The third annual Great Lehighton Race, held Saturday, had a tight finish with the top three teams finishing within 2 1/2 minutes of each other.
The race was staged by the Lehighton Downtown Initiative Committee, and was coordinated by Todd Zimmerman, president of the LDIC and creator of the race.
The winners were Peter Salerno and Nick Mantz, both seniors at Lehighton Area High School, who completed the course in one hour, 37 minutes, and 12 seconds.
The second place finishers were Tim and Rachel Robb, whose time was one hour, 39 minutes, and 35 seconds.
The third place prize was given to Paul and Karen Ziegenfuss, with a finishing time of one hour, 39 minutes, and 38 seconds - just three seconds shy of the Robbs'.
Zimmerman said 26 teams competed, which is more than competed in the first two races. When the race began in 2010, more than a dozen teams competed. Last year, 23 teams chased for the grand prize.
The race this year was held in conjunction with the Lehighton Community Festival, which was held at the Lehighton Community Grove.
Zimmerman stressed that all the proceeds benefit the LDIC.
The Great Lehighton Race consisted of 13 clues. Each clue directed the participants to a location in the Lehighton area to be discovered.
The first clue had a dual purpose, noted Zimmerman. Participants began the race by finding a marked flower garden space in the Lehighton Park - where the race began, digging up the grass and weeds, and then cover the area with about an inch of topsoil.
The LDIC is working on improving the appearance of the downtown park and the work done by the race participants will assist in the project.
Other clues during the race included:
Ÿ Go to First Street and look for letters hanging on various businesses. There were 13 letters. Those letters had to be unscrambled to make two words. Those two words were another location that participants had to visit.
Ÿ Take a bus ride to Lowe's Home Improvement Center, walk though the store, find 10 items that were specified, and mark the three codes on the label.
Ÿ Complete an obstacle course at Pyramid Sports.
Ÿ Eat two funnel cakes at a stand at the Lehighton Community Grove. This proved to be a welcome treat for most of the participants considering that in last year's race, the entries had to eat two pounds of sauerkraut.
Ÿ Go via foot to the famous Lehighton business that bears the same last name as the LDIC president (Zimmerman's Dairy on Bridge Street).
Both the Great Lehighton Race and the Community Festival were termed successes by Zimmerman.
The LDIC will be the sponsor for the 14th annual Lehighton Bike Night on Saturday, Aug. 11, at the Lehighton Park.