Friday, April 17, 2015

City Chase Crash Course: The 1st Losers

My normal Thursday night involves running around the city, getting from work, to tutoring, to tutoring, and then a long ttc ride home. This Thursday night my night involved running around the city, getting from chase point to chase point, and then a long ttc ride home.

As discussed here, here and here, we love the City Chase adventure races. After missing last year, we were really excited for this year's race on August 22nd. So excited in fact we registered for city chase entry as a wedding registry gift.

We were also excited (we get excited a lot), when City Chase announced a Mini city chase event, where the top 3 teams get free entry to the race. Mike and I aren't competitive at all (insert sarcasm font), so we immediately signed up and got it into our heads that we could win this thing. Since we had done quite well with endurochase in 2013, and we knew the downtown core, and our running skills are better than they have ever been, we were in it to win it. And hey, if we got free entry we could take it off our gift registry!

Both of us had to scramble to get to the starting point after work (only complaint with the whole thing was the 5:00pm start time), but we arrived and settled in, and sized up our competition... All while taking blurry selfies.

This event was dubbed "City Chase: the intimate affair" by one of the organizers, and that is what it really felt like.  City chase events have over 500 teams, and people have been running the race for 10+ years. At this event though, there were only 30ish teams, so the chances were quite high. About 20% of the teams were teams like Mike and I who were in it to see if they could win, which for most people isn't an option at the large city chase. There were also a lot of first timers, which was great, as it is a nice preview for the summer's event.

We had mapped out our strategy as we waited. Since Goodlife is a major sponsor of City Chase, we knew that there would most likely be some check points at the major Goodlife Gym's downtown. (HINT for anyone doing city chase). The organizer announced that teams would have to complete 6 checkpoints, 3/4 mandatory checkpoints (which were mapped), and the other 3 could be the optional checkpoints, which were in puzzle form, so you had to solve the location before you went.

Normally during big city chase, Mike and I take our time and solve a few clues, then figure out the best game plan. We knew in this race, with a limited number of check points, line ups could be an issue. So we decided to go to the furthest clues and work our way back. After we got our clue sheet we BOLTED to the first mandatory checkpoint down at Steam Whistle brewery. We were the first one there, so I guess our running skills were in better shape than I thought. After that we ran to Union Gym where we did jenga, and beat a super huge line up.

Our strategy then brought us up yonge street as we realized a lot of the optional clues were on yonge. We had to do one of those magic eye puzzles (which we both couldn't do but luckily we could ask people to help), and also play a game where each partner had to write down 3 things in a category independently and then compare, until you had 9 that matched. We bombed the first round (3/9), but the second round we got 8/9. Not bad! (Bruce Willis movies: Armaggedon, Die Hard, Die Hard 2 incase anyone was wondering, we both almost wrote Die Harder, even though that isn't even a movie...yet).

After that we sprinted (seriously, so much running) up to the Trinity Bay Goodlife and I had to do oragami and Mike ran on treadmill. I wish I had snapped a picture of my was awful, but it did the job, so we were out super fast. Good old 3-D spatial skills. I helped a few other teams who were very confused, and then Mike and I sprinted to the next stop. While Mike was chatting with the other chasers, we realized that we were doing really well, and we did in fact have a chance to win it.

And here is where everything fell apart. We had one more clue that said the start/finish line of City Chase Aug 22nd, and we assumed that it was at city hall. So we ran accross the street to City hall. And searched around for a volunteer. None to be found. I thought that one was a mandatory check point, so we wasted a little time trying to find the person. We then realized that was not a mandatory, so we doubled back to Trinity Square, and quickly did the stilts challenge.

We then SPRINTED to the finish line Shoeless Joes on King, and didn't see any other teams. When we checked in the organizer said "you are team number........4".  My heart sank. As much as it was just for fun, knowing we had lost free entry killed my soul. And then to add salt to our wounds we found out it we were 30 seconds away from 3rd, and about 2 minutes away from 1st. SO CLOSE.

We later found out the clue we messed up on was right across the street from the bar, and we could have done that on the way to steam whistle. If we hadn't have messed up with city hall we maybe even would have came in first!!

We were upset, but it is all for good fun, and we were proud that we did so well in general. Running that much in about 1hr was pretty intense.The organizer asked if we would still be doing city chase even since we didn't get free entry and we told him about our wedding registry idea. He thought it was great and requested that we tweet a screen shot.

When they handed out the prizes, he called us up to award us "4th place" as in the 1st losers...and based on City Chase humour, I thought it was just to poke fun at us (which I was ok with at this point), he was teasing us about coming in 4th, and reminding us that we only lost by 30 seconds, but then organizer actually told everyone that we were getting married and registered for city chase as a gift and then he GAVE US FREE ENTRY TO CITY CHASE this summer!!!

I know it isn't that big of deal, but guys, I almost started crying. I was so happy. It was so nice of them to do that, and it seriously made my night. And that is why I love the city chase organization. They are always having fun with it, and surprising the participants.

So here is the picture for twitter:

Thanks City Chase you guys are the best!! See you August 22nd! 

1 comment:

  1. Congrats! That was super cool of them. I get your excitement :) I understand the frustration; we were approx. 3 minutes away from making nationals (finished second over all one year). Really makes you re-think every single move.

    City Chase is by far and away my favourite event but I'm losing heart. They aren't coming to Halifax for the second year in a row. We're devastated :(