess aside, team members also needed to cheer up and motivate the selected contestant, which is a big part of most of our tasks,” says Gaggar.

The Mercedes-Benz Rush-A-Way season six challenge will take place on October 27. Teams of between two and four members, aged 19 and above, need to register by October 20. The registration fee of Dh299 includes breakfast and lunch. Click here for more information.

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