Monday, November 9, 2009

GUR New Orleans recap

John and I raced in the Great Urban Race championships in New Orleans last Saturday. What a day! We talked about taking it easy because John's knee is still in question. So I figured I'd have a relatively easy time keeping up - not even! He would have left me in the dust (we didn't trust his knee enough to bring a tow rope) but he kept a slower pace so I could keep up. And there was much heavy breathing...

Anyway, we went into the race with a good attitude - let's just have fun, see what we (and John's knee) can do, and just try our best. I think it helped me from being too serious/focused/whatever it is that is causing me to yell at John during our urban races. We worked together well, had a good plan, had an awesome crew helping us out, and had a LOT of fun.

I'll get a real race report written after this next weekend's race. But for now, here are some photos...

In the morning race, I spotted this checkpoint on the Tulane campus - thank goodness, because it was a tough clue to find online:


I offered John a piggyback, but he was feeling good enough to pick me up (the instructions on the sign were to have one teammate piggyback the other and get a photo with one of our race numbers visible):


The best part - riding Cruisers around town! Here's us at Lee Circle for our CP5 photo:


Molly A Market with the correct # of fingers (also known as the "Waffle House Salute"):


Us with the horse and the cathedral and a clock:


In the finals race, with a statue of a previous governor, doing the Charlie's Angels thing:


Silver Man!


Well, there's a lot more to the story, but I'll finish for now with a summary:

Morning race = longer than expected, rode a trolley to Tulane, did a word search, tried to find a CP in chalk on the sidewalk (skipped that CP, as we were allowed one skip), donated money to St Jude's charity, did a charades problem (my friend Kathy thinks more like I do than John does, let's just put it that way), and finished up by carrying a real LIVE and pretty pissed off alligator around a room (OMG!)... came across the line in around 2.5 hours and were stunned to learn we were the first ones back. All photos good = yay! Many teams finished right after us, including Kip and Dave who also made the top 8 for the finals race.

Finals race = interesting time management challenge with a race cut-off of 2.5 hours and a lot to do; started at City Park, assembled a Lego racecar, did a logic problem and guessed correctly which pretty much saved our race, paddled row boats on the lake, rode a trolley back downtown. Then ran out to the Garden District, found a fake flower among a bunch of real ones, found and played a 45 record, did a smell test to identify 5 scents, skipped the pie-eating challenge (thank goodness), headed back to the French Quarter. Started running low on time... rode a mechical orca whale (??!!) and barely hung on sideways for 7 seconds, and finished by building 30 paper boats with about 20 minutes to go. Somehow managed all 30 boats and ran back to the finish line with 5 minutes to spare before the cutoff time. We were the first team back with all points (except the one allowed skip point) completed - so we won!

That was too amazing - perhaps the closest finish in an urban race championships ever?

Thank you to everyone who helped and cheered us on from New Orleans and from afar!
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