Grove City is gearing up for its fourth annual "Amazing Grove City" Race, held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 16 in the city.

Grove City is gearing up for its fourth annual "Amazing Grove City" Race, held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 16 in the city.

The competition will feature teams of two to four people age 12 or older completing challenges around the city. Brand new challenges are slated for this year's event, said Grove City recreational coordinator Michele Demmy.

Teams will begin at a common starting point. The remaining destinations unfold as the game progresses, Demmy said. The entire city is considered the competition area, and teams provide their own transportation, packing cars with water bottles, extra shoes and food. Teams also are asked to provide specific items that they might be required to use.

Participants pay $45 per team, which funds the race's events and pays for T-shirts and a light lunch for the teams.

The race relies heavily on volunteers, Demmy said. Grove City partners with various community businesses, nonprofit organizations and service groups to stage the event.

Past events have included canoeing, roller skating, crossword puzzles and information searches at the local library. Demmy said the goal is to "really highlight the fun opportunities within the Grove City area."

Sixteen teams participated in the first year and 20 participated in each of the following two years, Demmy said.

Players compete rain or shine, both indoors and outdoors.

Participants complete between 15 and 20 tasks, and the competition usually takes three to three and a half hours.

Sportsmanship is emphasized during the competition. Those who don't play fairly might get a "flat tire," a piece of paper with a picture of a flat tire, requiring them to stay put for two minutes during the race.

"Every year, the teams who consistently lead throughout the race have a few things in common," Demmy said.

Successful teams enjoy competition, include both brains and brawn, read the instructions carefully and complete the tasks accurately.

In the past, teams have fallen from first to second place by misreading one clue.

"And having two or four .., members does not seem to make much of a difference" in a team's success, Demmy said.

Several team openings are still available, Demmy said. Registration will close July 5.

To sign up, call the Grove City Parks and Recreation Department at (614) 277-3050 or visit its office in City Hall, 4035 Broadway, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.