Beyond the Backyard FAQs
Join us for an adventure Beyond the Backyard.
Imagine a scavenger hunt that is part Amazing Race and part double-dog-dare. On Saturday, May 20, you and your teammates will be in the wackiest, most memorable event of your life as you race through a series of wild challenges in a three-hour period. With Beyond the Backyard, you may get wet, you may get a little dirty, and you will definitely laugh.
Suited for all ages and stages, this quest is made for athletes and fun-seekers of all ability levels. Our adventure race is perfect for families and/or groups of friends, and offers team-building opportunities for colleagues, sports teams, and youth groups.
Below are the answers to all your burning questions about Beyond the Backyard, an adventure race for Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity. But if you have a question we don’t answer, please contact us. We’re glad to help.
When you’re ready to register, click here!
What is it exactly?
Beyond the Backyard is an adventure race, much like a community-wide scavenger hunt. It is also a fundraiser to benefit Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity, in support of affordable homeownership and foreclosure prevention.
On race day, the challenge list is delivered via the group texting app, Bonfyre. Teams solve, find and/or do the things asked of them in each challenge. Proof (photos/video) is uploaded to race HQ and validated in real time so you can advance to the next challenge.
Your team has 3 hours to complete as many of the challenges as possible. The first team to finish is the winner.
How does it work?
On race day, your team will meet at the Tacoma Habitat offices to check-in and complete your waivers.
At 10:00 AM the full challenge list will be delivered via your private team “room” on the race app, and your adventure begins. (A PDF version will also be emailed to the email address you used at registration.)
Strategize the best way to complete the challenges and in which order, as well as develop a plan to source any materials needed. Then, strike out to tackle as many of the challenges as possible before the clock strikes 1:00 PM. As you finish each challenge, your team will upload the pictures and/or videos to the race app for verification.
Teams need to stay together throughout the race and each team member should be visible in every submission, unless otherwise noted.
Race HQ 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.
At least one person on the team will need 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.)
What are the challenges like?
Challenges are designed to push you out of your comfort zones and generate unforgettable experiences. Some challenges will be physical, some will challenge your mind, and some will connect you to the community. And, challenges can be completed in any order. This variety ensures there is something for everyone, regardless of age or ability. You will laugh, you might do things you never anticipated, and we promise it will all be memorable!
Several days before the race, you will get an email with instructions to download the Bonfyre app, which is how you’ll submit proof of completed challenges to Race HQ. You can also chat and banter with other teams, and check overall progress!
To see some challenges from past races, check out our video.
Where do we race?
The race is limited to Pierce County. There will be challenges that are tied to a specific city and/or location, but some can be accomplished from any spot.
You may have to source supplies to complete a challenge, which could involve visiting a store to make a small purchase or arranging to borrow something from a nearby neighbor.
Are there prizes?
There will be a prize package awarded to the team that completes the most challenges or the first team to complete them all. In there is a tie, race HQ will use time validation to find the winning team based on who submitted their last challenge first.
Additional prizes will be awarded to the team who submits the best photo during the race and the team that raises the most money (in excess of $500).
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 challenges.
You may also 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.
What are the team requirements? Can I race solo?
This is a undoubtedly a team adventure, and is not built for solo participants. We recommend no fewer than 2 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 with an email won’t have access to the race app.
Our production partners have had racers as young as 4 who thoroughly enjoyed the race experience. And, it’s not unheard of for teams to have toddlers in strollers or babies in wraps.
Are there restrictions?
Nope! As long as your team has 2+ people and your registration fees are paid in full ($20/person), 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 slow you down.
But we LOVE a great theme – and all the better if your outfits align with your team name.
What's included with registration?
Your $20 registration fee includes race entry and use of the app.
You can register for a full team and fill in teammate details later, but only people with email addresses on file will receive an invitation to use the race app.
Entry fees are non-refundable, but you can swap out participants if need be.
Do I have to register my whole team at once?
Teammates can be added over time and registration is on an individual basis. Just be sure your teammates put your team name in the registration form so we can properly group your team together in the race app.
Please note that only teammates with email addresses in the registration system will receive an invitation to the app. Also, all event information is communicated via email.
My kid wants to have a team? Is that okay?
At least one member of each team needs to be 18+ and all registrants will need to complete a waiver in order to participate. Minors will need to have their parents signature on their waiver.
What's the minimum age to participate? Is there a maximum?
There is no maximum age, but 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. 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.
If we can't race after all, can we get a refund?
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 5/17/23. Contact us for details.
If you decide drop out of the race, please let us know so we don’t continue sending event updates to your inbox.
Is fundraising required?
In a change for our 2023 event, fundraising is not required. Racers need only register with a $20/person fee in order to participate.
However, we do appreciate any donations made toward the event which will fund our housing solutions work. We will award a prize to the team that raised the most money for Tacoma Habitat (in excess of $500).
Where does 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 affordable mortgages. Through the opportunity of homeownership, 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. It is an honor to provide low-cost critical home repair to vulnerable, low-income seniors.
Will the event be cancelled due to weather?
Nothing can stop this adventure train!
Like true Pacific Northwesterners, we race rain or shine.
What if we're uncomfortable with a particular 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 provided challenge list.
What should we wear?
Be comfortable. Dress for the weather and for adventure. Wear supportive shoes.
Wild costumes and/or matching team outfits are encouraged and are guaranteed to improve team camaraderie.
What do we need to race?
As this is an on-the-go event, you will need a vehicle and licensed driver in order to fully participate. We also highly recommend that your team use a single vehicle, so long as space allows.
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.
To communicate with Race HQ, you will need to download the group texting app, Bonfyre. An invitation to the app and its race “chats” will be sent the week of the race. Only participants who provide an email at registration will be able to access the app.
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.
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, water bottles and hand sanitizer.
Most importantly, bring a sense of adventure!
Will photos be taken?
Yes – by you!
Due to the “on the go” nature of Beyond the Backyard, there won’t be professional race photos. But you’ll be capturing lots of amazing moments of the race.
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.
Please note that upon registration you sign a waiver and release, providing Tacoma Habitat and our production partner Team Building Anywhere to use and reproduce your race photos and videos for promotional purposes.