Saturday, February 28, 2009

Great Urban Race

Today was the Great Urban Race. 161 teams of two hit the streets of downtown Phoenix to solve clues, complete a scavenger hunt and RACE. The top 25 teams qualify for the National Championship race in New Orleans. The top 3 teams get free entry to the Nationals.

And guess who gets free entry to the Nationals? Aw yeah, that's right...Storming the Castle!!! WOO-HOO!!! Christy and I got third place out of 161 teams!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited!!

Kiri and the NFBF were our phone/internet support. The NFBF had some computer issues but it was not a problem because Kiri came through with the info we needed and she did it quick as a bunny! I'm starting to think that maybe going to work every day isn't really all for nothing...my knowledge of downtown Phoenix came in quite handy!

Unscramble "Repeat Other Hum" and what do you get?
Decode the following puzzle:then call Kiri to find out where the statue is and add in a trip on the light rail and... tada! (And wow! What a beautiful day! I love Arizona's blue skies!)
A clue describing a place that educates you on peoples of the Southwest that has an abstract stone "person" could only be the Heard Museum:
The food challenge was to go to Honey Bears and eat some corn on the cob. Don't let this picture fool you into thinking that I ate a vegetable! NO WAY! That was all Christy!
One clue was to either get 8 people in a photo with a Phoenix Mercury jersey or get five people in a photo with a jukebox. A jukebox?? We called 411 about 50 times to be connected to various restaurants we were going to pass by on our travels. I vaguely remembered that the Original Hamburger Works had a jukebox and yessir! They sure do. I chatted with this Illinois dude while we rounded up our 5 people. He lived in the dorm across the street from me. Small world.

Two clues took us to Encanto Park, which was a bus ride away. We waited 10 minutes for a bus. Ugh. At Encanto Park we had to do a 3-legged gunny sack race and go through an obstacle course. The gunny sack race was lame (it was about 20 feet long) but the obstacle course was awesome!! Sadly, we have no pictures of it because we got our clue sheet stamped as proof of completion, instead of having to take photos.

From Encanto Park we had two choices of return transportation - the original bus we took and then the light rail directly to the next clue or a longer bus ride plus a run to the next clue. It was a make or break decision. We chose the longer bus ride plus run since we couldn't guarantee that we wouldn't have to wait for the light rail. The longer ride turned out to not be that much longer and the run turned out to be shorter than expected, so we think it was the right decision.

We were directed to find an artist in the Phoenix Downtown Market and bring back one of his drawings. The line of waiting teams was L-O-N-G. We were a bit disheartened at this point. We only had 1 clue left after this stop and there were so many teams ahead of us in line. The artist would draw whatever you asked of him - and he was S-L-O-W. We figured a circle would be quick, quick, quick, right? Guess how long it took him to draw this picture?

Two full minutes!!! Seriously!! First he argued that this would be a boring drawing. Then he looked around awhile for a template. A template?? Buddy, you're an artist. Just free-hand it! He ended up tracing a water bottle. It was so frustrating! But finally he signed his name and we were off to the last stop. Running, running, running!

The clue they provided us was just a picture of this statue with no other information. I happened to know that it's outside the Herberger Theater where we have play season tickets. I felt like a genius. And then we booked it back to the finish line. I felt that we had done a pretty mistake-free race so I was cautiously optimistic about our chances of finishing in the top 25 and qualifying for Nationals, though all those teams ahead of us at the artist stop still caused much concern. Running fast. As we approached the restaurant (so very, very out of breath), the patio looked pretty empty. We ran faster. Maybe...just maybe.... And then we were told THIRD PLACE! Yippee!!
The first and second place teams were working together as one team. They finished three minutes ahead of us. We've rehashed our performance countless times and found nowhere we could have shaved three minutes off of our time other than waiting in line for the molasses-artist. And as that was completely out of our control, we are not at all sad that we didn't get first place. We are thrilled and still completely shocked with our third place finish!!! YAY!!!

And because we are slightly crazy...
The award ceremony was scheduled to start at 5:00 when the race officially ended. It was 2:25. We are not the type to sit around a bar for 2 and a half hours, so we left, hiked Shaw Butte and came back for the awards. :) And for those of you who are WTF'ing right now (Nicole!), I'd just like you to know that it was Christy's suggestion to go hiking. Not mine! (But only because she said it out loud first.)

8 comments:

Molly said...

Wow, congratulations!!! That's awesome!

Kevino said...

Sounds like a fun time. You should check out Urban Dambre, www.urbandare.com. Their Phoenix race is March 28.

Vickie said...

Wooo hoooo!!!!! Way to go!!!

mrscookie said...

Why does no one else ever comment what they are really thinking and that is obviously, WTF!!!!????

mrscookie said...

oh and congrats!!

kiri said...

Yayayayay for third place!!! You guys rock! I wish you had asked me to do more! But, don't count on me for Nationals because that is waaaaaayyyy too much pressure. I did like the unscrambling, though.

Anonymous said...

Are you still on Cloud 9? CONGRATULATIONS - That's awesome!!! So are you headed to N'awlins in November?
R

High Trek Adventure said...

WTG! Too bad you missed our Phx race. Next year. Oh, but we have a San Diego race on April 4th and a national championship race in Las Vegas for a grand prize of $12,345.67! Shoot me an email if you have any Qs!

Cheers,
Jason

Oh, and our race has former Amazing Racers. Mark and Bill will race in SD (Dallas, Kynt and Vyxsin might be there too).