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.