About the Southern Ontario Amazing Race
The Southern Ontario Amazing Race (SOAR) is Ontario’s longest running two day Amazing Race themed adventure race fundraiser. SOAR raises funds for The Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington. It takes place on the first weekend of June each year.
SOAR is a clue-based adventure race complemented by numerous physical and mental challenges designed to test racers strengths, where they will experience the best of Southern Ontario’s landscapes and cities.
Why It’s Cool
Even if you don’t live in Guelph & Wellington, supporting the healthy development of kids anywhere is cool. Plus, Guelph & Wellington’s kids will grow up and move all over the world.
You and your partner will get to share an experience like no other and it will be a story you’ll tell for years to come. SOAR has been running since 2004 – it is an impeccably run race organized by an experienced team of volunteers.
The event has race photographers to capture the highlights of the weekend that racers will be able to view online after the race.
If you think you’re really smart but not strong physically or vice versa, past original SOAR challenges range from rock climbing to a math brain buster and anything in between. Each team will excel or be stumped at different points in the race.
You will compete for awesome prizes. The top prize is a $3,000 travel gift certificate for the trip of your choice along with your name being printed on the coveted SOAR trophy.
The planning team works hard to keep all details of the race a complete secret until the race weekend. The race will be full of surprises and excitement.
What You Need To Know
SOAR will be taking place on the weekend of June 1-3, 2018. Registration will begin Friday evening and the race will conclude on Sunday.
The first challenge for teams accepted into SOAR is raising pledges for the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington. Although we do not have a minimum pledge requirement, teams are expected to work hard to bring in pledges. If your team does not raise $1,500 or more, you will need to complete a Speedbump challenge at some point during the Race.
The registration fee is $450 per team. This covers all expenses for the weekend.
All racers must be 18 years of age with exception of teammates racing with a parent or guardian. In this case, one racer may be 16 or older.
One team member must have a valid driver’s license.
One team member must be able to swim.
SOAR and its Safety Coordinator design all aspects of the race with your safety in mind. You do not need to be a super athlete to compete but please keep in mind that this is a very physically challenging race. Also, challenges may be present that will push you beyond your comfort zone. That is the nature of SOAR; it will push you to try new things and will be truly exhilarating for all participants. Please be sure that you are serious about this opportunity before applying.
Team Selection Process
The planning team feels that allowing only 20 teams into SOAR heightens the experience of the race and that a combination of new and returning racers make the best competitive field.
1 TEAM: TOP PLEDGE RAISING TEAM FROM 2017
The top pledge raising team from 2017 will automatically be accepted. Note: you must still submit an application.
1 TEAM: TOP PLACING TEAM FROM 2017
The top placing team from 2017 will automatically be accepted. Note: you must still submit an application.
3 TEAMS: 2017 VOLUNTEER LOTTERY
Three (3) spots will be available for any 2017 volunteers that wish to participate in the 2018 race. The team can be composed of one volunteer and the partner of their choice or two volunteers. The teams will be selected at random through a lottery system.
15 TEAMS: DIRECTOR’S CHOICE
Fifteen (15) teams plus if any of the above categories are not filled, the Director’s will choose the teams to round out the 20 spots. These teams will be chosen from returning racers, volunteers and new teams that have not yet been selected in a previous category.
** Please note that the 20 teams selected will be announced but the Team of Directors reserves the right to and will not announce who the Director’s Choice teams are. All decisions by the Team of Directors are final and are not subject to review or appeal.
NEW: 3 FOR 3 RULE
Previous rules excluded teams who participated three times or won twice from racing again. In 2018, these teams may apply but they must commit to raising at least $3,000. All funds raised, including the $3,000 will count toward your STOAR total and can be used to purchase STOAR tokens. Non-alumni teams will earn an extra year of racing if they raise more than $3,000.
Apply with enthusiasm. It’s easy to get accepted!
There are a few general things to keep in mind to increase your chances of being accepted to SOAR:
Be Creative: Race Directors need to get a sense of how teams will fare in the race. Show us what you will bring to SOAR! SOAR Directors encourage applicants to include a link to a video portion of their application. Media sites such as YouTube and Vimeo can host a video for free and you can include a link to it in your application.
Be Fun: When the directors are looking to fill in the 11 Director’s choice spots, they are looking for enthusiastic and energetic people that will contribute to the already amazing experience of SOAR.
Be Honest: Complete your application form honestly. The Director’s are usually pretty good a spotting a tall tale!
Read the Form: There are some very specific things required to submit your application form. Read the application form closely before submitting!
I'm not sure if I'm up for the challenge of SOAR. Are there other ways to get involved?
One of the greatest things about SOAR is that participants have no prior knowledge of the details of the race. If you’re not sure if SOAR is for you, we have other ways to Get Involved. The great thing about getting involved as a volunteer, is that if you decide you would like to participate in the following year, you will receive a priority status for your application to that race.
What is a Director's Pick team?
The team of Directors likes teams with a lot of personality that will make SOAR an exciting and entertaining weekend. This is our chance to fill in the gaps and round out the teams that were selected in the first come, first served process.
Is there a backup date if there is inclement weather?
While we may pause the race in extreme weather (Lightning and/or Tornado), SOAR takes place rain or shine!
What time commitment is required of the racer's on race weekend?
Racers are required to check in around dinner time on the Friday before the race to attend a rules and regulations meeting, meet the other racers and directors, and have some fun! Dinner is not provided on Friday night, so please eat before you come. You will not be allowed to contact anyone outside the race after checking in. Due to the nature of the race, some teams will finish the race sooner than others. There is a racer/volunteer/ director BBQ after the completion of the race. It generally finishes around 8 or 9pm on Sunday.
Where does the race take place?
In previous SOAR events, the starting line has been in Guelph, Ontario. Where the race goes from there is known only by race directors. To see where we have traveled to, click here.
I really want to take part in SOAR but I missed the application deadline last year, how do I make sure I don't miss this year's deadline?
Your best bet is to join the mailing list by signing up here.
Do the SOAR Directors make any money from SOAR?
No. The application fee is used solely to cover the costs of the race weekend. All pledges raised go straight to the Children’s Foundation of Guelph & Wellington.