On Your Mark, Get Set … Go!

Ok, many of you guys know that I’m totally addicted to the real “Amazing Race” on tv and that I put on “Amazing Races” for our kids at Christmas, right?  Well, I have no idea how I found this but you’re never going to believe it!  I found an Amazing Race in Chicago for us to participate in!  They call it the “Urban Race Chicago” and it’s for AR freakos like me to play in!  And so we did!  We named ourselves “The Cali Crew” and for our “uniform” we wore anything that we had from California.  We were really lucky because the race began right around the corner from our house at a little bar called “Bar Louie” that serves up $1.00 cheeseburgers on Tuesdays (just in case you’re here on a Tuesday!!).  Now, since we just moved here, and we know diddly-squat about Chicago, our goal was to finish within the 3 hour time limit and not to be dead last.  We’re out to have fun .. not to “compete” so to speak.  Ok, we’re good with that.

We had to check in at 12:30 p.m. so we left our house at 12:28 to walk around the corner … and boy we were surprised!  Apparently, there was over 100 teams, ranging from 2 to 6 people on a team, all waiting there to check in!  Yet another line!  haha!!

104 Teams prepping for Urban Challenge Chicago

104 Teams prepping for Urban Challenge Chicago

But there was a method to their madness because sure enough, all the teams were checked in, the rules given, and the clues handed out so that they could blow the horn at 1:00 exactly!  And we’re off …

Team

Team “Cali Crew” ready to go!

Now, you know that I have made my family (and even some of you) watch every single episode of Amazing Race for the last 26 (or so) seasons … we’ve done AR pools, AR parties, and we even have “Fantasy Amazing Race Teams” that we call “FART’rs”!!  We know that the most important part of the game is to … READ THE ENTIRE CLUE!  Yep, we know that.  In fact, Coco even reminded us just before start time to READ THE ENTIRE CLUE GUYS!  Did we do that??  No!  We were way too excited to be calm and read, that’s for teams that don’t know how to play!!  So after scrambling like a bunch of ninnies for the first few minutes, we stopped, took a breath, and then started running!

The Clue Sheet!

The Clue Sheet!

The clues took us all around “The Loop” and made us do some really funny activities.  We had to use our brains (which some of us left back at the apartment!) to unscramble puzzles, figure out word problems, and follow the clue directions to the T.  We had to use our bodies to run, keep a hula-hoop up, run, act out scenes from the answers we discovered, run, run, and run!  In this crazy Illinois weather, it was hot!  No worries about all that food I ate on our road trip!  I just lost all the pounds I gained in this activity!

We were having a blast and our “competitive juices” were stirred up every time we saw another team just about to beat us to the next check point.  That’s when our Team Captain would start “encouraging” us with … Hurry up!  Run!  Faster!  I never knew I had a competitive bone in my body!  Apparently, this race brings out the best in me!  hehe!!

To prove that you completed each clue, we had to have a picture of our answers with us in it.  The pictures were then submitted to the judges at the finish line so that they could determine if we actually did them correctly.    Here are just a few of our pics!

Find the

Find the “Printers Row” park and draw something about your team!

Find someone who hails from one of the original 13 colonies and take a picture with them and the quarter that matches their state!

Find someone who hails from one of the original 13 colonies and take a picture with them and the quarter that matches their state!

Buy a Chicago postcard and take a picture with the picture!  (Jason bought us a postcard of the man-hole cover!)

Buy a Chicago postcard and take a picture with the picture! (Jason bought us a postcard of the man-hole cover!)

Find a newspaper more than 1000 miles away and act out an article from the last page (we went to the library to find a London Times).

Find a newspaper more than 1000 miles away and act out an article from the last page (we went to the library to find a London Times).

Find the

Find the “Dandy Lion” exhibit and pose in front of and just like the 10 foot mural (which was in the Museum of Contemporary Photography).

We actually did finish within the 3 hour time frame … we checked in at 2 hours and 47 minutes, in 71st Place out of 104 teams!  We had all but one of the clues completed (you were allowed to skip 1 clue).  And that was after making 2 really bad decisions about “answers” we thought we knew … yeah, that was really bad!  It brought back memories of watching the Race on tv when the teams are somewhere but there are no other teams in sight … you know something is terribly wrong at that point!  But even so, we finished without too many injuries (besides really achy feet!) and a good attitude to boot.  My step-counter logged me in at over 14,000 steps for the day … probably because part of the time we were going back and forth, back and forth!

Jason checking in with the judges.

Jason checking in with the judges.

We made it to the Finish Line!  Yeah Team Cali!

We made it to the Finish Line! Yeah Team Cali!

It was really fun and we learned a lot throughout the day about this city.  We saw some cool places that we will definitely go back to visit, but next time on a leisurely walk on a cool day!  Ok, talk to you tomorrow!

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