With one task of Sunday’s NYC Challenge complete ( wp.me/p1N36Q-eO
) – and ten more to go – we pressed onward.
We raced through the city streets for about one mile from South Street Seaport to the “Lightness of Being,” keeping our fingers crossed that our iPhone Google Search Results (City Hall Park) were accurate.
Score one for Google! We were relieved to find a Challenge Nation staff member awaiting us there to complete our next task – hula hooping!
Already exhausted, we checked our next destination. The clue pointed us towards Washington Square Park, another 1.5 miles into the city. We were confused – had we figured out the clue correctly? The “math” wasn’t adding up – the race had been advertised as a 5k, but this was certainly taking us farther. Still, the clue – with all of the references towards a giant arch – was pretty obviously pointing us there.
We sucked it up and began the run down Broadway towards the park. Along the way, we found opportunities to complete other challenges – took a photo with a bust of Abraham Lincoln. Found a barber pole to pose with. Found a guy wearing a London T-shirt. Found a building older than 1760. Mailed a NYC postcard. (Sorry, Mom – all we had time to write was “Can’t talk, running a race”). Took a photo of Ben posing as “Carlos Danger.” (Yes, this really was a clue).
We were right about the destination! Took a quick photo posing like rock stars, but I guess the arch got cut out.
As we arrived at the park, we noticed that none of the other teams appeared to be as sweaty, out of breath, or exhausted as we were. But don’t blame our level of physical fitness. While cars, rollerblades, skateboards, unicycles,etc. were prohibited for the race – subways were not. It was clear that many of our fellow competitors were not in training for a half marathon.
It turns out that riding the subway was essential to finishing the race, as we had to get a photo of ourselves on a train. We referred back to Google maps, which directed us towards the C train to get from the park to the finish line.
Not only did we have to ride the subway – but we had to get other passengers to interact with us as we acted out a Manhattan-based movie scene. Ben, Diana, and I had to think quickly – it was only a few subway stops until we got back to our final challenge located near the finish line.
Inspired by our friend in body paint, we re-enacted Spider-Man. I had to play the hero since I was wearing red. We didn’t really give much direction to our “supporting cast.”
That’s when our luck started to turn south. The subway approached the next station.
“Delancey Street,” I commented. “What happened to Fulton Street?”
One of our fellow cast members on the train piped in. “The C train follows the F Route on the weekends.”
Google maps had failed us.
Oh well. We had already put in a good run, we figured it was no big deal to put in another half mile. We got off at the next station (East Broadway), and jogged along the river to our last challenge.
We dueled with another team at Pier 15 – right near the race starting/finish line at Beekman Beer Garden.
With the final challenge crossed off our list, we turned to make a dash for the finish – and I fell to the ground in agony.
My left calf muscle cramped. There would be no mad sprinting for the end for Nicole. Instead, the Three Mouseketeers hobbled with me, crossing the finish line exactly two hours (and a few seconds) after we started.
We provided our photo evidence to a staff member and learned we were in 27th place. And unfortunately, only the top 25 teams qualify to go to the National Championship in Las Vegas.
Curse you, Google Maps! And getting a cramp! (Can I blame this on wheat?)
To be honest, we weren’t at all disappointed. The National Championship happens one week after the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon, so we definitely wouldn’t have been able to go. We were 40 minutes behind the first place team. And getting 27th out of 112 teams (I had heard there were 150, but they stop recording finish times after three hours) was something to be pretty dang proud of.