Riverside Ride

Thanks to a Indy e-newsletter, I learned about a new obstacle course sponsored by the Colts and @Play60. And we can get there via the Monon and Canal Tow Path? Sign us up for a date day ride!

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I had no idea how cool this would be (for an adult)! First we were greeted with a 40 yd dash.

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You stand on the Colts Horseshoe and a timer starts. Sprint to the end to see how fast you are. There was 1 other family there with us, and they kept racing. So fun! Next was the obstacle course. You hit a start button and ready, set, go! Here’s me off in the distance.

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CS brought out his inner Ninja Warrior on the floating plates and rope web.

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We ran the course a few times. The GPS map I made wouldn’t let me zoom in like I wanted, so oh well. This installation also has a simple work out area to use.

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Very very clever park. Please visit! Until next time, thanks @IndyParks!

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100 Acre Ride

With CS’s new love of biking, I figured we have lots of spots to visit on 2 wheels. I bought a granny basket so we can travel in style! Packed snacks and bevs, let’s go!

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First trip… 100 Acres Park for a picnic!

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We grabbed a bench at the lake to take in the fresh air. So peaceful.

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We made our own art project!

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I just love this park. So much to see, do, explore. Go visit! It was a great 20 mile ride for us!

This Might Be A Bad Idea

46 miles across Indianapolis looks like this.

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With a new team this year (Previously), we needed a new name and new shirts to race the 2017 IndyQuest Adventure Race. Since CS has heard about the race every year, he said he was interested in racing. Hmmm. I thought… That might be a bad idea. So our team name was born, This Might Be A Bad Idea. My super gym-mate MH was on board. Alright we are doing this! Here is the selection I sent my team.

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Of course, the $4.97 Snaccident shirt won. I even had to admit that it is pretty funny. After a long day of racing, we were pooped.

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We were able to catch up with other racers sharing our experiences of the day.

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Did you get that checkpoint?
How long did it take you to do the puzzle?
Are your clothes dry yet??

After food and bevs, we were a much happier team!

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And even scored 2nd place in our division! Not too shabby for this group!

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Happy to report the poison ivy was very contained this year. Phew. We’ll be back.

What The Duck?

What to do on a Sunday afternoon? Let’s ride bikes to Broad Ripple and watch some ducks swim down the canal. What???

BRVA sponsors the Canal Duck Race. I know this race was around last year, but not sure how long it’s history is. I remember seeing signs, and since we were in town this year, we hopped on our bikes and headed down the Monon. 30 minutes later, we run into this guy! They even have a mascot!

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So we sponsor some ducks and grabbed some seats at Flatwater to wait for the race to start. We hear the count down and then heeeeeeeeeeere they come!

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Did I mention they are rubber ducks?! Go ducks 1707, 1708, 1709, 1710, 1711, and 1712!!

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It was absolutely hilarious and adorable at the same time. All these families were out crowding the Canal and enjoying the great weather.

This guy may have had the best job. Chuckin’ ducks back into the canal that got caught on the rocks.

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Panorama shot of the madness. It was so hilarious. Must definitely take part again next year!

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After the race, you can pick up your ducks and take them home. We did. We wanted to show them what clean water looked like… Hello pool! I could hear the duckies going “Ahhhhhh blue water!”

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Stranger Danger?

What do you get when you pair this girl with 2 strange racers I’ve never met? Apparently, this:

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45 mile map

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Holy shit this was a crazy race. IMA to Marion to flaming arrows.

My normal team was unavailable for the 2015 IndyQuest race. I had some close friends say they would race with me. Hmmm. Nope. I don’t want to ruin that relationship. This is my COMPetition. I have a hard time disconnecting from winning this. Race was the same concept of running, canoeing, and bike pushing? Yes. Bike pushing. My new team mates were ridiculous athletes. Both were tri-athletes. Way out of my league. It became apparent very early on they were going to crush me. Thank heavens the race director (RD) thought I was cool enough to hang with these pros. I’m totally out of shape and these f’ers proved it. But I loved that. Push me. Well, I didn’t mean it literally but that happened. I was sooooooooo slow on the bike compared to them, I tried to draft and that wasn’t enough. D says, “How do you feel about me pushing you?” “Go for it!” D literally put a hand on my backpack and pushed me while we rode. I have never felt a closer feeling to flying in my life! I said “I need you at all my races!” 30+ miles this guy pushed me. Unbelievable. Thank karma these guys didn’t sell me off after course 1. On our way to course 2,  RD says “You are my odds on favorite!” I hate pressure! Glad we they held up expectations! I was there anchor and they never complained.

Afterward, I was ready to relax. Pedicure time.

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More photos can be seen here. Plus a little bad video I tried to shoot.

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Previously.

Corporate Challenge Captain time again! Still can’t find the elusive female cyclist at my company, so I borrowed another bike and lined up at 7:50 for an 8 am start. I always have to ask for an early start because I have to hightail it over to volleyball right after several miles away. As I rode up, I was the first one in line! Ok by me. ISC Event chair walks up and says “First in line Natalee?”! We have known each other for almost a dozen years and he knows my dilemma each year.

Off to volleyball!

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Had a pregger sub on stand by just in case I couldn’t get to the courts by the first game. Luckily the other team was late, so I made it in time!

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Made it to the tournament but lost in the semi’s again. We are going to get this next year! 

Weekend 2 brought some gorgeous weather. Looking east over the IMS infield.

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With the new venue, teams lost their bleacher spots. We opted for a team tent space as home base.

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I manage to place other runners in the 30 age group but that left me the 10K. Urg. With my lack of exercise recently, this was not going to be fun. 8:27 pace like a turtle. But man, did my hair look nice after that race!

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How many times did I get to golf this summer? Zero. So I was the perfect candidate to do the chipping challenge for us. I nailed the bulls eye on my second shot. Except it was the bulls eye for the teams in the line to my right. I asked for half points? Nope.

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I was prepared for Tug Of War, but game was on while I was out doing other events. My trusty side kick got people organized and over to represent our team. So I became the cheering/yelling section. “PUUUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLLL!” I really enjoyed just yelling at people!

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TOW tough with mascots!

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Last event of the day was the newest. Pit crew challenge. Team of 4 had to change a tire on each front side of a real Indy car. NS manned the air gun while I handled the tire exchange! So fun!

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Also new this year, a free cold one at the end!

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Team OneAmerica turned out 4th in our division! Very pleased with the results. Crossing my fingers for some swag with the Golden Hanger award!

Corporate Challenge 2013

Previously.

Corporate Challenge time! Like usual, no ladies signed up for the cycling event so I was left to represent that role on our team. This year, I changed it up by borrowing a friend, and fellow co-worker’s, road bike. He’s a serious cyclist. The thing barely weighed 4 pounds and had clip ins for pedals. I couldn’t find clips my size so I figured, oh well, my gym shoes will do. Then I didn’t want to adjust the seat to mess up his settings, so I stretched myself about 2 inches longer to reach it. I paid for that mistake the rest of the weekend, but was 3 minutes faster than last year to the finish!

After cycling, it was off to the volleyball courts for some sand play. Are those the same shirts as last year?!  

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No. These shirts were a fiasco. Last year’s safety yellow color was a huge hit with the team and we really stood out at the event. This year, I stayed with the bright color and ordered safety orange. Placed the order, then I get a call, “We don’t have enough product in safety orange.” How about safety green? “Yes we have plenty of that.” 2 weeks later I open the box and pull and audible “You have GOT to be kidding me!” According to the company, safety yellow and safety green are one in the same. I highly disagree! But there was nothing I could do now. Samples will be delivered next year before any order is placed. Lesson learned.

Back to volleyball. Not sure why I am dancing with an overbite in this picture, must have just done something awesome.

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We won our pool play bracket but lost in the tournament to Lilly. Urg… I was not happy. I know we can win this thing, prob need to change up players.

A week later came the track and field events. After some late week dropouts, I had to rearrange positions and lucky me… I got to do the 10K run. Can you feel my excitement in this picture?

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I knew one of our male runners was 99% likely to win the whole event. I didn’t want my slow ass to negate his hard work, so I pushed myself on this one. I had done a 10K 2 weeks prior to gauge my speed. I ran it at an 8:28 pace. I wanted to push 8 flat this time. Which I’m proud to say I did!

Next up was the Tug of War. Broken record… no females signed up, so I recruited 2 of my fellow runners for our team. We weren’t big, but we are competitive! Getting ready… 

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PULL!

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My quads hurt for 4 days afterward. It wasn’t until I saw this picture I knew why. I thought it was the run, but good lord I got low and planted my feet. We only survived one TOW match, then lost on our 2nd time up. Participated in the golf chipping challenge. Didn’t do well. There has to be a better female golfer at my company… just need to find her!

One event I haven’t done before was the Obstacle course. My leg of the course included dreaded burpees, a balance beam and some hurdles.

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The final event of the day was another new event for me, the sprint medley relay. Seems odd I’d do a 10K and a 200M sprint in the same day, but when you’re the captain, you fill in where needed! I even went to Play It Again Sports to get some spikes. I hadn’t worn spikes in 17 years! Brought back memories of my ’93 1600M State appearance at this very same track. Grunting it out down the back stretch.

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Wore the Garmin GPS everywhere I went, from the parking lot to the track and back. Covered almost 10 miles that morning!

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2013 PA Urban Sprint Race

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Now that I got my disposable camera developed, I can finally tell how we earned this…

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The old gang of BA, KOD, and myself teamed up this year for the Urban Adventure race. It’d been 4 years since we’d raced together. Win Or Lose We Still Booze was ready! The race started at Triton Brewery, where we arrived to check in and get our maps and clue sheet. We received 5 maps and made quick work highlighting our projected course because I needed to “laminate” them before the gun went off. Major lesson learned from previous years using map cases. Waterproof map cases only work when they are fully shut. This time, I bought a bunch of contact paper and covered the maps back to back minimizing the number of things we needed to carry. It worked so amazingly well!

The maps we received started at checkpoint (CP) 5. We learned 5 minutes to the start that the first map will be given out after you retrieve a golf ball from a gravel pile with your team number on it about 50 yards away. BA lined up to start us off!

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They’re off!

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BA made quick work of that task and we got our first map that had 4 CPs on it around Ft. Ben. This part was on foot. We had to read signs, count bushes to solve the clues and earn our points. CP5-9 were over at Camp Belzer for a biking portion of the race. We got a bit caught up on CP5 and vowed not to follow the masses. This was our race.

We had to cross a river with our bikes to get to CP10 because the bridge was out and you would be disqualified if you took the bridge. People were pushing their bikes through the water. I’ve been to this rodeo before and just picked up my bike and carried it over. Much easier people!

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CP10-13 were clue based about light poles and boring stuff. But we made it fun by going off road for CP11. We rode to a dead end, fenced off with trees behind it. I spied a gate that had a house down the hill. There was also a gate at the front of the lot that was open. We decided on a straight line approach and high tailed it amid barking neighbor dogs through someone’s back yard/wooded area, across their driveway and out to the other side of the neighborhood. Then we hit another dead end that backed up to a fenced off golf course. With no gates in sight, we decided to stay on the roads. When we turned around 3 other teams were standing right there with us! They saw us sneak down through the first gate and followed suit. They opted to hop the golf fence, bikes in tow, to find CP11. Turned out the CP11 was not in the golf course, but on the street in the neighborhood. Phew. They had to have been pissed. But we were all smiles on our way to Broadripple!

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KOD, our navigator, blew by CP14. I remembered the map had us at the shopping center east of Keystone, so we got KOD’s attention and headed to Title Boxing. Here we had to do a series of burpees, punches and sit-ups to earn our point.

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CP15 was another clue, then we got to the canoe section for CP16-18! I bark the orders and let the boys do the heavy lifting.

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The White River is pretty nasty so we did our best to stay out of it, except when it’s the shortest distance to a CP. As I studied our next map, which was an orienteering section, 2 CPs were on the south shore and 4 on the north. I told the boys it was fastest for us to cross the river and go into the Art Center park. Otherwise we’d have to trek on the trail then up and over College Avenue. This was my home turf! I run this area all the time. They both asked if I’d crossed the river before. Uhhhh… no. But I said “YES, it’s fine!”

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They were on board! We killed this section and headed out in what we figured was 3rd place. Teams don’t have to get all the checkpoints, but if you want to win you do. So you really don’t have a gauge at how many points the teams in front of you even have. CP27 was a skills challenge at the Brip fire station where we each had to make a bag in the hole for Cornhole. CP28 was reading letters of a license plate parked at Boogie Burger. CP29 was another skills challenge of Frisbee golf. We each had to land a disc before leaving. It took me a little bit on this one.

CP30 brought us back to the nasty pond we had to swim across last year. This time, we got an inflatable canoe but no paddles.

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I took the front, KOD in the mid, and BA at the back. Sitting up straight and using our legs wasn’t working. I handed off the passport to KOD and apologized for the view he was about to receive. I straddled the canoe and laid my chest on the front so my arms could reach the pond to paddle us along. Like the song says, face down ass up! Massive hip stretch for me for the rest of the day.

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We had 1 more clue CP to get before hightailing it back to Triton to get started on loop #2.

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We checked in at Triton for our second map, and learned we were in first place! We had under 2 hours left to find the last 32-37 CPs. Every minute you are late to the cutoff time (2 pm), you lose a point. I was strategically plotting our turnaround point to ensure we weren’t even a second late. CP32 was at a house near Ft. Ben. We walked up to the porch to find this.

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I said “Move over boys. I got this.” I grew up with a red plastic version of this puzzle at the lake. I have probably done it over a 1,000 times. But not since I was a teenager. The pieces make a 3 dimensional cube 3x3x3. Some how I remember one corner piece and started working. Try #1 showed me exactly where I was off at the top. Try #2, Done! 31 seconds. The volunteer at the CP was timing me. Before I could take a picture of it, BA goes “Knock it down so no one sees it!” No one was even there! Not sure if I could ever do it that fast again!

CP33 stumped us. We thought it was at the end of a cul de sac. It wasn’t. We talked to neighbors about where a dog park could be (that was part of our clue). No luck, so we backtracked to see if there were any entry points on the side of the road we missed. There was! But still no dog park items. After 20 minutes I called it quits and said we needed to move on. CP34 and 35 were clues again. Got those. CP36 seemed far away on the map and I didn’t want to chance something going really wrong (cramping, flat tires, etc) and ruin the excellent day we were having. The boys agreed so we headed back in. While riding back, I was studying that pesky CP33. As we passed an apartment complex up on a hill, I told the boys I wanted to ride up to see if anything stuck out about a dog park. We figured there must be a spot up the hill that had the clue. The hill looked really tall. We knew we had more CPs than any other team so we passed on CP33 again and headed in.

Upon arriving to the final check-in, which we thought was CP37, we learned CP37 was actually a block away. We still had 24 minutes to spare, so we kept on moving! CP37 had all 3 of us on the same foot planks with a rope handle, moving in tandem, walking a triangle shaped course. If one of us fell off, we had to start over. I became a drill sergeant and started “Left. Right. Left. Right.” to keep us on track. The last leg of the triangle, you had to walk backwards together. Not technical but lots of coordination!

Finally, after 45 miles and 5 hours and 39 minutes, we turned in our passport to finish the race.

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After they tallied the scores, we awaited the results.

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This picture is ironic now. I’m scratching my leg. I made a joke at one point during the race that I’ll wash off with White River water to get rid of any poison ivy I may have picked up. Well, I picked it up bad on my left leg.

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Turned out along with our 1st place prize for the Co-ed Division, we got anti-itch cream. They must have known this would happen!

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The race director published the results showing us 4th overall with 33 CPs completed. There isn’t an award for overall, but we counted us at 35. Pride was on the line here! I asked him to re-look at our passport. He did and agreed with our total, so the bragging rights are with Win Or Lose We Still Booze – for winning the 2013 Planet Adventure Urban Sprint race!

Click here for other racer photos.

Here’s the GPS map of the full course.

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Post race thoughts: We ran a nearly perfect race. The route wasn’t very technical but very easy to navigate. Poison ivy sucks. I wish they had more skills challenges but I recognize those take a lot of coordination with volunteers and getting the gear. My teammates rock. I’ll be back again next year!

Throwback moment… in 2012, I wasn’t able to participate in the real race, but the race director is my friend and said I could join him on his practice day. As the director he requires himself to do the whole course so he knows what the participants are faced with. Here’s the video I shot during practice! He wouldn’t let me release it prior to race day. No secrets can be revealed on these events!