Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mitsubishi City Chase - Race Report

City Chase Explained (from the website)

The City Chase is a unique urban adventure that requires participants to exhibit teamwork, resourcefulness, determination and the ability to make decisions on the fly as they search for ChasePoints scattered in unknown locations throughout the city. ChasePoints are designed to test teams with a variety of physical, mental, and otherwise adventurous challenges.

To conquer this 4-6 hour urban event, 2-person teams will run, walk and use public transit to navigate their way throughout the city, while calling family and friends for help, accessing the Internet, and even employing assistance of total strangers. The first team to complete the required ChasePoints and cross the finish line WINS!

Team Last Minute - Race Report

Team Members:  Mark Vaughan, Meyrick Jones
Chase Points Reached: 10
Total Time: Approx. 3:29:00
Place: 17 out of 289 teams

                                                    Mark and I hanging out at the finish line

To tell you all about our race would take A LOT of writing...  the nature of the race (10 checkpoints and the journeys between them) and the fact that we had a camera crew with us made for so many stories that it would take way too long.  I find it incredibly interesting - though I fear you may not...

I have tried to summarize to give you an idea of how the day went:

Ten Chase Points

1. Get blood type test at Canadian Blood Services. (Mine AB, Mark O-) - then had to have a Tarantula crawl across my stomach and eat a mealworm.  No problems.

2. Direct Mark through the Maze at Van Dusen Gardens.  Was Easy.

3. Toss a quarter into one of three beer mugs from about 5'.  Partner walks on stilts around a course (short if you hit the right mug, long if you hit the wrong mug.)  I hit the short course mug and Mark walks well on stilts.

4 +5.  Go to G.A.P. Adventures on 4th Ave.  Get one Chase Point for having raised $50 for Right to Play.  The other chase point is a search for three cars with clues in a six block zone, unscramble the clues.  We made friends and got the answer from some nice folks in about 10 seconds.  (This is allowed by the way.)

6.  Return 20 bottles to the West Side Recycling Station - we had been collecting for a while, got about 10 at a Subway, rooted through some garbage cans...  returned them.  Easy.

7.  Go to Jericho Sailing Centre and paddle a Paddleboard out around a buoy (maybe 30 metres out and 30 back).  Mark rocked it.

8. Go to the Ropes Course at UBC.  I did the "Leap of Faith" - climbed about 80 feet up a tree, leapt off a platform, grabbed a rope and rang a bell.  All roped in - easy and pretty fun.  Then we both had to do a low ropes course - basically walking a tightrope and passing each other in the middle - WAY harder than the high rope...  but we nailed it first time.

9. Thunderbird Stadium.  Mark put on football gear did an obstacle course, tagged me and I nailed a fieldgoal (1st try!)  

10.  Back to the UBC Aquatic Centre.  Roll a pair of dice (7), double it (14) and jump that many metres as a team.  So I jumped off the 10 metre, and Mark jumped off the 5 metre platform.

Chase Point Summary:  They were pretty easy but offered a nice variety of things and a few 'thrills'.  My favourite parts:  The 10 metre platform, the leap of faith and my majestic field goal.  Mark rocking the paddleboard was awesome too because it looked pretty tough.

Strategy Summary:  This is where the game is won and lost in my opinion.  The points aren't too tough so it all comes down to how fast your route is...  We got off to a great start and made one terrible mistake that I am sure cost us at least 30-45 minutes - we missed the free car ride from the blood challenge to Granville Island (for another checkpoint)...  instead Mark and I ran about 6 or 7 minutes uphill to Van Dusen Gardens and then back to Oak (oops, should have gone to Granville) and waited for a bus for about 8 minutes on Oak and then ran a further distance to the Molson challenge...  ouch!  And even though the car was random and you couldn't guarantee catching it - we know we could have caught it because we were the second team to the blood challenge (the car took two teams.)  That was our BIG MISTAKE because instead of being dropped at the doorstep of the Granville Island Challenge we did all that running and still had to go to another "Mandatory" stop (the mega run into Jericho and out again.) That cost us the race.  But, that is the race... so no use crying about it.

Physical Challenge Summary:  We probably ran about 10-12 km.  Way further than I expected (and way further than we should have...)  We had a few 'all out' two block sprints to catch buses.  Longest run was into Jericho Sailing Centre from Broadway... and back out.  Fitness definitely makes a difference in this race though it is no substitute for a great route strategy.

Questionable Ethics:  We 'stole' 2 bottles from a shopping cart 'home.'  At the time I was rabidly searching for bottles anywhere they could be found... now, after it is all said and done, I do feel a bit bad about stealing from the homeless.  (I know that part will end up on TV.)

Embarrassing TV Moment:  Apart from stealing from the homeless.... it had to be getting my shorts caught on a fence and wiping out.  Oh well...  I can always hope that bit of footage hits the cutting room floor...  yeah right!

Proudest Moment:  Nailing the Field Goal.  It was beautiful...  Unfortunately we had temporarily lost the camera crew.  When we went back later with the crew to "get the shot" I hit it again a few times but never with the same authority.

                                   Couldn't recreate that moment for the cameras.... Damn!

Scariest Moment:  I didn't expect to ever be scared during the race - and I wasn't.  But after the race, during the 'pick-ups' with the camera crew, they asked me to do a crazy horizontal cable ladder rope challenge that was 1000% harder than the Leap of Faith.  It definitely gave me pause...  balancing on a cable-strung, ladder rung with my running leg is not a solid feeling at 80 feet.  Even roped in it was nerve-wracking (the camera didn't help a whole lot.)

Team Summary: Mark was awesome. He gave it everything he had and ran his ass off. I think he was pushed beyond his comfort zone a few times and never complained. He also had us so dialed in with computer experts, maps and everything else. Great partner!

Race Summary:  This race is really a blast!  I can't convey it enough in writing.  If you get the chance call a friend (maybe not a spouse) and register.  It is awesome.  I am making this one an annual event and I am going to be SERIOUSLY motivated next year.  I felt we were really close even with the stupid mistake.  There is something about getting the brain involved with the body in a race that makes winning and losing a bit more personal....

Thank You's:  Mark for the idea and all the hard work.  Jeff, Tanya and Seela for backing us up on the computers.  The CBC for picking us for the cameras - what a blast that was!  Innovative Fitness for allowing us to film in the gym and getting us fighting fit.  Sacha for letting me do this stuff when she is due in 12 days.  The Homeless man whose bottles I stole - Mark was right we should have left money.  

Our camera and sound guy...  nice guys.  This was hours after the race going back to Queen E. Park for 'pick-ups'.

                                   Our Crew's director Jill, Camera guy, me, and sound guy

                         Seela was one of our team on the computers.  Also our UBC expert.

Coming home on the bus from UBC.  Do you watch The Office?  Spot Dwight Shrute...  Pretty intense.

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Ri said...

Any idea when it's going to air?

MJ said...

Should have put that in the post - thanks for the reminder. The first show is currently scheduled to air on June 30 (prime-time). By prime time I assume they mean sometime between 7 and 9. If I understood them correctly we will be featured in two half hour shows in the time slot.

Jan (S.) said...

Hey Meyrick!

Sounds like you & Mark truly overcame your noted "adversities" (sorry about missing the free bus ride....ouch!) and met the race requirements of "teamwork, resourcefulness, determination, & the ability to make decisions on the fly" (smile)! Right on! Despite your noted 'mistakes' (I like the words adversity or challenges better (smile), your team managed an incredible finish....7th out of over 250+ teams. Awesome.
Always find your 'adventures' entertaining, MJ!!