Although it has been a quite a while since Darryl “Dee” Readshaw has been on a road trip, he is looking forward to one he and his business partner have planned for September.
The pair plans to be one of 40 teams competing in “The Fireball Run,” which will take them from Longmont, Colo., to Riverside during the eight-day life-sized trivia game.
The competitive race will also count El Centro as one of its eight destinations and will stop here Sept. 27.
The race will pit various captains of industry and celebrities against one another and provide networking opportunities for local businesses and agencies within the host cities, organizers said.
“I’m excited about the race,” said Readshaw, co-owner of the Barbara Worth County Club & Golf Resort. “It gives us a chance to have a little more exposure.”
The resort’s recent renovation also impressed the show’s producers, who have a stated goal to promote economic development in chosen sites as well as help find missing children.
Each host city was given the opportunity to create a team of its own to compete in the 2,000-mile race. Team members will have to answer trivia questions about a given destination’s history and places of interest to earn points.
The winning team doesn’t win anything other than bragging rights and a plastic road sign, organizers said.
“It’s nice when we can get to be a part of something like this,” El Centro Mayor Ben Solomon said during Tuesday’s press conference announcing the upcoming event.
The Web-based series was created in the early 2000s and initially involved popular locales. Since then, producers moved to incorporate “undiscovered” destinations that had clear economic potential.
“El Centro was selected 100 percent based on the economic opportunities you don’t hear about in the media,” Executive Producer J. Sanchez said. “You are the perfect community for investment.”
Relationships formed during previous competitions in various locales have produced ongoing discussions between parties interested in economic development, Sanchez said.
“We want to leave your community a little better than when we arrived,” Sanchez said.
An estimated 1.7 million viewers have tuned into watch the online show. As part of the show’s philanthropic efforts, the race will also raise awareness of missing children in America, and since its inception has aided in the discovery of 38 missing children.
It is estimated that 500,000 children go missing every year in the nation, with only half of those returning to their homes, Sanchez said.
While producers wouldn’t divulge what sorts of activities competitors will have to undertake in El Centro, they did state that teams will have the opportunity to earn bonus points by spending at least $250 while here as well as joining a local organization.
Producers had initially reached out to the Chamber of Commerce in December, said Darletta Willis, chamber chief executive officer.
The area’s close ties to the border and Mexicali also aided in the producer’s decision to feature the area in the show, she said.
“I was confident in what we had to offer,” she said. “It’s a win-win for all of us.”
The community is invited to the El Centro stopover and is encouraged to meet the competitors and ask for autographs. Former astronaut Jon McBride will be one of the competitors. In the past, Women’s Pro Rodeo Association champion Kelly Kaminski participated as well. The car from the “Back to the Future” movies is also expected to compete.
The race is scheduled to begin Sept. 20 in Colorado and end eight days later in Riverside.
People can follow along at www.fireballrun.com