Well, we made it! Yesterday was the big Race About Charlottetown, and my “Ruk City Racers” teammate Derek Martin and I made it to the finish line. Indeed we completed the required 10 of 12 tasks, answered all our trivia questions, gathered all our scavenger hunt objects, and placed somewhere around 15th out of 60. Not bad for two guys outside the 18 to 35 demographic. A few photos here; I’m sure more will follow on the Race About Charlottetown website.
Our [almost] winning strategy was to leave the pack immediately, heading for the task that was farthest away first and then making our way back through town and up to UPEI. Derek kept me to a brisk “almost collapsing but not quite” pace, and we worked well together as a team.
Our other ace in the hole was a team back at home base, connected to us by cell phone, that was able to answer all of our obscure Charlottetown trivia questions; kudos to G., Claude and her sisters for coming through for us.
For posterity, here’s what we did, in the order we did it:
- Joe Ghiz Park: I had to shoot Derek in the bum with a paint-ball gun from a a distance of about 20 feet. Got it on the second shot.
- Basilica Rec Centre: played a bingo game, had to get three lines on a card before we could leave. Took about 10 minutes.
- Confederation Landing Park: Derek gets handcuffed to a rope under the band-shell while I sprint to the end of park and use binoculars to find 4 numbers located somewhere across the harbour. I’m lucky and find the numbers quickly (although the binoculars + glasses combination is challenging, and I don’t get them right the first time). I then return to the band-shell where we have to use the numbers to solve a cryptic puzzle; we struggle, but then Derek comes up with a plausible guess and it’s right!
- Queen Charlotte Armories: we have to put up a tent, following instructions, and then once it’s up disassemble it and repack. That went well, although we spent a little too much time at it. Next we had to eat either a bag of marshmallows or a can of beans, decided by a coin toss. We “won” marshmallows, and finished them off in short order between the two of us (therein ensuring I will never ever again eat marshmallows).
- Rochford Square: Derek puts on a firefighter’s pack, I fill it with water, Derek runs to the end of a course and pumps the water into a bucket. Derek was really fast.
- Confederation Court Mall: we fell slightly off the rails looking for this location, but eventually found it beside the Mermaid Art Gallery. Derek dressed in a suit and tie, I put on a very fetching denim dress and we ran over to Province House to get our picture taken and to answer three trivia questions. Stumbled briefly on the trivia, but a phone call to G. back at home base saved us.
- Atlantic Technology Centre: I answered three movie trivia questions using a mobile phone while Derek played a car racing game on a computer. We were quick.
- Fitzroy Parkade: Derek raced a remote control car around a course; when he hit pylons, I had to run out and bring the car back to the finish line. Derek got the hang of it quickly, and I only had to run out twice.
- Metro Credit Union: One partner had to spit five sunflower seeds across a 10 foot gap into a cup held by the other. I started out as spitter, but failed abjectly; we switched and Derek made short order of spitting while I caught.
- University of PEI: This was my opportunity to pay Derek back for his yeoman’s service in the earlier tasks. The team arriving ahead of us got to choose three ingredients from a selection of various disturbing foods (herring, chili peppers, etc.) which were then placed in a blender and turned into a frothy “milkshake.” As Derek is a vegetarian, and we didn’t have a way of knowing what was in our drinks, I downed both of them. Less unpleasant than I thought it would be, but not something I’d want to do every day!
We then sprinted to the finish line, checked in, and that was that. Our rivals Dan and Nathan arrived just ahead of us, placing us, we think, 14th and 15th out of about 60 teams. There was a barbecue for racers and volunteers later in the afternoon, followed by an event for the top six teams inside the UPEI sports centre to select the winner of the grand prize; I managed to last through about half of that before exhaustion got the better of me.
The Kidney Foundation deserves a lot of credit for a well-organized event that was lots of fun. Derek reports this morning that just over $13,000 was raised. Watch for our return next year.