March 3, 2009

Great Urban Race: The Aftermath

The Great Urban Race

The Great Urban Race

If you missed my post last Thursday, I talked about the Great Urban Race coming to Phoenix this past weekend. I had pretty high hopes for doing good in the race (I don’t know why). Anyways, now that the race is over and I have all my pictures off my camera, it’s time to break down the race.

The Start

The race started at Sliders in downtown Phoenix. If you don’t know where that is, it is right next to Chase field (Diamondbacks stadium). From there, I had no idea where the race was going to take us. We were given an envelope at noon with the clues in it but no one was allowed to open them until the race started.

Once we heard the speaker say the race had started, I ripped the envelope open and pulled out the sheet with the clues on it. At first glance, the only thing I thought in my head is “we’re screwed.” I know very, very little about downtown Phoenix. Especially when it comes to parks, statues, and museums. I also know nothing about the bus schedules or the light rail so I knew that was going to be a challenge.

Clue #1

The first clue we managed to get done was by far the easiest of the day. All we had to do was find a popsicle stick with a joke on it or get a job application. We chose the job application since I haven’t seen a popsicle in years. My girlfriend ran into a Starbucks while I sat outside Googling away on my iPhone.

Clue #2

From there, we headed north down Central Ave. until we got to the Farmers Market. We had to find an artist there and get a drawing from him. After hitting up the information booth, we managed to find someone that knew who we were talking about. So the guy lead us (along with like 10 people following us) to the artist. He drew up a quick sketch on a piece of paper and gave it to us.

So far so good…

Clue #3

Heard Museum Statue

Heard Museum Statue

Once we got the drawing, we continued on our way north towards Honey Bears BBQ. Along the way, we managed to solve another one of the clues. The clue said “it exists today because of Maie.” At first, we didn’t have a clue what the hell it was talking about. But after doing some Googling we managed to figure out that Maie was the first name of the person the Heard Museum is named after.

Once we knew that, we had to stop in front of the museum and take a picture of both of us standing in front of the statue you see to the right.

At this point, we figured we were doing pretty well. Except for the fact that we had already ran/jogged/walked over 2 miles and still had 8 more clues to take care of.

Clue #4

This was the first mistake we made of the day. We skipped clue #7  (see below) which happened to be right behind the museum. Instead, we made our way north to Honey Bears BBQ.

Once we arrived there, we had to eat a piece of corn on the cob as fast as we could. Then we had to snap a picture of both us holding the completely empty cob.

I realized right after moved on to the next clue that I should of just picked up an empty one from the garbage and snapped a picture. I’ve touched worse things in my life. And that one thing might have put us in the top 25.

Clue #5 & #6

The next stop on the list was Encanto Park. There were two clues on the sheet that were both found in the same place so that was a good thing. The first thing we had to do was go through an inflatable obstacle course. I think it took me about 15 seconds to get through the whole thing.

Once we both finished the obstacle race, it was on to the gunny sack race. We each had to put one leg in the sack and then walk to a line and turn around. This took about 30 seconds to complete.

Both of these clues were really easy. The only downside is that getting to the park took forever. Not to mention coming back from the park. Unlike a lot of the other teams, we did the whole race by foot. No buses, no light rails, and no car rides (we’re badass).

Clue #7

As I mentioned before, the next clue ended up being behind the museum. Therefore, we had to walk all the way back East to get that clue done with. If we hadn’t of missed it we could of ran all the way down 7th avenue to the next few clues and would have easily been in the top 25. You win some and you lose some.

Anyways, clue #7 was found in Monterey Park. I tiny park I have never heard of. Once we got to the park, we had to figure out some ring game where you had to get them apart. It just so happens that my girlfriend used to have one of them and she was able to do it in like 10 seconds. We easily passed a few groups by getting done so quickly.

Clue #8

The next clue was sort of a miracle. We were originally going to skip this one but we ended up getting stuck on a stupid puzzle and had to skip that one instead. What was the clue? To find a jukebox and take a picture of 5 people standing in front of it.

Anyways, after we got done at the park we started running down 3rd Street since we knew that Clue #9 was in that direction as well as #10 and #11. Along the way, we happened to jog right by Hooters. We figured they might have a jukebox so we ran inside and asked one of the girls. As it turns out, they did!

The only problem was that the jukebox was in the back room where the girls change and whatnot (stop thinking dirty). She said other people had asked and that they told them no but guess what…they decided to let us go in the back! Here is the picture we managed to take:

Jukebox in Hooters

My Girlfriend Wasn't Happy Because Her Hand Was Bleeding

Clue #9

The next clue was to find was a statue of a woman holding another woman (I think that’s what it was). I used to work downtown and remember seeing the statue a few times but could not for the life of me remember where.

Luckily, I managed to come across a similiar statue in Google images on my phone and knew it was the same place. The place ended up being the Herberger Theater Center which was right by hooters. So we jogged there and had a lady playing an instrument take a picture of us in front of the statue.

Two clues to go!

Clue #10

The second to last clue was a word scramble. We had to reorder the letters to form a word. Luckily, we had solved this earlier on in the race and already knew where we were going. We had to find the Orpheum Theatre and take a picture standing underneath the sign. Once we found it, we then had to find someone to take the picture for us. Here is it:

Standing Outside The Orpheum Theatre

Standing Outside The Orpheum Theatre

Clue #11

And last but not least, the final clue of the day. The good news is that this one another really easy one. We basically just ran down the street a few blocks and had to find some volunteers that were working for the race. They stamped out sheet and we were done!

We just had to run about 7 blocks back to the finish line. Except running wasn’t going to happen. We had already covered about 10 miles and both of us were dying. My legs were on fire and I was sweating like mad in my jeans (it was like 88 degrees).

The Finish Line

Once we made it back, we were surprised that we were not in last place. For some reason were thinking that we took a long time but we did pretty good. We ended up taking 41st place with a total time of 3 hours and 5 minutes. After looking over the results today, I realized that we were only 12 minutes behind the 25th place team. Damn it! We were so close. You can see the results page here. Our team name was Sailor Jerry (the best rum in the world).

Overall I am still happy with our results. We didn’t use any transportation like most of the teams did so I feel good about that. I have a feeling we covered about 11 miles on foot for the day which is why yesterday I couldn’t even get out of bed. I literally felt like I got hit by a truck.

Another thing we did was looked up all the answers ourselves. A lot of the top teams had people on the phone looking up the answers for them which I think would have taken away from the fun of the whole thing.

It was a great time and I really encourage everyone to give it a shot if the race is coming to a city near you. Lots of fun!

6 thoughts on “Great Urban Race: The Aftermath

  1. Jason

    WTG! Too bad you missed our Phx race. Next year. Oh, but we have a San Diego race on April 4th and a national championship race in Las Vegas for a grand prize of $12,345.67! Shoot me an email if you have any Qs!


    Oh, and our race has former Amazing Racers. Mark and Bill will race in SD (Dallas, Kynt and Vyxsin might be there too).

  2. les

    Sweet! I am signed up to race tomorrow in the DC GUR. After reading your clues, I’m not as nervous as I was. Sounds like the hardest part of this will just be figuring otu which areas to hit first. We shall see.


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