Holy mackerel, was that hard.
The City Chase is a kind of Amazing Race-ish event. You're given a list of clues to a series of "chase points" around the city. You have to solve the clues, get to the chase points (using only your feet or public transportation), and perform various tasks. There are about 20 different chase points, and you have to complete ten of them, and return to the starting point, within six hours to complete the event. As an added factor this year, of the four furthest-away chase points (one in each corner of the city, basically), you had to complete three, thereby ensuring that you were covering most of the city.
The tasks vary in difficulty and in how time-consuming they are. Because there are so many chase points, you can always choose to skip one if you think it's too hard, or if there's a lineup. Of course, you don't know what they're going to be until you get there (although rumours spread over the course of the day, as you talk to other teams).
Some of the tasks we did:
- Find a stranger, bring them to the chase point, and get them to describe a set of yoga positions to you and your partner. You and your partner must perform the yoga positions.
- One partner goes into the National Gallery and locates a particular painting. They then return to the other partner and describe the painting to them. The other partner must draw the painting on the sidewalk in chalk.
- Portage a canoe approx. 10 city blocks.
- Complete a three-legged obstacle course
- Sink two baskets from the free-throw line. Every time you miss, you have to remove an article of clothing (backpack, hat, hairband, etc. all counted) -- once you're out of clothes you have to re-dress and start over. (I was down to my sports bra and bathing suit bottoms, but I succeeded!)
Some of the tasks we skipped:
- Eat dog food (roll a dice to determine the type of dog food -- one was biscuits, six was wet food
- Eat cat food/sardines/etc. (pick a card to determine type of food and how many tablespoons
- Throw a bagel onto a metal pole (actually, we tried and failed this one)
There were several teams who'd done this event before, in other years and other cities -- one team was said to have done the race every time since the beginning. They all agreed that this was the hardest one ever! I was beginning to get really demoralized about halfway through, when it became clear that we were not going to beat fairplaythings and his mom's time from last year, but I felt a bit better once I heard agreement on the difficulty level. It really was tough, and I think it was mostly the travel time that made it so difficult.
We did finish, within the time allowed -- but barely. We had 13 minutes to spare! Even cutting it so close to the wire, we were number 88 out of almost 300 teams (!). Most teams didn't even manage to finish. So completing the whole thing -- major accomplishment. Go us!!!