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Beyond the Backyard FAQs

in Fundraiser

We’re excited about Beyond the Backyard, a new Habitat Challenge! 

Imagine a scavenger hunt that is part Amazing Race and part double-dog-dare. On Saturday, September 26, you and your teammates will be in the wackiest, most memorable race of your life as you race through 24 wild challenges. With Beyond the Backyard, you may get wet, you may get a little dirty, but you will definitely laugh.

Suited for all ages and stages, this quest is made for athletes and fun-seekers of all ability levels.

Better yet, challenges are created to align with our state’s pandemic regulations. There is no communal starting line and no one location where checkered flags mark the end of the race. One of the goals in designing Beyond the Backyard is leaving it flexible enough so everyone can participate – no matter their risk factors or reservations about exposure.

Below are the answers to all your burning questions about Beyond the Backyard, a new Habitat Challenge.

But if we left one out, please contact us. We’re glad to help.

When you’re ready to register, click here! You can register without having all your team info; team members can add on later.

Overall Experience

What exactly is it?

Beyond the Backyard is essentially a community-wide scavenger hunt.

Teams use their collective fundraising power to unlock the 24 challenges with a goal of reaching $1,200. (Example: a team of 4 need raise $300 each.)

On race day, challenges are delivered via the race app. Teams solve, find and/or do the thing asked of them. Proof (photos/video) is submitted to race HQ as proof and is validated in real time so you can advance to the next challenge.

Team will complete within divisions, based on the number of challenges they unlock.



How does it work?

On race day, each team will receive the number of challenges related to their fundraising total. Teams that meet the $1,200 goal will receive 24 challenges. But, for example, a team that raised $750 will only receive 15 challenges.

Challenges are delivered and proof is submitted using the race app.  At least one person on the team needs a smart phone or device with the app loaded and capability to capture both still photos and videos. (See “Do we need anything to race?” for more details.)

At the start of the race, you will receive a link to the challenge list via your private team “room” on the race app. A PDF version will also be emailed.

You will have up to 3 hours to complete as many of the challenges on your list as possible, and may do so in any order you choose. As you finish each, your team will submit the pictures/videos to the race app for verification as you go.

Teams need to stay together throughout the race and each team member should be visible in every submission unless otherwise noted.

Staff will validate all of your challenges remotely, and in real-time, either clearing your team to move to the next or offering guidance on how to fully complete the task.

The winning team will be the first to finish all 24 challenges within the three hour racing period. If no one completes all 24, the winning team will be the one who finishes the most challenges.

What are the challenges like?

Challenges are designed to push you out of your comfort zones  and generate unforgettable experiences. The collection of challenges you will face fall into four categories: Physical, Skill, Find, and Fun. This variety ensures there is something for everyone, regardless of age or ability.

Below are just a few examples of basic challenges. Keep in mind Beyond the Backyard will have its own custom-created experiences. So although these specific challenges will not be a part of your race experience, they are meant to give you a better understanding of the overall concept.


Group Sit And Stand Challenge  | Physical

Take a video of your team members all standing shoulder to shoulder in a tight clump/circle with your backs all facing in and your arms interlocked. Lower team to ground and stand back up.


Paper Airplane Challenge | Skill

Have one team member located on any 2nd level of a building or open parking garage toss a paper airplane and any teammate at ground level must catch it before it hits the ground.


License Plate Challenge | Find

Take a picture of your team with any parked vehicle whose license plate contains numerical digits that add up to 10, no more, no less.





What about COVID-19? How safe is this event?

The health of the community is our utmost priority and this event model is uniquely suited to a post-pandemic environment. One of the goals in designing this event is leaving it flexible enough so everyone can participate – no matter their risk factors or reservations about exposure.

Challenges are custom-created for Beyond the Backyard to align with our state’s health regulations. There is no communal starting line and no one location where checkered flags mark the end of the race. We will not be “gathering”.

Each team has control over the scope of their race in terms of how “exposed” they are.

You decide who’s on your team – choosing whether to limit it to your immediate family or opt to open it up to a wider network of friends and colleagues. You could make agreements with your team about self-isolating ahead of race day, just to be extra careful.

On event day your team can evaluate which challenges, if any, you’d like to skip and/or how far from home you want the adventure to take you.

Where do we race?

You race wherever you are within Pierce County. There are no specific starting or finishing lines. This race is contained more by time than space.

Beyond the Backyard is designed for you to run within your own community.

There may be some generic types of locations you need to report to – like a post office, for example – but there won’t necessarily be one specific location that all racers need to find. You may also have to source supplies to complete a challenge, which could involve visiting a store or arranging to pick something up from a neighbor’s porch.

One of the goals in designing this race is leaving it flexible enough so everyone can participate no matter what state of lock-down Washington is in come September.

How do you win?

The team who finishes all 24 challenges first will be dubbed the “winners” of the 2020 Beyond the Backyard, and will receive trophies acknowledging them as such.

If no one accomplishes all 24 within the three-hour race, the winner will be the team from the 24 challenge division who completes the most.

Are there prizes?

Teams finishing first, second and third in the 24 challenge division will be awarded trophies.

There will also be a prize package awarded to the team that raises the most money. 

All prizes will be delivered post-event.

How can my team prepare/practice?

There’s not much you can do to physically prepare in terms of a training regimen, but there are unlimited ways in which you can build team rapport in advance of event day.

You may want to drill some Minute To Win It games with your team in advance of the race, and/or try to master some Tik Tok dances.

You may consider race-day roles for each of your teammates. Examples: identify a chief strategist who will help map out how to attack the tasks and in which order; name a researcher who will be your Google master and source your supplies; decide who will be team chauffeur and/or photographer.

Another team-building activity is to decide and source your team theme and costume.

About Teams

What are the team requirements? Can I race solo?

This is a undoubtedly a team sport and not built for solo participants. We recommend no fewer than 3 people for a team, and no more than 8.

When your team grows beyond 7 or 8, the experience can get bogged down. Larger groups may struggle to fit everyone in the frame of photos and videos, and depending on personalities, it might be tricky to keep everyone engaged and feeling like an essential member. Remember, fun is the goal!

Larger groups are welcome to participate. We just recommend splitting your big group into smaller segments to form teams.

Also, teammates must race together. Build your team with people that are able to physically be with you on race day. Your entire team will need to appear in photos/videos together in order to complete challenges.

Can kids participate?

Absolutely! Kiddos are universally welcome to participate.

Please note that all kids age 10+ must be registered participants of the team. 

Kids under 10 are welcome to join the adventure, but unless registered won’t received a t-shirt and won’t have access to the race app.

Our production partners have had racers as young as 4 who thoroughly enjoyed the race experience. It’s not unheard of for teams to have toddlers in strollers or babies in wraps.


Are there any restrictions?

Nope! As long as your team has 3+ people and you’ve unlocked at least some challenges, you are good to race.

There are, however, some physical challenges requiring balance and/or dexterity – and sometimes both.

If you have a teammate with physical limitations, you might want to decide in advance how your team will handle it. Our advice is to have everyone on the same page before race day rather than to struggle in the midst of the competition.

Can we wear costumes or team shirts?

Yes, please! Let your creativity run wild!

Just keep in mind that you need to retain range of motion and, if you’re in it to win it, you don’t want your ensemble to be what slows you down.

You’ll also need to have your bib # and the name of the race visible on your body so race HQ can identify your team members. Bib numbers are done via body marking, ala triathletes and serious adventure races. You can write your bib # with a standard Sharpie or with markers specifically made for athletes like SportSafe.

But we LOVE a great theme – and all the better if your outfits align with your team name.

How do I make changes to my team fundraising page?

Only the appointed team captain (usually the person who started the team) can make changes to the team page on our fundraising system. They will need to login from the event homepage; see the top right corner. Once logged in, they can name someone else on the team captain.

If you have trouble transferring captain-hood or logging in, please reach out and we’re glad to help.


What’s included with the $25 registration?

Your $25 registration fee includes race entry, use of the app, and an event t-shirt.

Entry fees are non-refundable, but do count toward your team’s fundraising total.

Once you have your first two team members signed up, you’ve already unlocked your first challenge!

Does my whole team need to register at once, or can we add people over time?

Teammates can be added over time.

The option to join an existing team is offered during the registration process.

My kids want to start their own team. Does each team need an adult?

At least one member of each team needs to be 18+.

If someone on my team drops out, can I replace them with someone else?

You can replace teammates through September 21. After that, your team is locked.

To shuffle team members, please reach out to us for assistance.


What’s the minimum age to participate? The maximum?

There is no maximum age.

At least one member of each team must be 18+.

We require all racers age 10+ to be registered team members, but younger kiddos are welcome to join the adventure too. Our partners have had official racers as young as 4 have a successful experience.

Please note that unless your child is a registered team member, they won’t have access to the race app and will not receive an event t-shirt.


How does the fundraising work?

Beyond the Backyard is a peer-to-peer fundraiser, much like a walk-a-thon or any charitable bike ride or race. The objective is for your team to raise $1,200 to benefit Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity.  This amount unlocks all 24 challenges of the race.

Please note that ALL fundraising must be done on the event platform. Facebook fundraisers and Go Fund Me pages aren’t able to be credited toward your team. 

When you register, your $25 entry fee counts toward your team fundraising goal.

With your registration, you get a personal fundraising page on our software platform with a unique URL to share with your network. You can update your page with your own photos (both a profile picture and a cover photo) and a statement about yourself.

Each team will also have a fundraising page with a custom URL. The team page is managed by the Team Captain and includes the profile pictures of each team member, which are auto-populated from their individual fundraising pages, and the option of adding a team cover photo.

All individual fundraising will automatically link up and reflect in the team total. The event leaderboard is on the event homepage and you can quickly check both individual and team fundraising totals there.

If you easily reach $1,2000, we encourage you to keep going! Every dollar raised helps house a family in need.

How do I personalize my fundraising page?

When you registered, you set up login information for your personal page.

From the event homepage, you can click on the login button on the top right of the screen. From there, you can enter your credentials to login, or request to reset your password.

If you get stuck or need help, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Where does all the money go?

Thanks to our generous sponsors, all funds raised by teams through Beyond the Backyard benefit Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity.

Using affordable homeownership as an anchor for hope, change, and stability, Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity has been building in the community since 1985. We are a local, independent affiliate of the global non-profit housing organization, Habitat for Humanity International.

Tacoma Habitat is committed to advocating for fair housing policies while increasing access to affordable homeownership for hard working families and individuals.

Funds from Beyond the Backyard will not only help build homes, but support our programs, including:

  • Homeownership: With a hand-up from our donors and volunteers, Habitat homeowners are able to purchase homes with an affordable mortgage. Through the opportunity of homeownership, these partner families escape rent-burdened, over-crowded living situations. With stable, affordable housing, Habitat homeowners no longer have to make difficult choices between paying rent or providing for daily life and emergent needs of their families.
  • Foreclosure Prevention: Now more than ever, homeowners are at risk of losing the dream they’ve worked so hard to achieve, reporting reduced incomes and requesting mortgage forbearance. Our new foreclosure prevention program helps to keep default and foreclosure at bay.
  • Aging in Place: Senior citizens needing home repair in order to maintain a healthy living environment often call on us, with nowhere else to turn. We are currently piloting a developing home repair program to serve vulnerable, low-income seniors on referral from the Piece County Human Services Department.
If we can’t race after all, can we get refunds?

Registration fees are non-refundable and will be retained as donations to Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity.

However, registrations are transferable within teams through 9/21. Contact us for details.

If you drop out of the race, please let us know so we don’t continue sending event updates to your inbox.

Please note that all donations you bring in will be retained and will benefit your team and Tacoma Habitat.

Race Day

Will the event be cancelled due to rain or inclement weather?

Nothing can stop this adventure train!

Like true Pacific Northwesterners, we race rain or shine.

What if I/we aren’t comfortable with a challenge?

Teams are never forced to do anything they don’t want to do, or can’t physically complete.

You can skip around to create your own unique Beyond the Backyard experience using the clues provided.

However, skipping challenges will likely preclude you from placing within your division.

What do we need to wear?

Be comfortable. Dress for the weather.  Wear supportive shoes.

Regardless of the type(s) of transportation you use throughout the race, you will likely be active for most or all of the 3 hour race.

Wild costumes and/or matching team outfits are encouraged and are guaranteed to improve team camaraderie.

And, don’t forget your sunscreen!

Do we need anything to race?

Beyond the Backyard is a high-tech race. Teams are required to take pictures and/or video with a mobile device; potentially make phone calls or send text messages; and possibly utilize the internet to do research and/or send an email during the race.  Make sure at least one team member has a fully-charged smart phone or device that can do all the above.

It is strongly recommended that team members race with your devices’ power cords and/or back-up power sources. You also may want to get familiar with your camera’s timer function and/or dig out your long-abandoned selfie stick. (So 2014!)

It is also recommended that you have a map of your area, a pen or pencil, and something to take notes on. A good understanding of the surrounding communities will give your team an advantage.

We advise carrying your ID just in case, though you will not need it for the event specifically.

 You should also have some cash on you for any water or snacks you choose to buy along the way, or in case a challenge requires your team to purchase a small item.

Of course, we recommend sunscreen and water bottles. And your face mask

Most importantly, bring a sense of adventure!

Will photos be taken?

Yes – by you!

Because this is a “race where you stand” event, there won’t be professional race photos. But you’ll be capturing lots of amazing moments for the race itself.

We’d love for you to share those images with us! You can find us on most social media platforms, tagging @tacomahabitat.  We also encourage hashtags: #beyondthebackyard; #tacomahabitat; #raceforhomes; and #Habitatadventurerace.

Can our friends come watch?

As we’re not having a big send off from one spot nor are we having all teams cross a specific finish line, there really isn’t any place to send your people.

The nature of this event is that you race from where you are and that you’re mobile. Even having your own band of spectators trailing you could be challenging, potentially dangerous, and will likely slow you down.

We recommend posting your validation photos and videos to your own social platforms (hello, Instagram Stories!) and/or sharing them in a group text with your donors along the way.


The Elephant in the Post

What about the real Habitat Challenge?

The realities of a post-pandemic Tacoma would have severely compromised the rappelling event this September. Our venue partner announced they will not reopen until 2021 and, with limits on gatherings, our ground party would be eliminated.

Without a roof to rappel from or friends to cheer us on, we had to press pause on the Habitat Challenge. Working with our partners at Over the Edge, we are planning for a 2021 Habitat Challenge and have Friday, August 27, 2021 reserved as the next time we’ll be on a rooftop together. We are grateful for the support that has made the Habitat Challenge what it is, and thank you for helping us raise more than $480,000 over the years.

But for 2020, we double-dog-dare you to give Beyond the Backyard a try. It might not have your knees knocking in exactly the same way, but we promise it’ll be a GREAT time!

Posted in: Fundraiser