Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Great Urban Race

I. Am. Sore.

My. Bones. Ache.

But I wouldn't trade it for anything!!  The reason for the tight muscles and throbbing pain was the result of The Great Urban Race.

My friend Amanda and I are huge Amazing Race fans, so when we stumbled across The Great Urban Race, we knew we just HAD to do it.  We had done our research on contestants who had run it previously and taken to heart all their tips.  We are fairly intelligent and were certain this was going to be a cake walk.

Boy were we wrong!

We met 2 hours prior to race time to get our matching shirts and load up our MARTA cards.  MARTA is the public transit system here in Atlanta.  We knew buying a day pass would save us tons of time instead of buying tokens each time we got on.

We arrived at the race site and checked in.  One hour to race time and we were feeling pretty good...nervous, but good!  We were chatting some strategies and discussing what we thought was ahead of us.  The race was to start at 12:00 and the course closed at 5:00.  If you were still racing at 5:00, you had to come back.  Ha! Are you kidding?  That wouldn't be us! (ahem...)
With one hour until race time, we began to scope out our competition:
Team Dinosaur Family

Team Where's Waldo?

Team Miss Piggy

Team Beach Bums/Business Suits

And I didn't even get a picture of Team Bumblebees (2 grown women wearing bee costumes complete with wings), Team Baby Girls (2 grown women dressed as babies complete with diapers), and then there was the fair share of superheroes, and just plain w-e-i-r-d!

Amanda and I quickly buddied up with one of the race staffers, Dominic.
He gave us the inside scoop and hooked us up!  We questioned him as to how the race would start because none of us had our clues.  He said that about 5 minutes before 12, all the staffers would have a huge stack and begin handing out clues.  There were 350 teams!  And maybe 15 staffers.  No way we were going to get lost in the crowd and be one of the last ones to get clues.  Dominic told us to find him right before the race. So you better believe we hunted him down.  He showed us that had one clue!  All the other staffers had stacks of clues...he had one...for us!

One of the staffers came on the mic and told the race staffers to hold up their hands.  All racers were to go stand near a staffer with their hand raised.  We looked around to blend in.  As we were looking around, he slipped us our clue and we were out!

We were off to a great start!  We had the envelope open and were beginning to solve the clues as the other teams were just leaving.  Racers ran by us and shouted "Cheaters!"

I beg to differ...we're just smart racers!

Turns out, our little head start didn't really help us.

The race was more of a scavenger hunt than an actual race.  There were about 12 clues on our clue sheet.  The first step was to solve the clues.  Each clue was a location in Atlanta.  The next step was to get to each of the places and perform the task there.  Most of the tasks were getting a picture with something at the location.
 Someone wearing white pants

Shaking a dog's paw

Someone with dreadlocks (ok, so technically those are probably braids)

4 people and us holding our shoes
Jumping in front of the Underground sign

A statue of some man with the middle name Winship and whose birthday is in December 1889

Someone on a segway

 Spoonfeeding each other Yogurberry.  This was my favorite clue!

What you couldn't see behind the scences was our Google team!  We'd STILL be roaming the streets of Atlanta without them!  Mandi & Becky were on call at home on their computers waiting for our beckon call.  We must have called Mandi about every 10 minutes barking orders at her:

"Look up the state motto of Alabama!"
"Name the countries of these 8 flags!"
"What's the address for the closest Gold's Gym!"
"Plug in these coordinate points and tell us what's there!"

Honestly, she was a huge lifesaver.

Four and a half hours later, we made it back to the finish line.  Our heads hung in shame.  Our pride hurt.  But our friend Dominic standing there cheering us on.

We decided that had made some mistakes.  Um...ya think?!

Upon evaluating our less than stellar performance, here's what we decided for next year (oh yes, there WILL be a next year):
  • Spend the time at the start of the race solving every clue.
  • Once all the clues are solved make a race route.  (This is where we failed)
  • READ all the clues!  It would have saved us time and money had we known we were to deliver a pair of socks to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.  Instead we had to go the Alliance Theatre gift store and buy a $9 pair of musical note socks.  Classy.
All in all, we had an absolute blast!  It was exciting when we were able to check off clues that we had completed
So I guess I need to start training now...although my body is screaming "leave me alone!"


Christine (iDreamofClean) said...

That sounds like so much fun! Your list for next year is cracking me up though.

singedwingangel said...

OH see that sounds so fun. This small town would never have anything like that lol..

Maria D. said...

It looks like you had a blast! I love the picture of all you guys holding your shoes. Who thinks up these categories, anyways?

I just posted a link to your blog. If you want to see it, here it is!

Robyn Beele said...

I have heard of this race! It looks like a ton of fun!

oh amanda said...

And we didn't even mention our good google team!!


I'm going to do a Top Ten Tuesday on this, I think! :)

Bleisath's said...

I am so in next fun!

Anonymous said...

It took us a one year learning curve too. We didn't even finish last year but did much better.

As a note, you were called cheaters because you weren't supposed to open the clue until they said Go. You couldn't understand the girl talking anyways so I don't blame anybody.

CitySolve Urban Race said...

sounds like fun...hope you can make CitySolve Urban Race Atlanta next year.


Amber said...

This looks like so much fun! Coming over from Top Ten Tuesday. I have the same giveaway going and the same theme for my list, although mine is focused on things little kids can do. Happy Earth Day and congrats on completing the race!

Jen @ Little Bit This n That said...

This looks like SO MUCH FUN!!! I would love to do something like that!

Rachel D said...

Thanks for the tips! I stumbled upon your blog through a rather roundabout way, but I'm glad I did. My husband and I are signed up to do our first GUR this summer (Portland, OR). But I'm a native Atlantan, so I enjoyed both your tips and the sites in your pics. Glad you had fun!

Anonymous said...

ropp(dot)5@wright(dot)edu I want to do this race!!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

oh this sounds like a ton of fun. i'm sure it was a sore day, but i'm glad it went well.


Jayme said...

This is great! Looks like fun! You crack me up!

Susan Margaret said...

I think it is really cool that you were able to participate in this event - I'm a huge Amazing Race fan as well so I can't even begin to imagine how much fun you had!

Lucy said...

Wow that sounds like so much fun. I wish they did that here in San Diego. Stopping by from UBP


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