3-Minute Interview: Andy Valvur

The organizer of The Global Scavenger Hunt, a race around the world that begins in San Francisco on Friday, is tight-lipped about the countries and challenges that await 15 two-person teams raising money for charity during the three-week competition. Valvur, 53, won a similar race in 1989. He works as a branding manager in San Francisco and writes for CNN’s humor blog, Capitol Punishment.

After winning the 1989 race, why did you decide to stay involved? Who is not going to enjoy trips around the world? I also like watching people come back in and say, “Did you see? Did you go there?” when they discover something new. The thrill of discovery that you turned somebody on to something new is really cool.

How is The Global Scavenger Hunt different from “The Amazing Race“? In “The Amazing Race,” you have to get from one country to another and have to scramble to the airport. This doesn’t have that craziness — it’s pretty fast-paced, but the challenges start and end in the same city — then we all travel together to the next location.

What traits make for winners in The Global Scavenger Hunt? You got to be quick on your feet, and you have to be able to look at a town and figure out the local transportation system really quick. It’s a lot of map reading and time management.

Why did you think this race should raise money for charities instead of offering a big monetary prize to winners? Instead of ugly Americans running around the world, you’re traveling and at the same time giving a little bit back. We’ve had such a bad reputation in the world — it’s a tiny measure of repairing some of the damage.

svasilyuk@examiner.com

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