What exactly is, “The Photo Scavenger Hunt?” Well, simply put, you run around your town finding different things to take pictures of. You set a specific amount of time to run, and take as many pictures you can find on your scavenger hunt list.
I am a cross country and track coach. Every season we do this workout as an easy run. We break the team up into groups of five to eight runners. Each group gets a disposable camera. The group then gets a list of items that they need to take a picture of. The only catch with taking a photo is your entire group, minus the camera person, must be in the photo. That way we know that every runner from each group was at each location.
This workout works for individuals too. Just grab the camera, get a list of things to take photos of, and head on out the door. Make sure you set a specific time limit, so you don’t waste time searching for one thing too long. The idea is to get as many things as possible in a short amount of time. It is almost like running a bunch of mixed distance intervals with short recovery.
Here is an example list of items that we used for the past seasons cross country photo scavenger hunt. They were given 45 minutes to try and get as many pictures of these items. Now some things are picked specifically for the distance they need to run to get them. Smarter groups will plan their route so they can cover the least amount of ground and maximize the number of pictures taken.
1. By a restaurant.
2. With a stranger.
3. By some water.
4. In the woods.
5. Help pump some gas.
6. By a church.
7. On some swings.
8. Doing your favorite stretch.
9. By the water tower.
10. By your favorite car.
11. Doing yard work.
12. Helping a citizen cross the road.
13. By the railroad tracks.
14. On the football field.
15. By an ugly car.
Now, some of these locations are more than one mile from where we start. If our runners planned ahead, they could make a complete loop of five miles and cover each item on the list. This makes for a nine minute mile pace. Now add in the fact that you have to stop for the picture. You end up with a fun, yet somewhat challenging workout.
I never saw a group of kids get so excited to run before I did this. They asked to do it every week. I told them that it is quite expensive for the whole team to do this. Our bill was just under $100 for eight disposable cameras and then development of the pictures.
So there you have it. A true “fun” run. I am going to develop one on my own for training this summer. The world seems a lot brighter and more exciting when you have to look for certain things. It makes running fun and fresh, even for an old running veteran like me. Try it out. I bet you’ll like it.