The 5th Annual aMAZEing Ballarat was run in clear fine conditions this weekend and as expected provided some unusual challenges and twists for the record number of 30 teams.

The fun started right from the starting whistle as teams had to cut grass from around the perimeter fence at the event’s start/finish point at the Ballarat Community Garden. From there the four hour adventure race had teams tasting mushrooms at the Bridge Mall market, delving into hidden areas of the Ballarat Mechanic’s Institute, smashing tiles with Kyokushin Karate at the Eastwood Leisure Centre, answering quiz questions at the Ballarat Observatory and completing an exercise drill at On-Track Fitness Gym.

In addition to solving some cryptic location points in Ballarat East and Mt Pleasant, teams were also tested with a Japanese translation problem and a new style of clue, a series of photographic observations.

As much as the competitors love the challenges, all of them enter into the spirit of this charity event. The teams were asked to bring a smile to a stranger’s face, with a $5 note which was included in their clue sheet, and some wonderful stories were told at the finish. A busker in the Mall did particularly well, others bought flowers, while one team gave their money to a dog – the owner explained that he could now buy the dog some sausages at Bunnings and so help another worthwhile cause.

Eureka Orienteers, the organisers of this event, nominated the On-Track Foundation as the major recipient of the funds this year and will purchase a number of Street Swags to be donated to Ballarat’s homeless with the proceeds. One was on display at the Community Garden and teams were most supportive of this cause.

The community connection was also maintained with gifts being donated to the ABC Radio Giving Tree and seeds for the Garden.

At the conclusion of the event the hand out of the coveted winners mugs was eagerly anticipated because the organization of categories can always give a low score the chance of getting a place.


Category – The Runners
1. The Magpies -1080 points
2. Magic Pumpkin – 902 points
3. Norfolk – 863 points

Category – The Visitors
1. XAXA – 875 points
2. Team Gangemi – 801 points
3. Collins Mob – 739 points

Category – The Steady and the Newcomers
1. The Chickens – 999 points
2. Jade Dragons – 990 points
3. Fab Fitz Four – 963 points

Category – The Locals
1. Duo – 1018 points
2. Armac – 828 points
3. Sassy Sisters – 657 points

Category – The Relatives
1. Blazentino – 995 points
2. Tomtine – 860 points
3. Dicky Knee – 719 points