NEW BETHLEHEM – Several area teams competed in the 3rd Annual Amazing Race in New Bethlehem last Saturday. The town-wide scavenger hunt’s proceeds benefit the Redbank Valley Public Library.

Teams ranged in size from dynamic duos to multi-member family crews. This year, eight teams entered the race, competing in one of three categories. The family class was open to groups of three or more people; partners with youth applied to teams of two under the age of 16; and adult partners had two people over 16.

The race’s circuit began in Gumtown Park along Water Street where library board members acted as registrars. At 9 a.m, the first teams set off on the course which took them wending through the business district and into nearby residential areas. At stations along the way, entrants were required to perform various tasks.

Entrants trotted along Arch Street near the fire hall. They sprinted up the sidewalk along Broad Street. As they neared the finish line, some staggered more than trotted along Water Street.

At the point farthest from the starting gate, the library, Erin Bailey and Owen Fricko picked up their assigned task at the circulation desk. Each was handed a stack of specially marked books to place on their correct shelves. Library personnel checked their accuracy before the work was considered successfully completed.

Meanwhile, the Harmon family, perennial entrants, cooled their heels in the library’s foyer because only one team was permitted inside at a time. Once Bailey and Fricko ran out the door, Team Harmon scattered through the library shelves while another team fidgeted outside.

Library director Jaylene Smith said that this year’s turnout was comparable to the past two years.

“The biggest and best news is that we had 15 business sponsors this year,” Smith said. “We are getting more support from the local community, and we are very happy with that.”

Smith and the library’s board of directors greeted entrants completing the race beneath a park pavilion. But the racers weren’t quite finished. They had to compete in several party-type games before the race was officially done.

Board member Mike Moore was busy flipping burgers and turning hot dogs on the grill, ready to feed the hungry competitors.

Final tallies were not available as of Monday afternoon, but officials estimated that the race was a success on Saturday.

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