words and photos by Jon D Lamkins

Event: Rally Against Leukemia 2018

Location: Palmer Motorsports Park

Date: September 8, 2018

Rallymasters: Jon and Kelli Lamkins

After a hiatus of a few years, the NER Rally program once again joined the NER Racing program on Saturday September 8th during their Racing Against Leukemia weekend, to host Rally Against Leukemia 2018.

For the first time ever, Rally Against Leukemia (RAL) was run as GTA (Game-Tour-Adventure) Rally. The GTA Format used for RAL 2018 was shortest distance. Under this format, teams receive a map and list of questions, then must answer all the question in the lowest miles traveled.

Normally, there are anywhere between 16 and 20 questions.  Since RAL 2018 was a charity event where first time competitors were expected, the question count was limited to 10.  The map used for RAL 2018 was of Springfield County, Massachusetts. Since the map was bifurcated by Interstate 91, there were 5 questions on either side 91.

Fourteen teams showed up at Palmer Motorsports Park on Saturday, September 8th for the event. After a lengthy odometer calibration run that took teams almost to the center of Ware, MA before turning back, they set out for approximately 6 hour worth of adventure.

While the team could do the clues in any order, one possible shortest route was:

  • Burleigh Park Ball fields in Palmer (What’s the #5 thing to remember?)
  • Ludlow, MA center by the clock tower (Where they learned of the origins of the town name)
  • Stanley Park in Westfield (Who had the totem pole built?)
  • Jacob’s Ladder Trail in Russell, MA (Counterfeiters were hiding in the caves)
  • Knightsville Dam in Huntington, MA.  (What’s the capacity?)
  • Worthington First Congregational Church (When are Sunday services?)
  • St. Mary of the Assumption Cemetery , in Leeds, MA (When was it consecrated?)
  • Joseph Allen Skinner Museum in South Hadley (Where did the 6 ton piece of granite come from?)
  • Holyoke Range State Park (How long is the Laurel Loop Trail?)
  • Quabbin Reservoir (How many residents were displaced to build it?)

Thirteen of the fourteen teams made it to the finish, where they enjoyed watching the racing, track tours, and partaking in the Pig Roast.  First Timers Josh and Carter Maxfield squeaked out a 0.85 mile victory over 2nd timers Earl and Michael Chase (121.02 vs. 121.87).  Veterans Erin and Gregory Gibbs finished 3rd with a 124.37 score while Richard Miller and Jessica McGillis bounced back from a bad day at the previous Hurdle GTA to take 4th with a score of 124.52.

Final Results