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TAKING NAMES: STRANGE NEW LENGTHS OF CORPORATE COURAGE

Jason Erkes usually asks his active audience of young professionals to play familiar games like volleyball or softball, but his new venture has him calling for brave souls to embark on the unknown.

His Chicago Sport & Social Club has organized the U.S. leg of this weekend’s City Chase Urban Adventure, a grown-up scavenger hunt a la “Amazing Race” or “Fear Factor.”

Two-person teams compete in athletic, mental and sometimes outrageous challenges. Chicago hosts the only U.S. race, after which international winners will compete in Rome.

“Years ago, no one would have thought about doing this. These reality shows have raised the bar on what’s weird,” says Mr. Erkes, surprised by the 600 sign-ups he’s had so far, including teams from corporations like KPMG and CareerBuilder. “Would you eat a bug or let a spider crawl down your shirt and pant leg?”

By Shia Kapos

8/20/2007

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