The weather report for Denver called for sunshine that fateful day in August. Sunshine and sweating would be risky if you were wearing a fake mustache, but these babies are real, so we applied SPF 30 mustache wax, loaded dad’s Ford pickup like Noah’s Ark…two of everything for Adventure Race Double Day…and arrived at dawn as the mist was rising off the Aquarium parking lot.
After some brief intimidating warmups, we lined up with what would turn out to be 135 losing teams and ran a scatter pattern around the parking lot when they said “Go find the first clue!” It was clipped to a nearby bridge and we got ours in relatively quick fashion…off on another Oyster adventure!
Passport 1 was all about the sponsors, and our scouting for those paid off…Chipotle, Merrell, and the credit union. What you can’t scout is how to solve the hoardenger. But we have also learned how to improvise and work together quickly, so we blew through a few of those, with only one really questionable decision.
Rare advice from a Nad (write this down): if you have to carry a stranger in a challenge, maybe don’t choose the first person you see if that person weighs more than 250 lbs.
After Josh’s legs were crushed by the hefty stranger, Tyler and Andy carried him back to the transition area for Passport 2.
Passport 2 sent us on bikes to the north part of the city, on a route that would have been tricky had we not scouted it the day before. Have you ever heard of the TAXI development in River North Denver? Would you know how to get there from the Aquarium? Go ahead, go look at a map and see if you can plan that route quickly. Then throw in a stop at the Matchbox, and try to get there after you had to sit in a bucket of ice while your racing partners solve a puzzle.
After a cold chode ride to TAXI, we had to find one of two yellow duckies in a pool of hundreds of duckies that had the numbers we were given on our way in. Done in a few minutes, we biked back fast to the TA…and saw Kissing Moose right on our tails (a recurring theme throughout the day)
Passport 3 was on bikes again to a west side lake (Berkley) where we did a triangle pattern across the lake on a paddle board, taking turns as the other guys ran to meet us. Back on the bikes, we realized Josh had a flat! Andy cut a piece from his thick mustache hair and fashioned a tire patch from the hair mixed with Tyler’s styling gel and we were off to Lakeside amusement park.
Upon arrival, we were mistaken for the strong men they were expecting from the circus and we were sent to employee badging. We got that sorted out quickly, found our way out through the hall of mirrors while tied together, and headed back to T&A….what’s up Kissing Moose! Looks like you’re getting closer.
Passport 4 - One guy on a bike and two guys running to Roo Bar. Andy rode 2/3 the distance, Josh rode 1/3 the distance, Tyler ran the whole way there, then we flipped all that on the way back. We played an abbreviated and/or modified version of rally, thanks to turning in 100 bottle caps of ShockTop. And Andy ate a real Rocky Mountain Oyster.
Back to TA.
Passport 5 and FINAL - it’s always so thrilling to get the different colored final passport. I get tingles in special places. Unfortunately the giddiness turned to strife as we got lost on our way to the final checkpoint, which was in a tricky industrial part of town.
Our superstar support team (Josh’s wife Laurel and their neighbor Kathy) were on their smartphones and calling us to try to guide us there, but the frustration over the circuitous route and the pressure of having a team right behind us almost ended a beautiful 13 year marriage.
The final destination was a rock gym where we walked a slackline, climbed a rockwall, and swung on a rope to ring a bell…ding, ding, ding, let’s sprint back!!!
It’s 11:15 and our next racestarts at 12:00! Ahhhh!!!
We made it back to the finish line first, chugged our celebratory champagne, did the math on the two transportation options to get to the start of our next race, and hopped on our bikes to get to the Great Urban Race 1.5 miles away, arriving with 20 minutes to race start.
- Hot Mess
As we are gathered across the street from the Matchbox, I hear Kevin say, “The clues are in the bar. Go!” I look over and I see Ashley is the first one in the bar grabbing the clues. I knew right then that Ash was definitely in it to win it. It’s Urban Dare time!
I wanted to introduce Ashley (my new co-worker) to this crazy fun hobby of urban adventure racing, and show her why I’m so obsessed. Not sure she knew what she was in for but I saw that she was definitely up for the challenge when I saw her sprint for that clue sheet.
First clue on the sheet had us go the first Quiznos. I ask T-Nad where that is and he says it’s south of the capitol. That seemed pretty far to me so I thought we should head there first.
Along the way we snag the 5 min bonus.
The Quiznos ended up being further than we thought. It gave T-Nad plenty of time to help us plan a route with the other clues.
From Quiznos we headed to the Denver Monoliths to take a pic. We then cut north through Civic Center Park to this little median that had the Macintosh bust in it. That’s where we did our wheelbarrow challenge.
I could tell at this point that Ashley’s initial adrenaline had worn off and she was hurting. I also knew that T-Nad had an awesome route planned for us so I wasn’t worried.
After completing the word scrabble challenge at the Promethius Tower, we cut across Broadway and zig-zagged our way to the “All Together Now” sculpture. T-Nad said it was a straight shot to the finish line from there.
Ashley was burnt at this point and she kept apologizing for having to jog and rest so much. I told her not to worry. It’s not about being the fastest in these races. It’s about being the most efficient and not to make any mistakes. So far we hadn’t made any mistakes and we had the perfect route planned for us.
At Skyline Park we did our three-legged race challenge. Around the corner was the Ralph Carr bust. I made an elderly ladies day by proposing to her and we got someone to do a cartwheel on the sidewalk.
Prior to the race, Ashley and I scouted out the Zanzibar so we knew where that was. We scrambled our way through some construction to the Pinkie and Mr. Green sculpture and shot over to The Mad Hatter smoke shop right next to the finish.
We entered the Matchbox looking for our main rivals The Agents. When they weren’t there we knew we had it in the bag.
Booyah! Ashley collapses on the bar and at the same time learns what the Nads experience is all about.
to be continued in Denver Double, Part II: Three Moustaches and Three Nads…
Emily, the MC for Merrell Oyster_The Race tells the racers packing into Pioneer Courthouse Square that they need to find a hidden puzzle, solve it and turn it in to get their first passport.
She milks it a bit, “They are… … in the Merrell tent!”
I told Will and Drodgey that I would get the passport so they hang by our bikes while I run with the crowd to the tent. I get there and immediately scan for the puzzle. Nothing in clear sight, so I start rummaging through shoes, clothes boxes, under the desk, etc. In the mess of Oyster racers arms, I can’t find squat.
Emily comes over before too long to end the misery of the few teams left empty handed who are sifting through an already pilfered tent.
For a few minutes Drodgey and I distract Will with nonsense in an attempt to help, while he works on the puzzle. It is probably best just to let him concentrate, so we do.
After Will handily solves the puzzle we get our first passport. We are to produce 5 items from a “Hoardenger” list. We buzz through four of these quickly, but stumble over what to do about drawing a mustache on a teammate because 2/3 of us already have lavish mustaches. We opt to be on the safe side and draw one on Will’s prepubescent upper lip.
The next passport sends us on foot to the Chipotle on Lovejoy. We jog the couple miles to find Cougin’ It just leaving the task.
We dig into the task of identifying Chipotle ingredients when the Oyster volunteer (Oysterteer) tells us wrong answers will bear repercussions at the transition area (TA). We sober up from our normal Oyster giddiness as we realize the seriousness of this decision. We turn in our answers and receive one demerit representing an unknown obstacle when we turn our answer for our next passport.
Back at the transition area an Oysterteer, sees the mar on our otherwise perfect sheet and deflates a bit. ”I am sorry you got one wrong. You have to eat this”, as she pulls out a large cup of raw garlic.
”That is a lot of garlic. That will be unpleasant” I think, or cry out loud, I am not sure which.
Then she pulls one clove off of one head and cuts it into three. We each grab one sliver, toss it back and grab the next passport as we laugh as if cheating death.
On our bikes we head to Houndog Bar in SE Portland. We arrive around the same time as two other teams. Sibling Rivalry and Cougin’ It.
We feel the pressure as we play a round of rally, a multiple part bastard child of beer pong. We finish just before Cougin ’ It, and head to the front door to get a QR code that will lead us to our next stop.
Sprint data coverage, blergh, this is paaaainful.
Cougin’ It pops out the door and tells the Oysterteer that their beliefs don’t allow them QR reading technology and they receive a piece of paper with the image that is taking my phone that seems to think we are a mile below the surface of the earth ages to download.
Cougin’ It is kind enough to show us the image. We chat a bit with our competition about the location, and we head off on two different routes to the same place.
Will, Drodge and I stop a mile into our ride to scratch out heads and discuss the unlikelyhood of the Oyster sending us to the Washington State border, when we hear a shout in the distance “nads”. It is Cougin’ It. They luckily biked right into the challenge along there alternate route.
Close call! Had Cougin’ It not seen us, we would have never had the chance to put cow balls in our mouth at the next challenge.
So we backtrack to the Home Pla8 food cart we were supposed to find. Drodgey eats some testicles, and back to the TA.
The next challenge takes us on foot around the corner to play some miniature golf in the dark with our faces at Glowing Greens. A bit of running and we take a short SAT exam at Portland State University
Back at the TA, the passport is a word puzzle. We solve it to find the location for the next challenge: Lillis Albina City Park. We hop on our bikes and Drodgey and I tuck in behind Will “The Billboard” and get pulled across town.
At the park we are to do two challenges. First Will and I slingshot our shoes across a field to Andy with a bucket. Then I get blindfolded and Will and Drodgey shout conflicting directions at me while I wander a “minefield” of tennis balls that I cannot touch.
Back at the TA our next passport is an image puzzle with a picture of poop and some other stuff that directs us to Voodoo Doughnuts where we must eat a huge doughnut with no hands. When the doughnut is gone we find our mustaches full of glaze and a QR code revealed on the table. We scan it to download a photo of the ”Car Wash” Fountain.
As adrenaline was clouding my better judgement, the Oysterteer gave us two pieces of paper with numbers on them. We needed to find a duck with one of these numbers on them. The ducks were rubber duckies floating in the downtwon fixture ironically named the carwash because it is a cesspool, more of a urinal than a tourist attration.
I hop in the fountain and start splashing around. As my good time continues, Will shouts from his strategically dry position that he has found the duck we need.
We run back to the TA as I try to remember my vaccination history.
We get hung up. But Drodgey finds his inner Bobby Fischer and starts shouting moves at Will and I. We knock it out and head back to TA.
We are given a green passport signifying it is our last. We know we are behind two teams and just hope we can catch a break. On bike we are to head to a kayak dock on the Willamette.
One of us (Will) is to stand up paddle board from the dock on the east side of the Willamette across to meet two teamates (Drodgey and I) who have just run across the bridge). Will then runs back to the kayak dock and Drodgey and I ride the board back.
After 5 minutes of being slapped around by with a paddle by Drodgey, I am back at the rendezvous point with Drodge to meet Will.
We start our bike sprint to the finish.
We just can’t quite catch Cougin’ It (two and a half minutes ahead of us at the tape), but we come in second overall, and first in Men’s.
As per usual, another ridiculously good time brought to you by Oyster_The Race. We’ll see you next year.
As The Mighty Mighty Nads were dominating their way through another summer of adventure races throughout the U S of A, they determined it was worth taking a quick stop for a little race at the end of September – Oyster_The Race | San Francisco. While the Oyster has been a Nads staple for many years, this was the first time that Nads have competed in the city by the bay – an environ usually dominated by the Nads rival and local juggernaut: the ever-crafty Taintastic! This race also marked the return of one of the original Nads: Hubbs, who had lost the last 3 years of Nads racing to Africa, more Africa, and then a bum knee. Now living in San Francisco, he was hoping to seamlessly join the well-oiled machine of Drodgey and Tyler for another Oyster victory.
The race started all well and good out of the Sports Basement parking lot near the Presidio. Mustaches of all three Nads members were trimmed to perfection and looking intimidatingly aerodynamic. During the first bike ride out to Pier 42, we heard rumors of a super-team that had flown, or perhaps invaded like a Midwestern Ghengus Khan, from Denver. When we mentioned that this team couldn’t possibly do well as they didn’t know the city, the all-knowing rival countered that one of the super team actually lived in the city. Never mess with teams from the Silicon Valley – Steve Jobs has trained them to have some crazy good intel!
Despite Tyler’s flat tire coming back from some flawless fish throwing at Whole Foods, our heros were well-positioned in the lead pack after the first 3 clues. The next run through the Presidio was expertly navigated by Drodgey and our support captain on the ground, Kevin ‘Hot Tub’ Barden. The Nads had moved up in the lead pack, and, after a bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, had cruised into the overall first place position. It felt comfortable.
But here was where the race was lost – due to somewhat embarassing circumstances. The race was lost because the Nads fumbled away a precious 5 minutes finding the beer challenge, which was somewhat hidden in the corner of the Sports Basement parking lot. REALLY, Nads?!?! C’mon!! (The writer’s head is shaking even while writing this blog.) Any Nad worth their salt should be able to sniff out a game of beer pong 10 miles away. Our team is led by members of the Outdoorsman Challenge, an elite beer drinking and running crew well documented on YouTube. This should have been a cake walk, and where the Nads’ star should have shined the brightest.
This allowed the second place team, a local coed bunch who had been second fiddle to Taintastic! for the last three years, to surge ahead of our champions. One must give them credit, they showed great heart on the final San Francisco-steep bike up to Alta Plaza Park, where a boot camp crew and miller lite awaited (two great tastes that do NOT go great together). During the sprint down the hill, almost every traffic law was broken, several accidents may have been caused, and all three of our hero’s lives were put in danger, but when the traffic light at Van Ness was missed, the race was over. The Nads had to settle for second place.
The Nads did, however, succeed in taking the Men’s division crown from Taintastic! That felt good. Plans were soon made to attempt to take over the Oyster on the other side of the Mississippi as well.
After the race, and after this Oscar-deserving performance on Oyster television - wait for the 2 minute mark, Hubbs was offered the National Spokesman position for Shocktop beer. Despite advice from the Nads’ agent, Hubbs demanded first right of refusal to wear the Shocktop mascot costume at all Shocktop events. Shocktop stopped returning Hubbs’s phone calls and sent him a 6-pack of Shocktop Pumpkin Wheat as an apparent consolation.
And that leads us to the end of this edition of NADS BLOG. The Nads family will see you again next time – same Nads time, same Nads channel.
Until then, kids - Keep Dominating.
I would like to remember the first 22 minutes of the Great Urban Race Portland as absolute perfection from an efficiency in racing standpoint for The Nads Oyster Racing Team.
”Don’t get cocky kid.” - H.S.
Things kind of fell apart after that.
After receiving our clues we see a few things to focus on right away.
- We were to donate several items to the Ronald McDonald to the south about 1 mile.
- We were to go to the Convention Center for a challenge, about 1.5 miles south.
- We were to select three tasks in a row from a tic-tac-toe grid of tasks.
We knew the location of a convenience store just down the road from Prost!, the start and finish of the day’s race. Out of the gate we book it to the store. We were the first team there and we pick up the needed items for the Ronald McDonald House and a few items to help with the tic-tac-toe challenge.
Out the door, we cross Mississippi St. where we see two nice ladies who look like they might be good sports. Indeed they are, and they take a picture of us with cups on our heads, and one of them tangos with a flower in her mouth with Drodge.
We thanked the ladies and Drodge gives his dance partner the flower (ahhhhh, how sweet). We headed to the Ronald McDonald House where we quickly donated the purchased items and receive a fake tattoo to prove we completed that task.
Then to the convention center, but not without stopping at 7/Eleven to pick up a newspaper to complete another clue.
We arrived at the a park across from the convention center to find several piles of smoldering coals.
We heard someone say “a team is here”. A volunteer told us it will be a moment while they spread out the coals.
How wonderful, some nice fresh coals for me to walk on.
Drodge and I had already discussed who would do what kind of tasks that day. I got physically damaging and he got eating gross things.
As I walked the coals, Drodge scoured the paper for the clue hidden in the classifieds.
I put my shoes back on and we hit the road again. As we were leaving we saw
Tool Time Team Low Bar, the eventual winners of the race, running into the park.
There you have the first 22 minutes. I would prefer to stop writing and just savor the satisfaction of completing two tasks completely, two thirds of the tic-tac-toe, and holding the paper in hand showing the secret location of another clue before the winning team even got to their first clue location. But, on this day and any other for that matter, it doesn’t really matter how well the first 22 minutes go, especially if the newspaper in your hand is useless and you go another 30 minutes without completing anything accept digging a McDonald’s wrapper out of a garbage can.
You see, while we were at 7/Eleven, I had hastily purchased the only paper they had available early Saturday afternoon. It so happens that that paper was an early Sunday Edition, not the required Saturday paper that would prove to be an impossible item for us to find.
We arrived at our next task where we were to discover the infinite amenities of several brand new Chevys in finite numbers, and use them to solve provided algebra equations.
This seemed like an easy enough task, but with the distraction of working on another task and trying to search the newspaper for something we did not yet know was not in that paper, the Chevy task proved to be more dificult than it was designed to be.
So after “finishing” the Chevy task, we went to McDonald’s and got a wrapper and headed west to cross to the Pearl. We popped in and out of a few shops empty handed with the realization that the paper we had was not the one we needed. Before setting foot on the bridge, which in hind sight was a unnecessarily long route anyway, Drodge says, “I think we were supposed to get a picture at the Chevys”
[Insert the worst three expletives you know here]
We headed back and get the necessary photo 30 minutes after arriving at the Chevys the first time, before heading back on our unnecessarily out of the way route to the Pearl.
From here things went pretty routine, especially considering I was pretty much spent, although Andy looked fresh as a morning daisy. We went to Jameson Square where Andy played some Petanque; we headed to The Tea Zone to identify some teas, and went to Deschutes for a business card to round out our tic-tac-toe.
Then back over the river.
I would like to say your welcome for the HIGH RES photo that is available to really take a look at how nice the cracker is in Drodge’s mouth in horrifying contrast to the stuff going on in my face.
Then back up a hill to Sideshow Alley Tattoo where Drodge fulfilled his half of the deal mentioned earlier and ate a scorpion.
One more stop before the finish.
We caught a bus for four blocks with the best $15 we have ever spent (we had pre-purchased bus passes that we couldn’t find until about a hour after the race and had to pay the fair to ride the bus). Seriously, it felt heavenly, totally worth it..
Last task was to roll a quarter into the prongs of a fork at EaT: An Oyster Bar.
A long ass last dash back to Prost! for the finish to find the Goats had finished significantly ahead of us and Low Bar significantly in front of them for the win.
After a normal length race that felt like an outrageously long race, with some high and lows, it was a good day. We won our entry into the Las Vegas Championship, and we got our free beers.
Great Urban Race is clearly trying to make the tasks more fun and they did a good job of that. They have said the Las Vegas race will be one not to miss; they are already planning on stepping up the already very involved challenges there as well.
Oyster_The Race in Portland, Oregon
For the fourth year in a row Drodge, Tyler, and Will are suiting up in Nads green to hammer the streets of Portland in the Merrell Oyster_The Race | Portland. Over the three years covering nearly a hundred miles on bike and foot, we have
almost caught an oyster in the mouth in a two story drop, shuttled the Willamette on kayaks, been blind folded and placed miles apart from each other, tasted plenty of beer, and without 5000 more words I will just be barely scratching the surface.
We are looking forward to seeing all the other teams again as well as all the newcomers.
Oyster_The Race in Denver, Colorado
We do love the Great Urban Race, but it is a no brainer to do the Oyster. Oyster_The Race is The Nads longstanding favorite urban adventure race, and hands down the best urban adventure scavenger clue solving what-have-you race to look for in your community.
Great Urban Race in Denver, Colorado
Who are we kidding? If a lot of things go our way, we will be heading to the Great Urban Race start after finishing the Oyster in the morning.
We’ll likely only enter a team of two, so Drodge, Josh, and Tyler will have to draw straws to see who gets to hang out at the Oyster and drink the free beer while the other two hoof it around Denver that afternoon.
It may be a blessing or a curse that The Oyster and Great Urban Race are the same day; ask us the evening of the 25th. We will be the ones curled in limp balls of muscle cramps gitty with the days shenanigans.
We’ll post our 2012 Portland Great Urban Race NADS BLOG race report soon.
[UPDATE: Great Urban Race, Portland NADS BLOG post is up]
I was driving to Bend using the historic McKenzie Pass for the first time; I was on my way to meet John to participate in Oyster_The Off Road Race | Bend.
Sometimes, I find myself in a euphoric trance fueled by my love of Oregon. This drive induces such a feeling.
Really driving this elation through the roof was thinking about my first opportunity to race in an Oyster this year — my face hurt I was smiling so fiercely.
I scared some small children at a gas station in Sisters.
Like last year, the start was at the Deschutes Brewery.
After a warm up led by inMotion Training Studio, the announcements started. The familiar anticipation of the first passport began to take all my focus and cloud everything that was coming over the speakers.
Last year the first passport took us on a hunt on foot to find two out of three landmarks that we were to recognize by photo. The Oyster Race is not one to repeat itself, so all John and I knew was that the photo hunt would not be how this year’s race would begin.
All the sudden Emily, the MC for this year’s Oyster, spoke words that busted the cloud, she told us we needed to complete a matching puzzle in order to get our first passport.
dozen failed attempts, we finally came up with the right answer for the matching game and left the transition area (TA) on bike with our first passport.
We were to bike to Pilot Butte where we would run to the top to turn in five “Hoerdenger” items.
I would hate to spoil any future races, but I’ll tell you two of the five things we checked in with. The first was five pieces of garbage from the streets of Bend. Kind of gross, but it is nice to know Bend is a little cleaner.
The other was a teammate with a drawn on mustache. John drew the mustache on his upper lip so fast I was almost moved to draw one on myself out of team unity.
Passport_2: Tipsy Duck
On foot, “Yes!” Much more comfortable off the bike, we headed to downtown to complete two tasks. A little beer pong at the Deschutes Brew Pub for our first passport punch, then to the Phoenix Inn for a needle in a haystack challenge. We were to find a specific duck in a pool full of rubber duckies. We found our’s on the edge of the pool right as we were about to hop in the pool.
Back to the TA.
Passport_3: Get Off Road
Next time the more experienced member of your team (John in this case) says something like, we should review single track mountain bike trails before the race, you (me in this case) should consider listening to them.
Back at the TA we received our next passport. We needed to scan a QR code to get the actual passport online.
Back on the bikes and to a specific bike path to a specific location to find “The Gnome”. The passport did give us the map, but because of our lack of knowledge of the trails, we made the mistake of assuming another team knew “local info” and followed them up a trail that offered additional very technical and winding single track over a flat straight road we were supposed to stay on.
Nothing wrong with a little added adventure.
We eventually found ourselves at “The Gnome” and took the required picture before heading back to the TA.
Passport_4: Fit for a Fly
Like passport two, two “mystery locations” were hinted at on the next passport. You could figure them out with a few minutes of online searching.
First we ran to inMotion Fitness for an obstacle course of three legged race, soldier crawl and burpees.
Next to the Orvis store where we were given a choice to fly fish cast to a target or to put on waders and learn to tie a knot. Both of us very confident that we would seriously botch the fly fishing we pulled on the provided waders.
Passport_5: Smarty Pants
We were to told to bike downtown to Travel Bend, the local visitors center, where we would “tackle an old college nightmare”. Expecting to see my freshman roommate as I parked my bike, instead we were shown to a room with tables, chairs and SAT tests.
John shook off the flashbacks threatening his concentration and filled out the test like a machine.
The green passport, its color communicating it would be our last, was a welcome sight.
We ran several hundred yards to a boat launch where we not only didn’t redeem ourselves from last years canoe challenge, but we solidified ourselves as supremely canoe challenged.
We were to canoe facing each other (one forward/one backward) in the same boat to a volunteer upriver to receive the secret password. After using the switch back path we found inevitable and t-boneing no less than 4 other teams boats we returned to the ramp with the secret password.
One last driving thrust of our canoe into another team’s boat as they were getting out to really make a show off our boating prowess and we were running to the second half of the last passport.
Less than a hundred yards from the finish, I was blindfolded while John walked me though a field of balls with his voice. After a couple missteps and restarts, we sprinted to the finish line.
I couldn’t ask for more from these races. Everytime is a unique experience; I can’t wait until they come back to Oregon for Oyster_The Race | Portland, on August 18th.
A moment passes before I realize the race has begun. Kevin Keefe had tossed the loose 8-1/2 by 11 cluesheets onto the park table without any warning. I turn to see Drodge. He stood there looking at me standing there looking at him.
We had agreed that I would be the clue grabber on this day.
”Oh, yes, I’ll get that.” I work through the crowd of racers around the table who are gripping their cluesheets locked a foot away from their faces already working out a course; I manage to grab one of the last few sheets.
This is Day Two of Super Dare, the Urban Dare Championships. This year the race is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Most teams present won their local races to get free entry in Super Dare (although, this is not a requirement). Last year the prize for winning a local race was free entry to the Super Dare in Pasadena, California. The year before that, if you won a local race you got a free cruise to Nassau where Super Dare was held.
A cruise for winning definitely differentiated Urban Dare from the other urban adventure races out there, and we would love to see something of that scale return, but our excitement to see what Kevin has cooked up this year and a shot at $5000 was enough to get Drodge and I out to Milwaukee to compete.
After yesterday’s obstacle course and trivia we sit in first place, but plenty of teams could demolish our lead today.
We scan the cluesheet for a moment before achieving that “maybe I should have studied” feeling.
”Get your picture in front of the (last US president to be shot while in office) & (the man who killed the alleged assassin of the last president to be killed while in office) spa.”
1A: We can do this one. Reagan & Ruby Spa, we head to the location on Wells and find an entirely different spa. (The search on the Google gave us two pins; in our haste we headed to the wrong pin). I head inside unable to fathom our mistake. We are indeed at the wrong spa. The employees of the East Town Spa tell me the only Reagan & Ruby Spa they know of on Brady Street (one mile north).
1B: So we take a slight detour to Cleopatra’s Wedge: “She was the last Pharaoh of Egypt. Go to her Wedge for your 3-legged dare.” This dare is across the street from the yesterday’s Obstacle Course location - we run around a circle park twice while the vindictive tether rubs the same tender spot on our ankles it rubbed during Saturday’s 3-legged obstacle.
2. The 3-legged race official punches our passport and relinquishes us from the tether, then we hit the road to get a photo at the correct location of the Reagan & Ruby Spa. Check.
3: Next stop, the intersection of Brady St.(gun bill/assassination attempt reference) and Jackson St (King of Pop?, seems like a missed opportunity to round out the presidential assassination attempt clues). We do the spellbound dare (number/letter puzzle) and head south a few blocks to do a our 4th task, a human wheelbarrow. (Had Drodge correctly started his GoPro, we would have a video looking up my shorts here.)
5. I close my eyes and imagine I am on the beaches of Nassau to prepare for a downhill but still nasty long haul south to the north edge of the historic Third Ward to a plaque commemorating where the Little Pink Church once stood, all we need is a photo.
6. Down the block to snap a photo at the Water Buffalo Restaurant (Fred Flintstone’s royal order).
7. Then back near the start to the King and I Thai Restaurant. We take the required photo.
8. A quick run across the the Milwaukee River to a park for the “Bubble Dare”. No hands - get a piece of gum out of a plateful of whip cream and blow a bubble. Drodge knocks it out no problem.
9. Back across the river for a photo in front of a plaque near another plaque. We need to find the place where the typewriter was invented. This takes us to U.S. Cellular Arena, where the whole east side of the arena is covered in plaques. We need to find one with “Lambeau” on it. We do, and we take our photo.
”A good liar must have a good memory: _______ is a stupendous liar with a remarkable memory.”
10. A few blocks north to Kissinger’s Meat and Poultry for a photo.
11. Only two left, plus the bonus. A photo of the “Spirit of Polonia”, in front of the county courthouse.
12. We take a shot of a Spanish American War memorial on a traffic island in front of the Public Library.
Bonus: It turns out there is a plaque at MacArthur Square, right next to the Spirit of Polonia, stating where MacArthur lived. Although this is not where he lived. We think this was the intended plaque. We assumed the plaque would be at the actual location of his home. The house is long gone and although we look on Wisconsin for a plaque commemorating where it stood, no dice.
The bonus seems like a bust for us.
We grumble to each other for a moment about the five minutes not being worth wasting time looking for the plaque and we head to the finish line at the Brat House, just up the street from the start.
First to the finish, but even with our lead from the day before, without the bonus there is a window for a few teams to squeak in and still get us. A few minutes pass and Kevin tells us we win Super Dare!
I have a feeling there are going to be many more teams next year; returning teams and new teams are going to up the competiton. The $5000 prize is worth working for and the rumor is next year the race will be back in Southern California, but a cruise to Nassau would be nice, too.
Thanks for a great weekend Kevin and Urban Dare! We’ll see you at the Denver Urban Dare this weekend.