36 hours before the race, our super secret instructions were posted on The Amazing Hunt‘s race blog. 9:45am at Blackie Spit in South Surrey. I took the Skytrain out in the morning where my sister picked me up on the other end. We made sure we had bottles of water, and a map even though this was our home turf. There were seven teams of two, including two couples, two all male teams and three all female teams. I just have to say I am so proud of my sister, we completed tasks quickly and with ease, with excellent navigation of the city that we figured out on our own.
START – Blackie Spit: Our first clue instructed us to head to Totem Plaza at Lions Lookout Park on Marine Drive in White Rock. Neither Jen or I had ever heard of “Lions Lookout Park” but figured a) we’ll just get down to Marine Drive b) if it says ‘lookout’ it must be on the hill and not in the lower areas further East. We were the 3rd team to arrive at the clue box where we were instructed to continue on foot to the White Rock Pier.
DETOUR – White Rock Pier: Here we had to chose to count planks on the pier or go to local restaurants and find prices of 10 specific menu items listed on the clue. Jen and I knew we’d just go insane counting planks and were one of only two teams to head to the menu challenge. Some of the items were pretty simple to place i.e. Charlie’s Burger is from the restaurant Charlie Don’t Surf, but others weren’t as easy. We checked into the pitstop and gave our total $185.58, which was apparently wrong. Instead of going all the way back to double check, we sat to the side, recalculated and went back to the check-in mat with $185.55? Apparently that was correct and we were the 4th team to arrive at the pit stop. When the next team arrived, who had also done the menu detour, they said $185.58 and were checked-in on the first try. Luckily no one had moved ahead of us during our re-calculating time otherwise we would have had a bone to pick.
ROUTE INFO – Historic Stewart Farm: The best part of the pit stop is that teams leave 1 minute apart (except the first team who gets a 2 minute head start), as this levels the playing field once again. Instructions were to head to the Historic Stewart Farm. Jen’s taken my niece there on school field trips so we knew exactly how we’d get there.
ROUTE INFO – Bose Corn Maze: At the Farm we picked up a clue instructing us to drive to the Bose Corn Maze. Jen and I also knew where this was since we’d both driven past it recently. Looking at the map book confirmed our decision to head to 64th since in there it was also listed as “Bose Road”.
ROAD BLOCK – Corn Maze: There was a YIELD available here but no teams chose to use it against anyone else.
This is a task only one team member could perform. Since I took on both Road Blocks when we did the Granville Island race, and since Jenny keeps her cool better than I do, she took on this challenge and headed into the maze to find our next clue. She’s got a great sense of direction so I wasn’t worried about that…. what I was worried about was the dude from the corn maze sitting next to me in the waiting area telling me it takes someone 30 minutes to get through 1/2 of the maze. Then I felt the hot sun beating down on me and realized I hadn’t given her the back pack with water or a cell phone… uh oh… Turns out she was the 2nd person to find the clue but since she couldn’t run, a few teams sprinted past us there. We ripped open the clue and were told to head to Bear Creek Park.
ROUTE INFO – Bear Creek Station: Another very familiar location for us so we took some side and back streets to make our way to the park. We were the third team to arrive but again lost a foot race to the stop. No worries though as the first four teams were able to sign up for the first train ride and the other teams had to wait for the next train 15 minutes later. After an enjoyable trip around the miniature railway we received our next clue. It was simply a logo with a bee on it, saying look for me on 176th. Jen and I looked at each other, “The Honeybee Centre!”
MERGE – The Honeybee Centre: Again, Jen and I were the third team to arrive due to our mad navigational skills on the back roads of Surrey. For the Merge, we paired up with Martin and Cheri and had to eat an entire jar of buckwheat honey. The kicker? Each team also had to eat 2 sticks of bees wax. I’m talking candle-type beeswax. Even this morning the thoughts of that honey make me want to gag. Have you ever consumed 20 spoonfuls of buckwheat honey in about 5 minutes? Don’t try it. The bees wax was the worst though, I basically have a candle in my belly right now. You couldn’t chew it since it didn’t break down at all, you had to bite off tiny pieces and swallow them whole, like a pill. Our team ended up finishing pretty quickly, and with only 1 team member vomiting, then the teams broke back into their original units of two for the next leg.
ROAD BLOCK – Batting Cage: The clue was for an address on 84th avenue which turned out to be an indoor fun centre, complete with batting cages. One person from the team had to hit 6 out of 10 pitches, launched through a machine by their team member. Unfortunately I SUCK at baseball (but who cares about baseball anyway hehe) but luckily Jenny was amazing and hit 6 of 8 pitches. We got our final clue, it said to head to the finish line at Softball City.
FINISH – Softball City: The race at this point was so close, Jen and I were literally neck and neck with one team driving down King George Hwy on the way to Softball City. Unfortunately due to traffic lights we slipped behind one car and checked in at the mat 30 seconds behind another team we raced through the parking lot with. We finished 4th of 7 teams, the first all female team to cross the mat and were very pleased.
We had SO much more fun on this race compared to the Granville Island race, I think we actually prefer the non-walking-only races. Once you’re in the car you can plot your course and have a little break between activities on the way to the next clue. The tasks were challenging, the other teams were really nice and boy did we cover a lot of ground. We had such a nice day and were also pleased that our official race t-shirts actually fit us.
The entire thing will be up on YouTube in the near future. Big thanks to Bill and his crew for organizing everything and presenting us with some great tasks. To check out the standings, all results are up on the race’s blog. However, I still have a stick of ‘cosmetic-grade’ bees wax in my belly and I’m really not sure how that will… turn out.