Two days later and feeling finally hydrated I am ready to face the challenge of blogging about the beast known as The Great Urban Race: New York City.
After being denied by a bunch of cabbies FINALLY someone picked us up from our hotel in midtown on Saturday morning and was willing to drop us off at Boat Basin Cafe for the start of The Great Urban Race. Why can’t cab drivers in New York find addresses? Why do you have to give them cross streets? We didn’t know any cross streets which didn’t bode well for our adventure throughout the city.
Once we registered for the race we were excited to see everyone’s costumes and listen to the keynote speakers they had acquired from The Amazing Race. The advised us to trust our partners, race fast and race smart. Done. As soon as we got our envelopes we were instructed to wait to open them. However, there were a bunch of CHEATERS who opened early and took off before people even got started. Like the nice New England girls we are we waited and probably hurt our time by about five minutes. Oh well. So once we got our envelope open we sent our clues to our ground support.
Our families and friends were all willing to help solve the clues to get us to our destination. The absolute best help we got was from Jessica, a veteran Great Urban Race adventurer who I met through this blog. She solved the clues so fast and even sent us this awesome google map of all the locations.
If we were to do this race again we would wait to get all our locations mapped before we took off. Once we got our first answer to Pylones we tried to go there and then decided to back track once we got that map and that cost us in both energy and time. Our first stop was to hit up Duane Reade for school supplies for kids and in the process we ran right past the American Folk Art Museum, which was a disaster that we wouldn’t realize until much later on. We worked on the tic-tac-toe as we ran and took pictures next to a gyro stand, got a business card and took a picture with these Yankee fans (the only people who didn’t say “no”, HOW RUDE!!)
We then raced off to Sprinkles where we botched the puzzle and ended up with a 30 minute penalty but we did get a yummy cupcake which tasted delish but I don’t know if it was because we were so hungry or they were really that good. We then ran off to Pylones where Erin picked at tattoo out of a bag and we had to search the knick knack store for a matching animal. We got a rooster/chicken/bird thing!
We were getting really tired at this point but since we were finally getting some clues solved we were feeling good but still nervous about the time that was ticking away FAST! We decided to hit up Bryant Park and do a pedometer challenge for some granola and then ran off to the Drama Book Shop to solve a Rebus puzzle after a small subway snafu. We had seen some of these before and go this one right. (Sandbox, Downtown, 3 degrees below zero, he’s beside himself, touch down, just between you and me)
We finally got on the subway for the first time successfully and headed off to Abracadabra and ran into some fellow Urban Racers where we accidentally tripped up a bicycler who was texting and riding. Sorry dude! Distracted texting is DANGEROUS! What else is dangerous was what was waiting for us at Abracadabra! We knew there would be something gross to do and we had a deal I would eat anything dead and she would eat anything alive. Erin lost this round.
We than began what seemed like the forever run to this parking lot where we had to search through cars for clues about all the features it had. It was a easy clue but it was so far away from the subway it was killer to get to.
Finally we were starting to run out of time so we knew we had to hustle. We hopped back on the subway and headed to the American Retro Bar and Grill. This was a long run from the subway stop and we knew we had only about an hour and 15 minutes left or risked not being back by five and a DNF. And you know what that means NO MEDAL. THE HORROR. Here we experienced our first MEAN urban racers. Everyone else kind of worked together and said hi when we ran into each other offering help and words of encouragement. Because running all over the city in 100 degrees helter skelter is def. a bonding experience. When we were running to the bar we asked a team running back if the bar was straight down the street and all we got in return was a scoff, a dirty look and a snarkey “I don’t know” jerk. jerk. jerk. It is not like we were going for the win people the winners finished about an hour and a half prior to that conversation. Get over yourselves! When we finally got to the bar after a much more wrong turns and unnecessary miles we had to drop a gold ball on the top of a miller 64 bottle and knock the cap off. By the grace of god I did it on the first try. Hallelujah.
Finally we had to run back to our missed clue at the American Folk Art Museum before back to the finish. When we got there we were horrified to find out there was a line out the door and they were only letting in four people at a time. It was almost 2 miles back and we only had 35 minutes until DNF. We decided to take the 1/2 hour penalty and see what happened by running back. We some how made it back with about 15 minutes to go despite our aching back from our backpacks and wobbly legs. We ended up with an hour penalty for the mess up and the skip but we finished and even though our official time isn’t in yet I think it was around 5:40. A little longer than we projected when we thought we had a chance to place in the top 25. hehe
In the end it was such a fun day. It was one of the most physically and mentally exhausting days I have ever had and my shoulders are still screaming from the stupid backpack. All I know is that when this bad boy comes to Boston next year we will see who is the boss when we are on home turf. Peace out NYC you win this round.