A Look Inside The Annual Nancy Drew Speedathon, An Online Gathering of Nancy Drew Fans

This past weekend, I participated in a yearly online event of the Nancy Drew community called the Nancy Drew Speedathon.

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This past weekend, I participated in a yearly online event of the Nancy Drew community called the Nancy Drew Speedathon.

Jules Nguyen, Freelancer

This past weekend, I participated in a yearly online event of the Nancy Drew community called the Nancy Drew Speedathon. For those of you unfamiliar, Nancy Drew originated as a book series in the early 1900’s, soon transforming into multiple formats consisting of books, movies, TV shows, and my personal favorite, the video games. 

The video games have the player in Nancy’s shoes solving the case through character dialogues and complex puzzles. The Nancy Drew Speedathon is a yearly event of the community who plays these video games, playing them to the end as fast as possible to raise money for charity. It’s a great way for the community to bond together while raising money for a good cause. 

This year, over fifteen people — including myself — ran the games, checking our pre-routed documents for the quickest way through the games and puzzle solutions. We streamed on Twitch under the handle @ndspeedathon one at a time, and commented on our strategies and thoughts throughout to keep the audience engaged. 

To get more people to donate toward the cause, each of us chose game-specific incentives: Canadian Rockies trivia for the game in Canada; wearing a hilarious getup of cowboy hats and a horse mask for the western game; putting on lederhosen for the game in Germany, and so on. 

Throughout the Speedathon, several fan-sponsored giveaways took place, including classic books, fan-made trading cards, two of the Nancy Drew video games, and a t-shirt with the community’s logo. When we hit large cumulative targets, special game plays occured at the end of the night. 

In the end, the team’s hard work paid off, and the two-day event kept runners and audience members entertained. As well, the event was a big success: over $4,000 raised; it should also be noted that we raised over a thousand dollars more than last year’s Speedathon…. We cannot wait for our Speedathon next year to do it all again.”

— Jules Nguyen

Carol, our leader, had been planning the event for the past few months, which was no easy feat. First, she chose our charity to be Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization supporting medical assistance and disaster relief; all the proceeds from the Speedathon went straight to this charity. She also had to navigate between our international time zones to form our final schedule, and compile a Google Docs folder full of the routes and streaming instructions for us all.

In the end, the team’s hard work paid off, and the two-day event kept runners and audience members entertained. As well, the event was a big success: over $4,000 raised; it should also be noted that we raised over a thousand dollars more than last year’s Speedathon. Except for a few runs, we were able to stay on schedule, and even achieve personal bests in our respective games. Socially, it was also a success, with everyone laughing together and discussing the nuances of randomly generated puzzles. We cannot wait for our Speedathon next year to do it all again.