Wednesday, May 16, 2012

DC is GUR-reat!

We were so excited to be doing the GUR DC race with our friends Kathy and Bob last Saturday!  Kathy's Dad even joined us in the city and helped with the scavenger hunt tic-tac-toe - thanks Art!  We had beautiful weather and a marvelous time.

Kathy and Bob got our team shirts for us, very creative.  The funniest part was that whenever someone else took our picture with my phone (so the shirts were visible), Google Goggles would show a link to "The Office Stapler" (from the movie "The Office") as it recognized what we were wearing.  Made me laugh every time.

Our shirts (and ourselves) in a pre-race group photo:


After a crowded exit from the starting line bar (McFaddens), we studied the clue sheet.  Kathy knew something about several of the clues right away, so we decided to head to U-street.  We speed-walked over to the metro.  While getting on the train, another team remarked about the guy with the beard ahead of us.  So I worked on snapping a photo for one of our tic-tac-toe squares.

This would turn out to be my best selfie...even with the front camera on my phone, I still need a lot of practice....


This is the one photo that I did better than John with.  For the rest of the CP's, I'll show you my lame attempt and then follow up with John's improved version.  He was using a normal camera, and I was trying to stretch my arm in front of me while still connected to the phone via an ear piece.  So that's my excuse  :)

John and Bob's photo with a guy with facial hair:


Up in the U-street area we located CVS for the Ronald McDonald House charity purchase and drop-off, then Kathy noticed some GUR racers exiting an unmarked door - that turned out to be the bar for CP5.  Nicely done, Kathy!

Here we did a smell test.  The first item neither of us could smell at all.  Kathy suggested a very faint raspberry odor.  I tried dipping a finger in the mixture and putting some on my wrist, but only succeeded in getting sticky.  The other two were easier - maple (as a Vermonter I better get that one right) and jalapeno (as a transplanted Texan I probably better get that one too).  Luckily Kathy's raspberry guess was also good, and we were done.

The flyer at the smell test checkpoint:


We found some Chevy cars for our next challenge checkpoint:



Then it was time to head south toward the harbor.  Amazingly, we ran into John and Bob on the subway platform so we ran over to give them hugs.  Apparently that caused them to just miss the next train - they claimed we were trying to sabotage them  :)

At the library for the QR code challenge.  The harder part was figuring out the "namesake" of the library, as we couldn't find anyone's name anywhere.  So we got a photo with the library sign and hoped it was right:



Now to the arena and the live animal portion of our show.  The snake-holding part was awesome.  Then one of us had to eat either a dead scorpion (stinger removed) or 3 live mealworms.  I was happy to take one for the team, especially since I need the practice as I normally race with a vegetarian husband.  I started with a scorpion leg, and it was fine - crunchy but no taste - so I chewed up the rest while Kathy got water ready for me.  No problem.  I looked over at a woman who was choking down mealworms and decided that given the choice, always eat the dead bugs.



Kathy and I skipped the can challenge (which was the same one we did in Boston) because the line was really long.  Forget that.  John and Bob had arrived earlier and gotten it done without a wait:


Now to Chinatown!  We started at a dim sum restaurant where we had to pick out colored grains of rice with chopsticks.  Kathy and I both thought we would be better at this, but it turns out there is a big difference between picking up 1" items to eat and getting ahold of tiny grains of rice.  We eventually managed 20 pieces to finish it up.


John and Bob not long later:


Next we went up the street to Jordin's Paradise, which turned out to be our favorite checkpoint of the day - belly dancing!  My Mom used to belly dance and I learned a little from her.  Kathy and I got costumed up and followed the fun lady through a routine.  Very cool!


We told Sheila on the phone that John and Bob HAVE to do this one - luckily they did  :)


Next we found a bar where one of us had to roll a quarter to stop in between the tines of a fork.  Kathy made an attempt and we were both shocked when she got it in several rolls.  Nice going!



Then it was a walk over to the Capitol City Brewing Company where we did a money-related puzzle and got our photo:


One CP to go!  We headed to a Segway company, hoping to ride Segways around (Kathy and Bob are experts and John and I have always wanted to try it).  We were disappointed to find a trivia puzzle instead, but we were happy to meet up with Bob and John there at the same time!


Pretending to ride bikes:



Back to the metro - for a very long wait for the next train.  We traveled back to the finish with a bunch of other teams, included Bob and John (although the platform and train were very crowded, so we didn't see each other until Kathy spotted them on our way out the exit station).

There we found Kathy's Dad waiting with a postcard and 2 cups for our final tic-tac-toe squares:


Bob had found a couple cups earlier for their version:


Running to the finish:



Our collection of stuff - all items and photos were good!


One of the teams with excellent costumes:


Post-race snack - we needed a drink after that warm day:


Back to McFaddens for the awards ceremony and some monkeying around:




Showing Art our belly dancing moves:




We finished the day in place 28 (Bob and John) and 30 (Kathy and Marcy).  Yay for that, and yay for all the fun we had!



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