For weeks I had been part of the organising committee for the third annual ISPP Fun Rally Phnom Penh writing clues, finding prizes, coercing sponsors, creating posters and fliers, getting T shirts and hats printed, distributing said posters and fliers, selling tickets and managing the caterer.
On a sunday a couple of weekends ago four of us piled into a tuktuk for a four hour dry run of the Adult Route that took us in a meandering 20km loop from the Elementary school gate around the answers to 79 clues and tasks and back again hungry, hot, with spent brains and tummys sore from laughing. The route was slimmed down by five clues or aproximately one hour and the final copies printed.
There were two routes. One for adults- the clues more cryptic and the route longer- and one for children. Teams could be a mixture of both adults and kids but had to chose one of the routes, without seeing the clues and tasks, before they left. Clue booklets were a mixture of straight decipher and answer questions and those that invloved a task. The first clue of the Adult Route, for example, took contestants to the school athletic field where they had to run and then brave a ten gallon drum of goo to retrieve a teeny tiny crystal 'diamond'. The kids had much nicer tasks- decorating and eating cookies, fishing from a swimming pool and making sure their parents/guardians completed a set of push ups. Both teams delivered bags of goodies to orphanages on their routes and books to Open Book and ended back where they started...hopefully!
The day before we dressed the elementary school in Rally posters and red balloons, packed bags for the charity task with rice, donated stationary items and toys, and the book bags for 'Open Book', positioned the registration tables under sponsors umbrellas and we were ready.
Sunday dawned cloudy and with a hint of impending rain- perfect!
J and I manned the table for late registrations and sold tickets right up until the last teams were leaving. Teams, in either tuktuks or cars, were ceremoniously flagged off and times recorded in case of a point tie (which actually did happen for both first and second place in the Adult Route).
Two and a half hours later the first teams, doing the Childrens Route, began to dribble in. Followed closely by the eventual winners of the Adult Route. We spent the next couple of hours frantically marking route answers while the contestants were treated to a barbeque lunch and entertained by some clowns from Sovanna Phum and an energetic MC with a hand full of spot prizes.
The eventual winners received a grab bag full of vouchers from various very generous businesses around town and little handmade christmas decorations from Mekong Quilts and Ida Ira and other prizes were given out for 'best dressed' and the 'slowest'.
We arrived back home hot and tired after a glass or two of champagne and a job well done brimming with ideas for next years Rally.