Sunday, August 14, 2011

Race Report: Ottawa Mitsubishi City Chase 2011

(As I build up this new site, I am moving some select posts over from a couple other blogs I used to maintain.  I want to have all these posts in one place and have something for people to ready while I get started.  Sorry for the deluge of posts, most of which are out dated by now but still relevant.)


During law school, two friends completed the City Chase and I thought it was an awesome idea.  I then promptly forgot about it.  At some point during the past year, I remembered to sign up after reading a race report about the Toronto City Chase by Marlene at Mission to A(nother) Marathon.  Check her great report out here.  Luckily The American was game for the adventure!

Wondering what the City Chase is?  Here is a summary of what is involved from their website: 
The Mitsubishi City Chase Powered by GoodLife Fitness 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, intellectual, adventurous and humorous 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.
I don't know if I would technically call it a "race" - there was a mass start but not an official starting line and there definitely wasn't a set course, but there was an official "finish line".  It was a completely different feeling than running in the 5k at Ottawa Race Weekend.  There was definitely plenty of running involved for some teams, but not so much for us.  We were more concerned about finishing than winning, so we did a lot more walking than the hard core teams.  Nonetheless I'm counting it as a "race" for the purposes of me and this blog.  :-)

The race kit included awesome short sleeved tech shirts (we had to wear them that day and I’ve already run in mine once since) and we received finisher's medals (dog tag style).  There was also an after party which I hear was great, but we were too tired to go!

We completed the following chase points:
  • We sang a song while jumping up and down (a fairly easy one to start)
  • We completed a military boot camp obstacle course, including a net crawl and climbing over a wall
  • We completed a series of tasks at a gymnastics centre, including trampolining, a rope climb (or didn’t quite complete it in our case) and cartwheels (good thing B. can do cartwheels!)
  • We went white water rafting and portaged our raft (I think about 750 metres); we got absolutely soaked (which felt awesome since it was incredibly hot)
  • We rode spinning bikes (easy one but somewhat time consuming)
  • We were locked together and hunted through a neighbourhood to find various phone numbers, the digits of which were combined for the combination to the lock
  • We mixed drinks in a bartending relay
  • We completed a photo scavenger hunt using a Blackberry
  • We completed a roller derby obstacle course (this one was probably the most dangerous given the roller skating thing; we had to wear a lot of protective gear)
  • We tossed a frisbee around in an ultimate themed challenge

There were almost 40 points in total and we had to finish at least ten.  Other challenges included various water-based challenges, sculpting your partner out of clay (while they were naked!  We avoided this challenge because I wasn’t ready to push that comfort zone yet), and something involving snakes and tarantulas crawling on you (scary)!

Overall, we placed 122nd out of approximately 500 teams.  We completed ten points in about 5 hours and 10 minutes.  We did not finish all the mandatory points but since we finished in over five hours this rule did not apply to us (there were 3 groups of mandatory points, and you had to do at least 2 from each group and we only did 5 in total).

If you have the opportunity to compete in a City Chase, I definitely recommend taking the chance!  It was an awesome day.  There are still events coming up in Canada and there are also City Chase events in the United States and all over the world!  If you’re looking for tips, drop me a line!

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