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fre·mo·cen·trist (f'mō-sĕn'trĭst) n. one who deeply believes all in the universe revolves around the Seattle neighborhood of Fremont - fremocentric adj. see Kirby Lindsay
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fre·mo·cen·trist (f'mō-sĕn'trĭst) n. one who deeply believes all in the universe revolves around the Seattle neighborhood of Fremont - fremocentric adj. see Kirby Lindsay
       The Archives: Published September 20, 2010 - The Fremocentrist
Scramble Along the Streets of Fremont

by Kirby Lindsay

Scramble img1Eric Bone, of Meridian Geographics, organizes events that draw people outside, and exploring our region in new ways.  On Sunday, September 26, this takes the shape of people - of all ages, abilities and interests – literally scrambling around the Center of the Universe to win the Fremont Oktoberfest Street Scramble.

Think you know Fremont?  Think again!  “It puts smiles on our faces,” Bone recently admitted, “when we get people from the neighborhood,” participating in a Street Scramble, “and they admit, ‘I’ve never seen that before,’ and ‘I’ve gone to places I’ve never been.’”

What Is A Street Scramble?

Bone admitted a Scramble resembles, in some ways, a scavenger hunt, “only instead of collecting a physical item, you get information.”  Scramblers fill-in answers to a list of questions about locations they visit.  It can also be compared to geocaching, although the Scramblers use a map instead of GPS, and Bone said, participants “don’t have to hunt around as much.”

Then, there is the race component.  The Fremont Street Scramble lasts 90 minutes, during which teams, or individuals, follow their maps to locations – each one with different points values – and answer multiple choice questions.  Read more about the Street Scramble experience on their website.

Participants can try to visit every site, but strategy will work better than speed.  Registration opens for the Fremont Scramble at 9a, with maps distributed half-an-hour (roughly 9:45a) before the race launches.  During that half-hour, participants figure out where they can get to fastest, discover the correct answer easiest, all based on their skills, and those of their teammates.

Best of all, in a Street Scramble, “a U.S. Orienteering team member doesn’t compete against a family with a seven year old child,” Bone explained.  As a member of the U.S. Orienteering team, he knows that everyone has their own skills, and Street Scramble prizes will be given on several different categories, and multiple skill levels.  “At any age,” he explained, “there is always a way to participate.”

Scramble img2

Teams can consist of up to 5 people, with members taking different parts including reading the clues, looking for answers and planning the route on the map.  The Fremont Scramble is the shortest of the eight races staged by Meridian in 2010 (view a video interviews with participants of the Night & Day Scramble.)  Also, “it is a lot more compact,” Bone said, “a lot of the sites are right in the heart of Fremont.”

Why Hold A Scramble?

Bone enjoys organizing the Scrambles, “and seeing what the neighborhood has to offer.”  He likes that participants, those intimately familiar and those completely new, can learn the community.  “The whole point of this is discovery,” he explained, “giving people a way to discover a neighborhood or a City with new eyes.”  He also admitted he has given higher points values to places he really wants people to experience, like Fremont Peak Park.  After a Scramble, “you look at things differently,” he said, “it makes you look at the details.”

I think I know Fremont, yet when I looked at the map and questions from 2007, I couldn’t answer them without visiting the sites listed.  The Scramble challenges preconceived notions – I know there are numbers, in yellow, on the Fremont Rocket, but I couldn’t guess what they were.  Additionally, the Scramble places these details in the midst of a fun, competitive activity surrounded by the Oktoberfest, just following the Brew Ha-Ha 5K Run.

To participate, register on-line (at a discount) or show up the day of, on Sunday, September 26, at Solstice Plaza (behind Blue Moon Burgers).  Registration opens at 9a, with maps handed out at 9:45a.  Racers must return by Noon (late returners receive a point penalty) with an awards presentation that takes place in the Oktoberfest Village at 12:45p.

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©2010 Kirby Lindsay.  This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws.  Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.

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