9.30am on a Saturday morning. It’s cool out with the promise of sun later. Neil and I wander around Union Station… We lurk around the station, scoping out the passersby, trying to identify other potential racers.
10.30am. Instructions are being given… Public transport or feet are the only means of transport allowed. No jaywalking (we were all pooh-poohing this idea until the race organisers told us that last year someone got hit by a bus in the Race… Uh, ok – no jaywalking for us!). Nine clues and quarters (for payphone calls) distributed. There will be seven checkpoints. At each checkpoint we have to answer a question or perform a task. For a question, we have to phone in the answer from a particular payphone (number provided,). If we’re right, we get given the next clue and the right to proceed to the next checkpoint.
10.50ish. We’re off. Fast. Seriously, I HATE running and don’t. But the minute we know where we’re going, we both start sprinting like madmen. Nope, no competitive streak here!
Checkpoint 1. The Library Bar, Royal York Hotel.
Checkpoint 2. Follow the crowd. Complete this fast.
Checkpoint 3 leads to frustration. We can’t find the location. Grrrr.. Eventually we do. Very silly task, completed fast with lots of laughs.
Checkpoint 4 . Google helps out. I run like a crazy women (who IS this person???)
Checkpoint 5. Frustration building. Payphones broken.
Checkpoint 6. Fatigue leads to our (my) one major mishap. Boo to that. But we totally rock the challenge. Take that, buff people!
Checkpoint 7. Scrambling around the University of Toronto. Wish one of us had gone here – we might know where to go.
And then…. we hear: “You’re done!”
Hot, exhausted, thirsty and hungry, we head to the “finish line” (ok, a pub).
We figure we have probably run between 5-7km, which for non-runners like Neil and jogging-hating Mardi is pretty good going!). Fatigue makes me forget about a much closer subway stop and we add some more unnecessary time….
Two hours and 51 minutes later, we’re downing a cold one. Well deserved!