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

2011.

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!

Corporate Challenge 2012

Previously.

I had some help at work promoting the Corporate Challenge this year. That help resulted in over 90 employees signing up to participate or donate goods to earn our team points! Even with over 90 employees signing up, not 1 female entered the cycling competition. My team was left to me, sadly, filling that spot again this year. I requested the earliest start time possible because right afterward, I had to high tail it over to the volleyball courts 7 miles away for that event! For the cycling, I ended up 91st out of 104 people in our division. Finished in 22:46. Better than last year!

Volleyball had a round-robin tournament with single elimination to follow. We went 4-1 but we ended up seeded 5th in the bracket. Whatever. The tournament games were to 11. Really? Can’t we at least go to 15?! We made it to the semis only to get beat by Cummins. It was windy as shit, so that did affect our play. But I think they still would have beaten us. Regardless, 100 points earned for OneAmerica!

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For the main event day, I added 4 more events to my schedule. First up was golf. Again, no chicks signed up so I participated. We earned 77 points for our team!

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My first running event of the day was the 5k. I had been resting the hamstring all week, so I was ready to go as fast as I could for 3.1 miles. And I did. I ended up with an adult PR of 22:41! That beat my previous PR by over a minute! And I thought that I was awesome until I saw this picture that reminded me… the 62 year dude in red next to me got his sprint on at the end and beat me by 5 seconds.

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Frisbee came next where we earned a measly 36 points. The discs were lighter than our thrower was used to. We need to practice for next year and earn some hardware again! 

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I was laser focused to catch. Ignore the discs at my feet please.

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Final event was the 1/2 mile. I was not looking forward to it. Speed is not my thing as an adult. They lined all 49 of us (30-39 females) up to run at the same time?! They were breaking other groups into 2 heats. Not sure why we didn’t get the same treatment. It was a mob! I got out of the gate pretty well in the 6th spot overall.

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The key here is… not all these girls were in my division so I wasn’t technically competing against all of them for points. Just those in division 4. But you can’t tell who is in division 4 because their numbers are on the front of their shirts! So the goal remained to pass as many of them as I could. To help, I summoned up some BDHS track memories of my father. “COME ON!! PICK’EM OFF” he’d yell. Over and over. After the 1st 400 meters, I was in 4th.

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The chick in front me had a Cummins shirt on which meant, she was in my division. Crap! I have to get her now for sure. With 200 meters to go, a chick was creeping to pass me… oh no you won’t!

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Giving it all I got at the end… Nice face, I know.

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With about 100 meters to go, I passed the girl from Cummins to place 3rd overall so at least I knew I had got some significant points for us and a little award for myself. Turned out I got 2nd in my division to earn 94 points. 

Finally it was time to relax with some Mascot photos!

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My new boyfriend.

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The biggest turtle I have ever caught!

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End result of all my teammates hard work over 2 weekends was an astonishing FIRST PLACE finish in our Industry and SECOND PLACE finish in our Division!! I knew we did well, but I was not expecting that well! Everyone did an amazing job! Finally after 6 years of organizing a team for the companies I work for, I get to bring home a big trophy for us!

Cross Training

Took the J’s for a ride over to the 100 acres park. Living just 5 miles away, I wanted to introduce them to the canal tow path and show them some more nature trails in our metropolis.

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It’d be quite a while since I’d been there. A few new exhibits were around. There is a huge tree shaped swing set for the kids. This human trap was interesting, including a small one to the side for the vermin.

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Now that I look at this photo, I should have put my shoe or something in it to give a bit of perspective on how big this leaf was. Easily bigger than both of my hands.

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Even spotted some interesting wildlife on the ride!

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It was a good 10 mile 1 hour outing/workout with friends!

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Corporate Challenge 2011

2010 Part 1 & 2010 Part 2

Yeah… I wore the Captain hat again. Sometimes I can’t say “no” to volunteering. Organized my company’s Corporate Challenge team again this year. Slow and low turnout again for sign ups. I have to figure out a better way to promote this so I don’t have to play the role of proxy participant at events I’m no good at. Speaking of… First up, cycling time trials.

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I’d never raced this course before and probably hadn’t had my bike out since… oh… last year for this race. I really can’t remember the last time I rode it. So, my goal was under 4 minute mile pace. I hit that goal and finished the 6 mile course in 23:10, but didn’t score too well for my team in 93rd out of 99 places. Awesome.

2 days prior to the main event, our star runner was injured. Shit. This dude helped us rake in 600 points last year. Found a solid replacement for him hoping we’d still make a run at it. At the main event, I was scheduled to run the age group 5k and 1/2 mile in the female category. I medaled in those last year and was selfishly looking forward to some more bling. Friday night around 8pm, the night before the event, I found out that one of our other 5 mile competitors was sick. Shit. I didn’t have anyone’s cell to call as a back up. Only option, I was on deck to run the 5 mile now. Cue my own sickness episode. WTF? My stomach started turning over. And over. And over. Repeat 4 more time before I left the house at 6:30am. I was empty but walked out the door preparing to become a full fledged member of Team Shart.   

At 7:45am, I started the 5 mile slow because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. Would I cramp? Would I shit myself? Would I pass out? I decided to stop worrying and just run. So half way I grabbed some water then started picking it up a bit because everything seemed to be settled down. I felt light, probably 4 pounds light actually. The scoring is cross country style so at mile 4 I decided to pick off each runner in front me until I crossed the line. 41:44, 8:20 pace. Not bad for (A) not training surprise and (B) not shitting myself.

Next event for me was golf chipping. Even though I’ve been playing golf, I suck at chipping. No females signed up for this, so we were left with me again as proxy. I rounded up my teammates and we headed over to shoot at targets about 30 yards away. With the early morning stomach issues, I didn’t think to bring my own club to use. I opted for a very lofty wedge from my teammate. Bad choice. I scored 0 points.

We had to wait awhile at the golf chipping for our turn, so right after my last chip, I jogged up to the start of the 5k at 9am with about 30 seconds to rest. I found a fellow teammate in the crowd and started out with her. After about 1 minute, I wanted this run over, so I said “Good luck, I’m going to see if I can go kill myself.” This time I ran 7:57 pace and finished in 24:40. Not sure how I did that other than determination. Preliminary results show I got 2nd in our division, so I should get some bling for that, but since I can only compete in 2 competitive events, I had to give up my shot at 1/2 mile. Darn. Some of my fellow teammates!

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I was very happy to be done with my running events of the day and got back to my Captain duties of getting everyone to their events, including myself for Cornhole and Frisbee toss. My team medalled in both of these last year but fell way short this year. Boo. Everyone seemed to have a great time, so it was a good reminder that this event is not just about competition but about team building with your co-workers.

Now you may think this next event was my idea, but it was not. It shows there is some brilliant mind out there with great ideas. You see, one of the events for companies to participate in is a Tug-of-war. Its very entertaining watching grown ups engage in Tug-of-war. What’s even better? Mascot tug-of-war!!!!! Getting their pre-game instructions.

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There were lots of mascots at the event, and 8 of them participated in the TOW. I was front row for the action.

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Blue from Butler, Firehawk, Firepup and Vincent Bear beat Chase the blue dog, the Lemurs, and Jinx.  

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Had to get some photos with the winners!

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And a loser but a cutie!

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2011 Urban Adventure Race

2010. 2009. Fresh and ready to race!

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Team Win or Lose, We Still Booze welcomed a new member for this year’s Urban race, Mr. T-Back. I rounded up the crew at 6:45am and we headed over to George Washington park to set off for our 6 hour adventure. The gear list this year didn’t have anything abnormal, so just the usual bikes, gloves, harness etc.

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We got our pre-race instructions from the race director and course designer, Jay. Let the course plotting begin!

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T.Back was instrumental in creating a new look for our shirts this year. Those faces look familiar?

Jay always like to start the race off with a bang, so this year’s twist was 3 volunteers each holding up a map with the first 3 checkpoints (CP) on them at 8am (really 1a, 1b, 1c). We could either memorize the map or draw it, then take off on our way.  At each of the first 3 checkpoints we were to get an envelope full of letters, then return to base camp to unscramble the words before heading off to checkpoint #2. BA blazing a trail…

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T.Back with some of our competition.

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Unfortunately, we lost about 6 minutes in this first leg. We took a wrong turn trying to find the 3rd envelope. Had to go back and look at the map again. Urg. In an attempt to make up this time, we decided we knew the answer to CP2 and did not really have to go where the map told us. The instruction sheet wanted us to ride up the Monon to about 52nd and find a mural on the wall and write down what the little boy was looking at in the water.  With BA and T.Back being avid Monon users, they were 76% sure the answer was a frog. Fine by me. It was only worth 1 point, and we needed the make-up time. I wrote down “frog” and off we went to CP3… Gate 18 at the State Fair.

When we arrived to the gate, we were given a map of the fair that had 7 CPs on it. (3a, 3b…3g) First stop, the grandstands. We had to run up and down all the stairs. Every year, there is a stair section in this race, so I was not surprised. We only saw 1 team ahead of us at this point but had 1 right on our tails.

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After the stairs, 3b had us throwing a ping pong ball in a cup, then we had to do whatever was listed at the bottom of the cup. T.Back and I got 20 situps. BA had 20 squats. 

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At 3c, we each had to get a cornhole bag in the hole for 3 points. 3d: find a flag in the piggie barn, 3e: move a barrel of hay (Took us a good 4 minutes to find this spot. Seemed to elude a lot of teams even with T.Back yelling “Anyone here with the Adventure Race?  Anyone?”), 3f: find the paddlefish exhibit, 3g: hit a midway game… or .. run a 200 meter lap in the midway. This came down to a time decision. The midway game was the long basketball hoop shot. It appeared to take teams awhile, so we did the lap and headed to 3h. 3h CP according to the map was ON the Pepsi Coliseum Building. We ran high and low, in and around, over and under if we could. Turns out, I saw some kids waving at us by the Dairy food hut ACROSS the street from the Coliseum. Urg. Lost probably 9 minutes trying to find it.  Here we had to eat 1/2 a grilled cheese sandwich and drink a glass of chocolate milk.  I took 1 bite, and quickly passed it to the boys to finish. I promised them I would milk a cow, birth a piglet… whatever the fair asked me to do except eat. That was all on them.

Exit the fair and hit CP4, northeast of the fair at a canoe drop-in point for Fall Creek. Here we had to canoe up river, drop the canoe then swim or wade up to CP5 hanging off a bridge. This was probably the most exhausting task because the water was neck high at some points. You have your PFD and shoes on weighing you down. And it stunk. We got it done, headed back to CP4 to rejoin our bikes and head even farther NE to CP6, which told us to keep our PFDs. I opted to wear mine while the boys rigged theirs to hang off their packs.

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CP6 had us swimming across a nasty pond to get a flag punch as Doug and Tracy got to watch our stinky demise. Here, I started singing, “I hate Jay Newlin”. It was cleaner than the scum pond 2 years ago, but still very nasty.

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There was no good way in our out of the pond. I basically slid on my arse to get in and had T.Back pull me out.

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CP7 kept us going NE up to Skiles Test Nature Park where we received a new map at the very top of the steep hill with 5 CPs on it. Our clues gave us an idea where to look for the flags in the woods, such as “man-made structure”, “distinct tree”, “boulder”. The boys started taking off running. I was a bit slower at this point, but managed to find the inner-yell to remind them to check the map scale. It may look a mile away, but 2 inches on the map was about 400 meters. We fought through nettles and neck high weeds before getting to the more tame trail portions. My shins took a beating, but I think we made good work on this part and needed to head back to CP4 because it shared the same location as CP8. On the way there I commented to T.Back that he’d been here for close to 4 hours. If he didn’t have his own watch on, I think he thought I was lying.

At CP8 we could either zip line down to the river from the bridge, or swim across the river and back. This, again, was a timing decision. To get in the harness, wait in line, then unhook and get back on your bike… too long. So I ordered my troops into the river. Which I’m sure BA just loved me for since he hates to swim.  

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CP9 was next and it was back at base camp near 34th and Keystone. Upon arrival, we had to each throw a dart at 3 clowns on a dart board. If one of us hit a clown crotch or nose, the whole team passed. I have such good aim that I did hit the clown crotch, but it didn’t stick. Doh! Didn’t take too long anyway and we headed over to the car to regroup and regear.

What I haven’t mentioned yet is that after the canoe portion at CP4, BA, in a good faith gesture to helping get the canoe out, exited the canoe before the launch pad and ended up over his head in water. This in itself is not a big deal. The problem was, waterproof map cases (as I learned last year) are only waterproof when closed. Our clue sheet was ruined. I was hoping we could grab a new one at base camp, but no such luck. Using my MacGyver skills, I grabbed the roll of duct tape from my trunk and started peeling. We didn’t need the front side of the clue sheet anymore, so like a puzzle, we turned our soggy crumpled mess of paper into a silver backed-semi legible clue sheet and we were off. Really unfortunate part was we wasted 20 minutes getting back on the road. Goal of placing, gone.  

But we were still having fun, so we rolled over to CP10 at Douglas Park. Here we each had to toss a ring on an upright pole with X’s on them. Bouncing plastic off plastic was not easy. Next was CP11 at Crown Hill Cemetery, one of the highest points in our city. On our way there, I noticed my rear tire going flat. I figured I’d just motor through. Too much time loss to stop and change a tire at this point. (Bad decision)  We only had 6 more CPs to go. Here, we were to ride up to James Whitcomb Riley’s tomb to solve the clue. T-Back was killing it on the bike to this CP so I gave him the maps and said he needed to keep better spacing with us, but feel free to take the lead. After the crushing hill to CP11, the boys wanted to find the north exit of the Cemetery because we were now headed to Butler University. As they were trying to find their own way, I summoned the inner yell again “CHECK THE F’IN MAP”. There were only 2 entrances and we didn’t need to waste anymore time or energy finding them. T.Back offered to switch me bikes at this point in an effort to keep me up with them. We got back on track and headed to Butler to find some words near the stadium steps then quickly off to CP13. At CP13, we had to shoot a 3-can pyramid down with a be-be gun. I had never shot anything but a water gun before, so I was way off. BA wasn’t much better, so T.Back single-handedly finished this one for us.  

At this point, we had 45 minutes left and learned that the next CP was a foot-race ropes course that easily took 30 minutes. This would put us way past cut off time to returning to base camp. We opted to skip all of CP14, go directly to hit CP15 a flag punch near main Broadripple then CP16 at Upland Brewery. Upon arrival at the Brewery, T.Back and BAs lovely ladies met us with a full pint of beer. BA looks as SS and goes “I have to drink this whole thing?!” No, she was just being nice and giving him a whole beer when we only needed a shots worth. I grabbed it, poured 3 shots and yelled, “Down them and lets go!” We were cutting it way too close.

T.Back’s bike exchange certainly helped me but left  him stuck with the gimp bike and ultimately we finished 4 minutes late after 42.7 miles. Not good. But we had fun and that’s what really matters (kinda).

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The after party had awards, pop, pizza and BYOB. I indulged a bit.

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After chatting with a few of the award winners, we learned they decided to SKIP SEVERAL checkpoints?! That never crossed our minds until the end where we were against a wall after CP13. These teams decided mid-race it’d take too long to get somewhere. Shit, I would have skipped the damn canoe part! That was only 1 f’in CP for 30 minutes. I guess different styles for different racers. We were there to race the maximum amount of the course as laid out by the director. Here’s our marginal effort for the day…

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As always, lots of lessons learned.

1. No more map cases. Laminate sheets from now on.

2. Change the bike tire. Its worth the saved energy.

3. Skip checkpoints…maybe. Still not sure that’s the type of racer I want to be.

The final results aren’t up yet and I have my own pictures from the race that I’ll edit in for some more views of what we did. We are curious to see overall point wise how we did in comparison to those that merely finished on time.  

We’ll be back in 2012. Be aware.