Saturday, August 20, 2011

City Chase

Ok so if you know me/follow along to this blog you know that I like the amazing race. Look I mention in this post…and in this post…and in this post. I have been avid fan since season 2. Which started when I was 13. Wow I totally just realized that I have been watching the amazing race consistently for 10+ years, Crazy! (Related note…season 19 starts soon!!!!)
Alas since they do not have a Canadian version of the show I will never get to live my dream to be on it.
But this past weekend I came pretty close! Mike and I were participants in Mitsubishi City Chase Toronto, basically an amazing race-esque chase throughout one city. It is a Canadian thing that started in TO in 2003, and now is an international event. The money raised from the event goes to a charity called right to play which provides children in developing countries sporting equipment (like soccer balls and sneakers). The basics are that at the beginning of the race teams were given a list of 35 chasepoints that are all over the city, you have to complete 10 from the list and travel using your own two legs or city transit (they gave us a pass for the day). First one back wins.
The Championship is in Halifax! 
Here were some of my highlights
Goodlife did a zumba ensipred work out to warm up, and the main chicky was fabulous! The theme of this race was the 70’s so it was set to 70’s music. Next one of the organizers came out in full 70’s costume to go over the race details, and we learned the secret handshake…spoiler alert, you had to turn to a stranger and hug them for 10 seconds, super not awkward at all! 

Then a guest chaser, this older man who runs a crazy amount of marathons for Right to Play, gave a little speech. After that the 70’s guy came back and said “Your clues sheets are at Union Station or the Rogers Centre….go” and everyone took off!

Mike and I ran to the rogers centre to get our clue sheet, along with half of the 500+ teams. We quickly started figuring out clues, and once we got a few we headed to our first stop, solving on the way as we walked. We decided to go to Centre Island Ferry terminal for a chasepoint having to do with acting. On the way there we found 2 more chase points, a kayaking/trust your partner thing at Peter’s Basin (1), and Strip Jenga (2) (it was not as scandalous as it sounds.) 

For the acting one it was actually a charades based game, where there was one team acting out a 70’s movie or tv show. All the other teams there got to yell out guesses and whoever got it right got to go next. From the lifetime of charades training (aka Crainium) Mike amazingly guessed the clue right when we got there, and we got a team to guess ours super fast as well! Huzzah! (4)
After all the waterfront business we streetcar-d over to Ontario Place, did two more chase points (A 4 person ski walk where we worked with an amazing team so we got done really fast (5), and a match the picture to the OP attraction one (6), which we guessed at, and happened to get it right), then we ran to the inukshuk near OP and did a rock painting challenge (7). We went back there on Monday because I think I lost my water bottle there, and they still had all the painted rocks chillin, so I took mine home.
Notice my super sweet 70's inspired hat :P

Tadaa! It is a squirrel…obviously. By this time we had 6 done and it was only 12:30. We were feeling pretty good. The only problem was that the chase points were divided up into had to do 3/5 for the 1st section, 3/6 for the 2nd section, and the other 4 you could choose from the rest of the clues. We had all 4 optional ones done, so we had to be picky about the mandatory ones we did.

Next we walked up to King and Liberty and did a car pull challenge (had experience with that one!) then took the Dufferin Bus up to Bloor. On the bus we checked the twitter feed from the chase and found out that the winning team had checked in at 12:38. I still don’t believe it! Next we took the Bloor Subway line to Christie park for the Colombia Obstacle course (8) sponsored by Colombia…shocker, and then we continued on the subway up to St.Clair/Spadina and did surprisingly decent at the tightrope walking challenge (9).
Now we only had one left. And we had heard what it was all about. The chasepoint was called “Pick Your Poison” and the clue alluded to something gross. So we asked some other teams we ran into about it, and they told us that one person had to eat a live meal worm, and the other had to put their hand in a box full of the worms and pick a marble, whatever color the marble was corresponded to a different animal, Tarantula, Giant Lizard, or Snake. So Mike and I decided that he was going to eat this live worm thing (I could eat pretty much anything but the alive thing freaked me out) and I was going to hold the creature. One girl told me to pick the blue marble because that was the lizard. I could totally deal with holding a giant lizard or a snake but I have a mad fear of large spiders.
So we get to the chase point, and Mike noms the worm, and I reach in and grab a blue marble. I’m thinking great where is this giant lizard, then the guy starts handing me the tarantula and I was like whoa whoa whoa, this is supposed to be a lizard. But because these poor beasties were being bothered all day they were giving the lizard and the snake a break, so my only option was the BIG HARRY SPIDER.

But I went for it…no fear…I held out my hand and closed my eyes, and the spider crawled on my hand and was surprisingly soft and fluffy…like a cat or a dog fur feeling. So I was just about to open my eyes when the guy took it off my hand, and I was shocked that I only had to hold it for about 7 seconds (10). It was pretty cool to face my fear of big spiders, and find out they aren’t too bad at all!
And with that adrenaline rush we hoped on a Subway to the finish line and clocked in at 5:20. Not bad for 1st timers! We checked the results later and we came in 131st out of 591 teams. We came in just before the super intense marathon runner, which I think is pretty good!
At the after party we got to meet some of the other teams, and they gave out door prizes, and the awards for the top 5 teams. The 1st team told everyone what chasepoints they did and what route they took, and Mike and I have started strategizing for next year!!! Looking back we would have skipped Ontario Place, and stuck to the main transit lines more.  It was an awesome experience, and it only made me want to go on the amazing race even more!!!

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