Escape room meets Amazing Race: challenge puts participants to test in Regina's Wascana Park

Escape room fans and fanatics threw themselves into the challenge of solving puzzles for Wascanaco: Crisis Aversion, a Sunday ‘task force training procedure’ jointly put on by the city’s three escape room businesses.

Wascanaco: Crisis Aversion asks teams to solve puzzles along 4 km loop of Wascana Lake

Participants in the Wascanaco: Crisis Aversion challenge attempt to defuse a bomb, as part of the challenges of the outdoor event that styled itself as a combination of an escape room and the Amazing Race. (CBC News)

It's tough not to break a sweat when you're in the middle of Wascana Park with the clock ticking and a bomb to defuse.

But escape room fans and fanatics threw themselves into the challenge for Wascanaco: Crisis Aversion, a Sunday 'task force training procedure' jointly put on by the city's three escape room businesses.

"People like pushing themselves to see how well they can do," said Mitch Bresciani, manager and co-owner of Mystery Mansion Escape Rooms.

Last year, Mystery Mansion joined up with District 3 and Escape Club to put on the outdoor Wascanaco event for the first time, which bills itself as one part escape room, one part Amazing Race.

Fans of the escape room challenge say they enjoy solving puzzles, but also working as a team to do so. (CBC News)

Crew members must solve a series of puzzles, and physical and mental challenges, along the four kilometre loop around Wascana Lake, competing to log the best time and win a prize package offered by the three businesses.

Bresciani says escape rooms have been popular in other cities for a while, but he believes they're increasingly gaining in popularity in Regina.  

"Really the main draw to it is it's something that challenges you, but it promotes teamwork and also the super critical life skill of problem solving and also being able to manage your time and stress and anxiety," he said.

Sunday's event won't be the last time the businesses team up, as Bresciani says they want to offer three more outdoor challenges this summer.

"We're trying to get it open for as many people to enjoy as possible."