Luckily, we didn’t do much that involved exercising fingers so I am fully capable of writing this post. On the other hand, I know Vancouver Marathon runners must be thinking I’m crazy because the 7 hours of The Amazing Hunt totally kicked my butt.
It could have been the yogurt we had to chug, or the up-hill sprint, but regardless of my immobility in these days after the race it was once again a huge success thanks to Bill and his team.
Not to give away too much about the race, just because some of the challenges and clues could be used in future events, here’s a quick recap:
At 8:45 in the pouring rain we took off from the Pacific Coliseum and headed to New Brighton Park for our first clue which lead us over to Trout Lake / John Hendry Park.
John and I were the last team to arrive to that point although within about 45 second I had completed the Road Block, which was to dig in the sand near certain logs and find a buried clue. Covered in sand, we took off with our next clue, maybe 3 spots behind the lead.
We made our way to the Avalon Dairy and ran into a Detour (if you’re familiar with The Amazing Race you’ll notice the clues have similar titles and themes). We had to chose between chugging a bottle of milk, or sharing 500ml of yogurt. Now, I have NEVER tried yogurt in my life and the very thought of it makes me gag, however for the sake of the race we decided to avoid the milk and gulped down the yogurt.
Coming into the first pit stop, John and I were in first place, although with teams starting in one minute intervals after the break, we knew we had to work hard to stay on top. The rain pelted down on us as we waiting to begin the next leg.
After a few more clues and destinations we had to get from Commercial Drive, to South Main Street, then back to downtown Vancouver (picking up a few clues and solving a puzzle in the middle). This “neighbourhood to neighbourhood” search with no directions given was a part of a new type of clue called a Roundabout. The idea is to reach both vicinities and search for two pieces that, when combined, will help you figure out where to go next.
The traffic on Main Street heading back towards our second pit stop at Science World was just killer. Once we got down to False Creek parking was just as tough and John and I clocked in at the second pit stop in 7th place (out of 10). This is the longer edition of the Amazing Hunt in which I’ve participated, which is sort of good because we would have finished on a low note if that was the final destination.
Heading into Chinatown, we came across another Detour where we had to chose between locating a show with certain foreign characters on its sign, or going to a specific store and purchasing a certain product.
From my experience on the Granville Island race with Jenny, it’s always better to take the task where you know where you are going, because wandering around aimlessly isn’t very fun. We sprinted down Keefer street, picked up the item (Soy Tofu Dessert) and upon returning we had to devour the entire thing (layering it on top of the yogurt in our bellies from the dairy.
After the tofu dessert, we ended up at another location where we had to Merge with another team to complete the task. We were given the choice between certain flavours of gelato (wasabi or curry) and had to finish the entire quart in order to move on. Now, on top of the yogurt and the soy dessert John and I struggled although compared to the team that we paired up with who went to McDonald’s during the last pit stop and ate sundaes, we were a little better off.
The next clue was located somewhere John and I knew how to find right away. Other teams had to go into shops and ask for help or use a phonebook, so at least I felt good about my city knowledge even though our driving and navigation wasn’t as fast.
Finally, our race to the finish took place at English Bay, near the Inukshuk. By this time the rain had ceased and we had the most beautiful backdrop. Upon crossing the finish line in 6th place John was asked if he had fun. Having just burped up curry gelato during the sprint to the mat he bellowed, “no! not at all!” and I hope they knew he was joking.
It was another successful event with great twists and turns although here’s what I’d kind of like to see in the future:
Fewer eating challenges, especially involving dairy. For the Surrey race we had to gulp down a jar of buckwheat honey. That was gross but at least it wasn’t a) as large a quantity as the curry gelato b) it was the only eating challenge on the race.
I’d like to see more Road Blocks or Detours involving puzzles or mind games. I really liked the digging Road Block but having maybe just one more in the second leg would allow the other teammate to complete something while you could cheer them on and keep up your spirits.
John looks WAY TOO happy
All in all, the race was a great success. No one gets eliminated (although time penalties can be incurred) and the teams on every race I’ve run have been friendly, supportive, just competitive enough to issue a Yield or trash talk a bit, and there’s always laughter and good spirits.
The next Amazing Hunt will be taking place in Langley August 16th, followed by the North Shore race October 4th. If you’d like to sign up check the website for details, registration includes a swanky red and yellow race t-shirt as well. I think it’s a great bonding experience for siblings, parents, friends, and couples, and you can also organize entire company or group teambuilding races with various courses offered like “Downtown” or “Vancouver Transit”.
As this is race is “reality series” styled, there will also be a wonderfully produced video of the entire race available on YouTube in a couple weeks, which I’ll share unless there are gratuitous shots of me sucking back 500ml of yogurt.