Wednesday, March 9, 2011

CitySolve Phoenix

Alternate Post Title: "We Just Want to Beat Jill" Beat Jill

Finally, it's March! And March means RACE MONTH! Woo hoo!! The second race of the season, the first one in March, was CitySolve Urban Race. Last year, with the help of bonuses, we placed first. Brent and Wayne (team name: We Just Want to Beat Jill) beat us to the finish line but got no bonuses so they took second. Wayne got sick this year so they were going to drop out of the race. However, the morning of the race, Brent replaced Wayne with Lance. Wayne is an average guy, average speed, average weight - you know, a normal guy. Lance however is a super-speedy marathoner. C'mon...that is NOT fair!

Back to that in a bit. Let's talk costumes. Christy and I tried out our dragon costumes at the Scavenger Dash in January. The color didn't dye the way we wanted it, the pockets in the skirts didn't work quite right, and overall the costume was too blah. We planned on some adjustments this time. First of all, since we are Draggin' Ass, Jace suggested one of us be a dragon and one be a donkey. Get it...Dragon. Ass. Hee! He's funny. I decided to be the dragon and let Christy be the donkey. I got some brighter material for my costume for Christy to sew together, new wings and decorated my glasses. Christy was going to make a similar costume for her donkey, but just in case, I bought her a donkey costume set. Alas, with Christy's crazy work schedule, she ran out of time and couldn't get the sewing done. I understood, but I was sad. I'd spent way too much time shopping and plotting costume contest wins to just let it go. So, I got all the supplies back from her and went to work. It was 10:00 on Friday night.

Arts and crafts are NOT my thing...but with a hot-glue gun and some paint, by 2:00 am I did have something workable. I still fretted about it all night and didn't get any sleep at all.

Here we are....Draggin' Ass:

This is kind of what the back looked like prior to painting the wings green and pinning the spines into place.Not too bad, I guess. I was actually quite proud of how well it turned out considering what a mess I am at crafty stuff.

Back to the race...The first thing they did was the Costume Contest. Yay! 6 teams were competing. There was a cute bride/groom, a girl dressed as a wrapped birthday present with a boy in a Birthday Boy t-shirt and a couple other costumes that I can't recall now. Jason, the race director, had us parade through the crowd. However, he was asking for the crowd to vote on our first walk-through. People can't vote until they see all the costumes so they know who to vote for. Ugh - rookie mistake!! The crowd was confused and gave the same polite clap for all the teams. Instead of having a real crowd vote, Jason announced that since it was their first anniversary, the bride/groom were the costume contest winners. Huh? This wasn't the "Sweetest Reason to Run a Race" contest, it was a costume contest. Ergh. I'm not mad that I didn't win - the bride and groom costume was actually pretty cute and they very well may have won - I'm just irritated that if there is going to be a contest, then there should be a CONTEST.

In the few minutes we had before the race started, I shed my wings and my spines. Christy got rid of her ears, nose and tail. Normally I believe that you must race in your costume for it to count, but since there was no contest, I felt no need to wear those big-ass wings around town.

The race started with a clue written on a big piece of paper that Jason held up that offered a bunch of locations where our clue sheets might be found. "Of all the states that border AZ, which has the longest border?" If California, go to A; if Nevada, go to B; if New Mexico, go to C. I couldn't see the question from my vantage point, so I didn't even bother. When Brent and Lance took off, Christy and I followed them. I didn't even know where we were going.

Lucky for us, and them, they are smart! We were one of the first 3 teams to get our clues. I took a page and called Little Tom. Christy took a page and called Aimee. Tom and I figured out our clues pretty quickly- he just needed to look up some addresses. Christy and Aimee's sheet wasn't so easy. We knew we had to go to Camelback, so we headed to the light rail and figured we'd finish the clue-solving on the ride.

The first stop was a clue that was a long math word problem that eventually said "multiply by 0 and add 14" so that was 14 W. Camelback. I should have looked up what business was at 14 W. but I figured it wouldn't be too hard to find. Except, of course, that there are a bunch of connected businesses at that intersection and none of them have addresses. I am dumb. But lucky for us, Brent and Lance are smart so we followed them into Smeeks and got some candy. YAY!The next stop was All About Comics. The clue was very vague as to what we were supposed to do there. It listed 5 comic book characters and said there was store. So, were we supposed to get a picture of the 5 characters or the store? The clue did not specify, so we tried both. We re-read the clue and still no direction.
After that confusion, we headed back to the light rail. As we approached the intersection, we saw the train was there. We sprinted across the street and around the station. SPRINTED! This was no 100 yard dash. It was more like a 350 yard dash!! Ugh. And as we reached the platform and I was just 5 feet from the pulled away. I wanted to cry.

Wayne and Lance had left before us so we knew they were on that train. And now we had to run more than 2 miles to our next clue while they got to zip there on a train. They were now about 20 minutes ahead of us. We were very, very disappointed. But we started running and worked on our bonuses and random scavenger clues on the way. One of the bonuses was 2 minutes off for every picture you get of a sign saying Kids. We popped into a restaurant and got this:We stopped at a Walgreen's to find 3 laundry detergents with orange and blue on the label. This was one of them:The alternate option to this clue was to get pictures of at least 5 stars total. Wayne and Lance outsmarted us with that and took a picture of them with a flag in the background. I don't think that is what the clue-writer intended but still, I'm feeling pretty dumb.

We went to Taste of Philly and got extra points if we gave a boxing pose. I think Christy is a much better boxer than me:
Next up was Ziggie's Music, which was another one that I mis-mapped. We had to backtrack about a half mile to get to it. The whole time we were running there, we debated whether we should use it as our skip. Christy pointed out that since Brent and Lance were 20 minutes ahead of us, we weren't going to win, so what did it matter? Ah, good point. While we were backtracking we ran into two teams we frequently compete against - "Call of Doodie" who are now the "Zombie Response Units". They are fun and friendly and we always beat them. When they mocked us for having to backtrack, we realized that they were actually ahead of us in the race. Uh-oh!
We headed back to the lightrail to go back downtown. We waited 5 minutes for a train. We picked up the Zombie Response Unit teams at the next stop. Whew - now we were tied! We all got off at Roosevelt and headed to Hance Park to find an Improv troupe. We were ahead of the Zombies at the park so we got to do our challenge first. We had to alternate sentences with the improv guy with his sentence starting with A, ours with B, his with C, etc. In New Orleans we did this same challenge and both teammates had to play. This time only one had to do it, so Christy bowed out. I got through it pretty quickly and we finished as the Zombies came up. We took our picture with the Improv boys......and then we ran off to our next clue, Revolver Records.

I mapped that clue wrong, too. I sucked at mapping this race! I thought we needed to go 3 more blocks south. As we were running I told Christy we might use Revolver Records as our skip, when she cleverly pointed out was right across the street. God, I really am dumb. We got extra points if we lifted our legs and arms and stuck out our tongues.
Next stop, Tammie Coe Cakes. This was another confusing clue. There were two parts, solving a clue to find some names and then a word-search. It was not clear if the word-search was supposed to be words you found at the location or if the words you were searching for was the name of the location. We found Tammie, Coe and Cakes in the word-search so we circled them and hoped that was correct. At Tammie Coe's, they gave us cookies! Sadly, I dropped mine in the street. Boo. Christy said they were good though. :)As we were leaving Tammie Coe, a team we know from our Twilight Town Treks races came running up. One of the guys is named Johnny and his team is "Sweep the Leg Johnny." I love that! They consistently finished in the top 3 at our races, but we didn't want to get beat by one of our races' racers no matter how good they are, so we took off quickly towards our last checkpoint. Christy started cramping so we had to walk. I kept looking back for Sweep the Leg Johnny but they weren't behind us. Weird. (Turns out, he's not so great a mapper either and he got his easts and wests mixed up.)

The last stop was Rose and Crown. The clue was hard for our support team to figure out. It basically said it was a bar that is called the RC and was within 1/2 mile of the baseball stadium and they serve Odell's beer. You can't solve it by googling RC and Odell's website doesn't give you a list of their bars. Little Tom and Aimee were stumped, so I texted 5 of my happy-hour-fun friends and got the answer from 2 of them right away! So drinking is good for something! I might need to buy Aimee and Tom some beers after that one!

At Rose and Crown we had to play darts. You got 5 extra bonus minutes if you hit the Odell logo stickers and 1 extra minute if you hit the dart board. Christy threw 2 darts and missed both. I went to throw the 3rd, but realized that I was too shaky. Christy noticed that the volunteers were allowing me to stand about 2 feet closer to the dartboard than she had been. The dart line was so worn down you could barely see it. Ergh - she probably could have hit the stickers if she was closer! She hit the board on the 3rd try for a 1 minute bonus. We took our picture and were out of there.As we ran back to the finish line we figured that Brent and Lance had gotten 15 minutes of bonus on the dartboard to beat us by 35 minutes. Lance was probably a darts champion as well as a marathoner. Bastard. Turns out, his twin brother IS a darts champion. Ergh. Then I got a text from sick Wayne confirming that Brent and Lance were already finished and won. They beat us by 20 minutes! The same 20 minutes that we figured from the start of the race when we missed the train.

We actually finished 3rd, but our bonus minutes moved us into 2nd place. This really tall team moved down to 3rd, but were pleased anyway since this was the first time they had ever done a race like this and they had only decided to do the race that morning. Nice work, Team Walk Up!The Zombie Response Units and Sweep the Leg Johnny all finished in the top 10! We'll see them all in Las Vegas for the Nationals! And we are changing our name to "We Let Brent Win."

All in all, it was a fun day and a great way to spend a few hours! If you have a CitySolve coming to your it!

Total distance - 12.6 miles. 6.6 miles running and 6 miles on light rail

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