Sunday, October 9, 2011

Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Race

Saturday was a great warm up for the Death Valley Ride. One of our fellow JDRF team members, Linda Thompson-Poeder, competed with me in the Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Race. Blue Monkey Adventure was our official team sponsor. This event takes place on the streets of Grand Rapids and is part adventure racing and part The Amazing Race TV show. The weather was perfect and the competition was friendly, yet intense.

The competitors assemble to hear instructions before the start of the race.
The course had a biking portion and a running portion. There were check points and challenges scattered all over the city. The object was to get to as many checkpoints as possible and get back to the start/finish line in four hours. Since Linda and I have a lot more experience riding as opposed to running we decided to do the bike portion first. This turned out to be a good plan since they were more points available on the bike portion and we got all but two of them.
Tom makes his way to a checkpoint suspended over a creek.
Linda studies the map and directions while on the bike portion.
We finished the biking in two and a half hours, which only left an hour and a half to do as much of running portion as possible. The run course took us to several ArtPrize venues and included challenges related to the art.We knew we couldn't get all the points so we concentrated on getting ones that didn't take us too far from the finish line. With 20 minutes left we were on top of Belknap Hill, a mile and a half from the finish line at Founder's Brewing. We knew we could make it if we only went after easy to find check points that were on our route back. Luckily we found two more as we ran and/or fast walked back to the finish line.

The Blue Monkey Adventure team on the Blue Bridge counting monkeys.
At the end we had completed 40 of a possible 51 check points and finished in 3 hours 58 minutes and 20 seconds. We had time to spare. Best of all we finished 27th out of 192 teams in the co-ed division and 64th out of 330 teams overall. If they had a masters division we would have done even better, considering that our combined age is 100. It was a fantastic day and a great way to stay in shape for Death Valley.

Linda and Tom, happy to be done!

1 comment:

Jail Break said...

Wow, that was a great adventure race. Congratulations, you made it through. Lots of confidence you had. Great start and nice pics too.