Andrew Krause was sure they hadn't won, especially as the race was coming to a close.
"Let's just finish this thing, we gave it our all," said Krause. "It was fun though right? We had a pretty fun date. But we had a pretty good date I guess."
That has to be the understatement of the year. What started out as a date for Krause and his girlfriend of 9 months, Elizabeth McKinley, turned into an $11,245 Tacori diamond ring. The lucky couple beat out 300 other teams vying for that same ring in Sunday's Becky Beauchine Kulka Diamond Dash.
"It was a great event," said Becky Beauchine Kulka. "It's something where win or lose, everyone's going to walk away with a great experience."
This was not a typical race however. The event was run by SCVNGR who took East Lansing and turned it into a game board for two hours Sunday afternoon. Teams were directed by text message or iPhone and Android applications to challenges around campus and the city. Once teams were in the right spot they would either have to answer questions or complete challenges and text in a code or answer to receive points.
Sample questions included: "How tall is the Sparty statue?", "How many buttons is on the suit coat of the statue in front of Hannah?", and "How many Spartan helmets are on banners and sidewalks outside of Spartan Stadium?"
Challenges had teams dancing the Cupid Shuffle, putting together simple jigsaw puzzles or dressing up in a tuxedo to match a mannequin.
Teams received the challenges and questions in different orders to avoid overcrowding certain locations. SCVNGR says there were more than 40 challenge sites available to teams.
The rules were fairly simple: one phone per team, spelling counts (but capitalization doesn't) and no cars allowed. Most teams used bikes to compete, but Krause and McKinley won on their own two feet. They ran and used McKinley's experience as a tour guide at MSU to guide them around.
Last year's winning couple sold their ring, but Krause and McKinley say they're keeping it.
"We're saving it for a year," said Krause. "Then it will go on a specific finger."
The best part, though, is that the ring already fits McKinley's finger perfectly.
EDITORS NOTE: In the TV version of this story, Smith Anderson is identified as being with Scavenger. The correct name of the company is SCVNGR. WILX regrets the error.