But, somehow, I managed to finish the Great Urban Race (GUR). I am not sure how I did it, but I finished. It was tough and tiring, and the running part was pure torture, but somehow it was a blast. I am proud to say we solved all the clues and completed 11 of the 12 tasks (we had the option of skipping one) all with only one brief instance of frustration between the two of us. Success!
At noon we received our clue sheet that contained 12 clues or riddles to solve to find the locations of each destination. Upon arrival, we had to complete one or two tasks before taking a picture of ourselves, or being given a stamp or a piece of paper confirming our satisfactory completion of each task. It was very Amazing Race-ish. Right down to leaving the phone that contained all of our required pictures at the last task. Yes, we did make the dumb mistake that one team on AR always seems to make every season! Maybe it was karma for all the times I yelled at the AR contestants in disbelief when they left their fanny packs containing all of their critical documents in the taxi as they darted out to do their next task.
We were almost to the finish line when Chris looks at me and says, “My phone! Where is it!?” Cue the dramatic music and cut to a shot of the phone laying on the dresser at the Four Seasons where we had to make a bed and then immediately strip it, but only after playing some floor hockey first. I scrambled through the bag–once, twice, three times–then realized I must’ve left it at the last station since I remembered snapping a picture of him doing the hockey drill. He dropped his stuff and ran back to the hotel. I sat and waited, drinking some Propel (gag, by the way, I’d never had it before and will never have it again), and texting my sister who was waiting so close by at the finish line. I let her know I pulled a classic AR move, forgetting the phone in my rush to get out the door and on to the finish line.
What a terrible, helpless feeling as I watched team after team run past me. (Turns out 27 teams finished before us because of that 10-minute mistake). But finally, Chris showed up with his phone and we hauled a** to the finish line where the parking lot was already filled with teams eating their post-race snacks. After verifying our clues and showing our pictures to the GUR staff, we were officially checked in. We ended up finishing 147 out of 309 teams, 48 of which gave up and didn’t even finish the race. It was an unforgettable experience and I am so glad we did it; it was definitely all I had imagined it would be, even more. I am happy to mark a check by one of my childhood fantasies. Maybe gratified is a better word than just plain happy. It was incredibly fulfilling.
It’s 3 days later and my quads are still sore, my calves are in tight little knots, and I think I may have shin splints. Hoping some Bikram will loosen things up a bit tomorrow. I just got an email from GUR thanking me for my participation, along with a note about their upcoming 5K obstacle course on the beaches of Galveston in October…something to consider, I guess. Maybe by then and I’ll be up for another new adventure, but I can guarantee I will still not be a runner.