…considering how we won!
Yeah I know, “Karen?! Racing? Physical activity? What?!” But it was seriously very fun!
On Monday, my friend Josh organized an Amazing Race around Vancouver for a group of our friends! I must say, it was very successful, seeing as how 7 teams competed against one another!
Teams were as follows:
– Paul and Jody, “the White Boys” (blue)
– Connie and Karen, “thebomb.com” (purple)
– Wendell and Kody, “ex-convicts” (red)
– Chris T and Vanessa, “The Amazing Face” (yellow)
– Kevin and Mimi (silver)
– Michael and Jason, “PMS: Perpetual Motion Squad” (white)
– David and Eric, “Men’s Generation” (black + white)
So Connie and I were Thebomb.com! A.k.a. the purple team! I did expect quite a bit of physical activity, but I did not expect my muscles to be this sore the day after! It hurts to move and the fact that I’m leaving on Friday and thus am doing a lot of preparations these few days (for university!) does not really help the problem!
Anyway, it was a wonderful day and here is a quick summary of it before I forget the details myself! The race took us around the City of Vancouver, truly tested our sense of direction around the city and put Vancouver’s public transit to the test! We were also not allowed to use our smart phones and search stuff up on the internet.
Meet-up for the event started at 9:30 a.m, but Josh actually expected people to be late, so the actual starting time was at 10. Everyone gathered at the bottom of Queen Elizabeth Park and after reading our information packages, we were soon ready to start. By the way, besides the challenges themselves, we were also given a list of photos that we could take during the race that will help our final score Yay for scavenger hunts!
The first challenge was to fill out a sheet, ranking activities from the least amount of people performing a certain activity from another. It took a while for Connie and I to finish and after doing so, we were directed to go up QE Park towards the water fountain at the top! Honestly, running up the hill to the top made me feel like dying seeing as how I barely did any exercise for quite a while now! Several groups were in front of us, namely yellow, red and white (I think) and at the top, William was waiting for us with a Detour sheet. We had a choice of taking a picture with a McDonald’s employee, going into a store and asking for condoms or going to the liquor store and finding out where a wine (Oyster Bay Pinot Noir, I believe) was made! We opted to do the McDonald’s one and a lady hesitantly came over and took a photo with us.
After obtaining the photo, we ran towards the Sir Charles Tupper Secondary (our school! Or rather, former school) oval, where Monica was waiting for us to give us the next challenge. It was to find a penny hidden somewhere in the oval. Honestly, this was the most time consuming and my least favourite part of the race! It almost took us an hour or so to find the penny as only one team member was allowed to do the searching (Roadblock!)! However, we were the third group to find our penny and we had to solve a coded message, telling us where the next checkpoint was. This involved the periodic table, which was provided to us somewhere within our package, which led us to the Science World gazebo!
We took the bus down to Science World near Main and Terminal and we found the gazebo. We soon realized that the challenge was to eat one of the items that was laid out for us. Among the selection, there were salsa packets, a can of Vienna sausages, a mango, caramel rice cakes, a package of instant noodles, an apple and a can of sprite. The last two were taken by the two teams that were ahead of us and so we chose to eat the rice cakes. We managed to get it all down after much choking and gasping for air, and then was told that the next stop was a pit stop at Vancouver City Center, the Canada line station! When we got there, we had our times recorded. We were 14 minutes behind the first group that arrived (white team). When all the teams arrived (after almost an hour, probably due to the penny challenge), we headed off to Pacific Center’s food court for lunch!
Oddly enough, after we all sat down with our food, we realized that each team got the same food within their groups! Connie and I had sandwiches, Michael and Jason had New York Fries, Wendell and Kody had hot dogs, Chris and Vanessa has chinese food, Mimi and Kevin had home packed lunches, David and Eric did not eat and I think we saw Jody and Paul at another table both holding Orange Julius cups. Sorry for listing that out, but it was so peculiar that I wanted it recorded somewhere! =)
We were then released in the order we came in, but instead of making the last team wait and hour or so after the first group left, we were released in intervals of 2 minutes in the same order. Connie and I were the third team off and we were given another Detour sheet. We had the choice of either going to the Apple store and taking a picture of ourselves on Photo Booth and then sending it to Josh, or go to H&M and try on clothing. We chose the Apple store one and we were quickly done. Josh told us our next stop was at the Vancouver Central Library. We ran there to see William already instructing Kody and Michael what to do. Apparently, we had to look for a book on Vancouver’s history and then go photocopy a page from it and take it back to him. Only one member was allowed to do this, as it was a Roadblock. I ran into the library, inquiring where the history books were. After finding out they were on the 6th floor, I had to find a photocopier. Kody could not find one for a while so in the end, Michael and I exited the library before he did.
William then told us our next stop was Scotiabank Theater. Connie and I originally wanted to bus there, but we realized how close it was and thus we just ran/walked there. Michael and Jason (white team) got there before us and we all had to do a fill-in-the-blank sheet on either Natalie Portman or Mila Kunis. Connie was really good at the Natalie Portman trivia questions but we could not finish all the blanks. So we ran into the theater where we met Geoffrey, a Natalie Portman expert or something! He helped us with the rest of the questions. After completing the sheet, the letters came together and pointed us towards the Vancouver Art Gallery. Oh and before I forget to mention, we have been taking loads of photos during the way.
At the Art Gallery, despite taking off before the white team, they caught up and we were given the challenge of playing charades. Connie acted out a series of well performed actions and within a minute or so, I guessed “Obama” and we were clear! We then had to head towards Robson Square to find William. However, this is where a problem took place. We got there before William and thus we had to wait for him to arrive. We used the time to take some photos to add to our points. When he finally got there, he gave us a sheet of paper. On it was a word written in Russian (oh Josh…) and we had to find out what it meant. Connie and I ran upstairs to the Art Gallery information desk and luckily enough, we found an employee there who knew Russian! The other groups, as we were told, all ended up getting stuck at this point. It took about half an hour before William practically gave them the answer and they had to dart off all at once.
After realizing the word was “watermelon” in Russian, William directed us back to Josh at the Art Gallery. We had to down a can of soda water each. Originally, he was going to make us take a shot of Vodka, but that was illegal. It tasted disgusting. But after we were done, we were told to go to the Olympic Cauldron. We took the Skytrain to Waterfront station and we ran towards the symbolic pillars left behind by the Vancouver Olympics! We found ourselves once again ahead of the leaders. Monica arrived in place of William, telling Connie and I we had to find out who built and how much the Gastown Steam Clock weighed. Because she was not supposed to be the person giving us the clue, she failed to give us all the info we needed as she did not have all of it. So we ended up messing up this challenge, but was given an okay in the end because it was not ultimately our fault.
Our next stop was at Vancouver City Hall. We Skytrained there, soon to find Chris and Vanessa (yellow team) hot on our heels. Here we had to answer questions. Each question wrong meant we had to just sit and wait for 2 minutes. We had to wait a total of 6 minutes before we could head off to our final destination. The yellow team had to wait one minute or so more than us. Ultimately, we ended up taking the same Skytrain to the finish line! Talk about dramatic! So as the doors opened at Waterfront once again, Connie and I raced to get out of the station before Chris and Vanessa. Honestly, they were really fast, both being athletes and whatnot. Connie and I? Not so much (though I suck way more than Connie when it comes to physical stuff).
Despite getting to the location of the finish line, we were not told where it actually was. After a good 10-15 minutes of blindly looking around for Josh, we ran out of places to look. We both decided to run to the roof, only to find that we were the third/fourth (cannot remember which one) team there. The Yellow Team ran there before us and I think the Silver team got there before us. The Red team was also there but they were given a penalty of an hour due to accidentally skipping a challenge. However, we were allowed to take 6 minutes off our total time due to the mishap at the Olympic Cauldron. But there was still the points that came from the photos. Thus, we had to wait til everyone arrived.
The results came and if this is not climatic, I do not know what is. The names were read out one by one, from bottom to first place. Connie and I expected probably somewhere in the top three (fingers crossed!). When the third name came and it was not us, we were sure we were number two. But unexpectedly, we won! WE WON!! The difference between second and first places was only a minutes! The prize was originally $100 (which came from the $10 entrance fee we had to pay to play) split between the winners, but we ended up splitting it a different way so that second and third place would also get a prize, with some money left over overall for a pizza party or something on a later date!
So there was the amazing day, where I realized I knew a lot more about and around Vancouver than I though, how Connie and I make a great team, how wonderful Josh was at planning stuff, how competitive I was and what great citizens Vancouverites were considering how we had so much help along the way!
Oh and I tried raw beef sashimi at night at all-you-can eat. =) Another story for another time.
Thanks for reading and if you actually read the whole thing, you have made my day!