Thursday, March 15, 2018

Escape from AT&T Park and some running

Catch up time!  A compilation of recent events and races in the Bay Area...

Here's a fun one - SCRAP Entertainment's Escape from AT&T Park.  Kip and I had a blast at a previous version and this was John's first time.  What a fun concept!  A bunch of puzzle solvers running around in the baseball stadium, a giant version of an escape room.  We had a better idea what to expect this time so maybe that would help.

We opted for the evening time slot and it was neat to be there at night:

And then later we watched the finale of The Amazing Race - and they started the episode right here!  How cool is that??

Pretty lighting on the trees outside the park:

We got to go inside the park - take that, Amazing Racers  :)

Filing in as soon as the doors opened so we could start studying the handout and the park layout - the field was all lit up, time for a night game:

Hmm, what can we gather from these baseball-themed materials?

The outline of where we'd be going to find and solve clues.  #3 looked to be up in the stands, and it turned out we'd actually be spending more time up in the stands than in the prior game.  I love that AT&T Park welcomes this event.  Just stay off the pitcher's mound, we'd prefer not to get banned from doing another one here.

We're in the first inning, time to get started with the clues posted around the field:

A couple examples of what we were working with... I ended up backward solving this one to fit the rest of what we were coming up with:

A little cryptic crossword action:

Let me reflect on this a little...

Our organizational plan worked well and we were some of the first people up in the concourse for the next set of clues.  Hello panda!

Except I had accidentally missed some key info in one of my first clue photos so I had to run back down to the field to retake the picture while Kip and John did some solving.

Technically you weren't required to know anything about baseball, but recognizing some of the terminology turned out to help speed up the process.

On to the next part - over to another set of bleachers, cool!

Another trip up the stairs and through the concourse, another fun little puzzle, then we were back on the field with our final clue.  Time was ticking, we thought we had some leeway, but then it was the end of the ninth inning and we were still throwing around ideas.  Lots of great ideas!  But not the right ones.  Or at least, in the right sequence in our brains.

Staring up at the scoreboard trying to work out the last clue:

Then Kip figured out a key element and we thought we had it.  But no!  We just joined the ranks of those who ran up to the volunteers with a possible answer but were turned away.  Now what?

So close, but we ran out of the time.  Funny thing, as the answer walk-through was happening, it suddenly came to me what the words meant, the ones we had just figured out.  Ah ha!  Well, we didn't get to escape but at least we figured it out ourselves this time.

I'm pretty sure if Siobhan and Rodney were with us we would have collectively solved it in time  :)

A bit more of a traditional workout - a run to the top of Mount Um.  We got a kick out of listening to a little audio clip about the mountain on the drive over, with a guy pronouncing the full name "Umunhum" over and over.

Here's the tower you can see from many parts of the San Jose valley, finally we got to see it up close:

A nice day for a jaunt up into the hills:

On another weekend we ran a Terraloco race in San Francisco, always fun!  John walked the 5K version and Kip and I tackled the 10K, looking for Valentine-related checkpoints around the hilly city.

We're in here somewhere, before the start of the race:

Thankfully the race director included contour lines for our route planning - there are lots of steep hills, not too surprising I suppose.  Kip and I opted to skip the climb to Coit Tower, but I'm still not sure that it wouldn't have been better to skip C on the west side:

One of the many hearts on the course:

My favorite checkpoint was this giant bow and arrow sculpture, so cool:

Kip and I ran in opposite directions, greeted each other high up a hill in the middle, and converged at the finish line.  Amazingly, we saw each other just as we reached the line from different directions.  So close!  One traffic light probably made the difference, as I squeaked out the win (well, between the two of us) by 2 seconds:

Congrats to John for winning the 5K overall - while walking the course, impressive.

OK, now for something a little more calm.  I did a run around the bottom of the Bay, across the Dumbarton Bridge.  Kip introduced us to this loop route several years ago, and I like it for a good solid long run.

A few photos along the way - a hummingbird on a blue sky day:

One of many bridges along the Bay Area Loop Trail:

Canal paths into the bay, for a feeling of remoteness even though it's still close to lots of civilization:

A white pelican - I saw it swallow something, that was neat:

I believe this is a Golden Eagle, with a good vantage point:

Heading toward the Google campus:

I always enjoy running past the Bike Man sculpture:

Stairs up to the walkway on Dumbarton Bridge:

Finishing up on Coyote Creek Trail:

Kip ran out to find me for the last several miles, fun!  Apparently John was also tracking me, capturing a photo of us toward the end of the run (thanks John!):

Back to the trails near Mount Um (on another weekend) - this time for a race.  I ran the 52K, that was a doozy!  Lots of climbing, good practice for the Quicksilver 100K in May.  I may have to do some heat training for that one...

Thank you to the photographer for the mid-race photos:

Go Kip go:

He was happy he chose the 34K option:

Lots of fun "winter" activities and a good start to some longer training.

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