Monday, November 16, 2009

HTA Las Vegas recap

Last Saturday we had our last of 3 national championship races in 4 weeks. Phew, that was a lot of racing!

Again, I have plans to write a real race report soon. Until then, here are some photos from the morning race:

The first race went great. We ran from the Miracle Mile shops (the start/finish) out to UNLV, up to Fashion Show Mall, and along the Strip to New York, New York and back. Along the way, we bargained with a shop owner for 10 1-dollar bills with an "L" or a "V" in the serial number. We also got a photo with 20 people on a pedestrian walkway.

We ran back into Miracle Mile, just behind Kip and Dave for second place. All five of our Austin teams made the 10-person finals race. Congrats to our whole group! Then it was time to recharge the phones, eat a quick lunch, and get back there for the finals.

Photos from the second race:

We had a local cross-country runner tag-along named Kyle. Each team had a tag-along, apparently to ensure that no one cheated. Sounds good to me! Kyle was fun, and he was definitely fast enough to stay with (or way ahead) of us. He appears in the Marie Antoinette shot, above :)

The first half of the second race again went to UNLV and back, plus a stop in Game Works to play skeeball (which was fun once we got the stupid card to work in the machine). Then we headed to Margaritaville to locate a woman who had our second set of clues. Time to head downtown! It was a long bus ride with a bunch of other teams who had caught up while waiting for the bus. Then a quick run through downtown, and back on another bus.

We got (stupidly) lucky on our bus route choice back. The buses seemed to all be on detour routes through downtown, and the one we tried to catch actually turned out to be a different bus going down a different street than normal. But somehow we managed to get on the fastest bus back to the finish. That was a huge break.

We crossed the finish line first - but wait! There was one final challenge, a 60-question crossword puzzle based on the Ocean's 11-13 movies, UNLV school colors, names of casinos, and the cities HTA has held races in this year. Basically a trivia quiz, with no help from other teams or people at home. So you either knew it or you didn't, in many cases. Each wrong answer was a 5-minute penalty. We did our best, but we obviously didn't have the right info in our brains because it wasn't good enough to hold onto our lead and we ended up in 3rd. Bummer.

John's knee mostly held up, although he was limping again by the end of the day (I ask again, how can someone limp faster than I can run?). We pushed hard, raced well, and were very pleased with our urban racing performance. Trivia questions... not so much. But that's how it goes sometimes!

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