A year ago, the Lloyd family claimed the top spot in United General Hospital’s The Amazing Race.

This year, the Sedro-Woolley family is back on the trail to defend its title.

“It’s a great time,” Amy Lloyd said, as she, her husband, Jeff, and their three sons, Grant, 12, Reed, 10, and Max, 8, prepared to hike Thunder Knob, located in the North Cascades. Thunder Knob was hike No. 4 of six in the 2011 edition of The Amazing Race.

The Amazing Race is comprised of teams of two or more that race to complete six hikes over a 12-week period. Teams get a two-week window to complete each hike. Then they move on to another tougher and longer hike.

Every other week, teams receive a map containing the trail length, difficulty, elevation gain, etc., as well as photos of a hidden box containing a clue to the race’s “cerebral challenge.” Racers must match the surroundings in the photos (trees, rocks, etc.) with what they see at the end of the trail in order to find the clue.

“We let the kids have the map,” Amy Lloyd said. “Then they take turns looking for the hidden box.”

This year’s race kicked off May 30.

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