Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Great Urban Race lived up to its name

Passing along an e-mail I just received from reader Amy Grybush about her experience at the Great Urban Race, which was held last Saturday in uptown Charlotte. Amy and her mom participated in the giant scavenger hunt for free, having won a team entry via a giveaway I hosted on my Facebook fan page:

"I was super excited [about winning the contest], as I had looked into registering for the race, but felt that $50 a head was a little pricey … I know better, now! It was fantastic. I would recommend that anyone who enjoys smiling, laughing (sometimes at others, sometimes at yourself), running around, talking to strangers, thinking fast and making a fool of yourself -- sign up for next year! Here’s how it went …

"My mom and I arrived at Whiskey River at the EpiCentre in plenty of time for the noon kickoff. We were pleasantly surprised at the size and the diversity of the group of participants. At just a smidge over 60, my mom kept saying she was the oldest one there, but I really don’t think so!

"There were many cute and witty costumes and an air of excitement hovered as the time approached. At noon, we received our envelope of clues, the clock started … and we are off!

"Our plan was to read and decipher the clues, map out the plan of attack and hit the road! First, I must explain that there are 12 clues and you must complete 11 of them (in no particular order) in the fastest time in order to complete the course. You can omit any ONE clue that you wish. You cannot use private transit. This includes taxis, bikes, rides from friends, etc. You can only use public transport and you must stay together in your two-person team.

"We needed to head toward the Elizabeth area, and knew that we needed to take a CATS bus. Now, we have lived in Charlotte since 1986, and neither one of us had ever taken the city bus. That was an adventure in itself! We hopped the Providence Road bus and headed to our first three stops, which included having our picture taken with a real kangaroo (don’t ask), having a makeshift mug shot made, and a three-clue tic-tac-toe game.

"We then hightailed it back uptown for our next three clues (did I mention I am a runner, and my mother IS NOT?! She swears I am trying to kill her!), which included a blindfolded beanbag toss, a picture in a huge hand sculpture, and improv acting to a critic's approval!

"It was in this area that we saw two grown men (and I use that term loosely) dressed as Oompa-loompas! Orange face and green hair included! Also, two guys dressed in feety pajamas … so cute!

"Finally back uptown, we hopped on the Blue line, which we are both familiar with, and headed towards South End and our final five clues. These included drinking a smoothie at Quips, several obscure pictures, rolling around a gym floor on a dolly, and a game of quarters at a bar. My mom won the quarters game!

"Finally back at the EpiCenter, I took the escalator two steps at a time and was running for the finish line … but both teammates have to cross at the same time! I looked back at mom, who was sticking her tongue out at me and calling me a showoff!

"We finished in about 3 ½ hours. The winners complete it in about 1 ½! Oh, well. I achieved what I went there for: an adventurous afternoon of laughs with Mom."


Wazinga said...

It sounds like you had a good time. I don't remember seeing your team but it sounds like we attacked the course in the opposite order than you did.

We had a great time at the race as well and will definitely do it again.

Our team shirts can be seen here:

CitySolve Urban Race said...

looks like you had a great time!


Anonymous said...

I was out running on Sat and saw a few of the teams over sort of near the Dowd Y. It did look like a good time.