Saturday, November 10, 2012

Urban Dare Raleigh

About a month ago, when one of my best friends, Kia, asked me about doing this Groupon for an Urban Dare Race with her, I figured, sure! Plus, she and I kind of love the Real World/Road Rules Challenge, so this might as well be our own final challenge! Seemed like it could be fun, and probably wouldn't be all that crazy. I thought it would just be contained to the general downtown area.

I. Was. Wrong.

Luckily today turned out to be gorgeous weather. We started out at Tir Na Nog, where they checked us in, gave us our shirts, and we met a few other competitors (there were about 400 people that participated...way more than I was expecting!).

A little after twelve, they gathered us together, reminded us of the rules (which basically were you could only walk or take the bus, no cars or bikes) and then told us to GO! We ran to the acorn in Moore Square, grabbed our clue sheet....and instantly started going W.T.F.

Looking at the sheet, we for real had zero idea about where to even begin (I'll give you the clues in the order we did them as I'm going through the pictures for you...and you'll see why we were concerned). Luckily we already knew that one of the clues was to go to the Capitol building to take a picture, and figured out the answer to No. 7 and decided that was a good place to head and figure out our game plan.

But first, on our way to the Capitol, we decided it would be a good time to get Clue No. 12

Clue No. 12: Take a picture of one teammate on bended knee proposing marriage to a non-race participant.

There was a councilman and a couple other people walking with this guy, and they started asking us what we were doing. Luckily he was a good sport about me proposing to him. And then he gave me and Kia these coins with military symbols on them. I can't remember what all they mean now, but it was pretty sweet!

Clue No. 2: Take a picture of yourselves with a "marker" for a site used by US Coastal and Geodetic survey to measure precise longitude and latitude of Raleigh.

With the Capitol down, we headed to clue 7.

Clue No. 7: A song written in 1960 by John. D. Loudermilk and later recorded by Jefferson Airplane and David Lee Roth. Take a team photo at a sporting eating establishment that bears the name of this song.

Tobacco Road! Here was where we mapped out our game plan, using our phones to figure out the answers to all questions, and make sure we had their right locations. This ended up being our route. Prepare for the insanity:

 YUP! This thing took us ALL OVER RALEIGH. Ridiculousness was about to ensue.

Clue No. 1: This park is the 14th oldest amusement park in the world and is the first public park in NC. Take a team picture with a father-son statue of 2 characters from a famous 1960 TV show.

Yes. We walked all the way to Pullen Park. It was crazy, but luckily we still had plenty of energy.

Clue No. This man was the first person, in a solo descent, to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench (deepest part of the world's oceans). He is also the favorite film director of today's race director. Locate a race official at the southern end of a park that bears his name for your dare.

Cameron Park! We did get a little confused as to where this was, but eventually found it. 

So part of this race was taking pictures at spots, and the other half was going to spots, doing some silly task, and having the reps "stamp your passport." For this stop, on our passport was the work "Celebratory", so we had to run around to these little flags to find the numbers for each letter and add them up to get our stamp. 

Clue No. Find a sculpture by Harry McDaniel that depicts an abstract cardinal and locate a race official for your dare.

This stop was in Fletcher Park! The "dare" was to do a three-legged race. Once we got the "inside outside inside outside" down, we did a pretty good job. 

At this point, we were about halfway done and needed a pit stop and some water. Luckily on the way to the next clue was my office. Where there was water and a bathroom. Thank goodness. 

Clue No. 3: Find the current residing location of the birthplace of this nation's 17th leader. Take a team picture of yourselves with this historic house.

Andrew Johnson's house in Mordecai Park! I had never actually been to this part of Raleigh before, so it was kind of cool to see!

Clue No. 9: Find the resting place of Berrian Kinnard Upshaw who was the first husband of Margaret Mitchell and rumored to be her inspiration for the character Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind. Take a team picture with the vehicular gate on the street that also bears the same name of this resting place.

Historic Oakwood Cemetery! I also haven't been to this part of Raleigh before, but walking through Oakwood makes me really want to go there more just because I looooove all those houses back there. Love. 

Clue No. 4: Listed as a designated Raleigh Historic Landmark, this house, designed by Adolphus G. Bauer, was built in 1898 but later moved in 1979 to make way for the state's new Government Mall. Take a team picture in front of this house.

Capehart House! This is on Blount Street, and the Ethics Commission's office is located here as well. At this point, we knew we were in the home stretch!!

Clue No. 6: This museum is the oldest established museum in NOrth Carolina and is the most visited attraction in NC. Take a photo of yourselves with the country "Madagascar"

The Natural Science Museum! 

Clue No. 11: This man was drafted 1st overall in the 2002 NHL Entry draft. Find a square that bears his name and locate a race official for your dare.

Nash Square! And the dare for this one? THE WORST ONE after walking so much. We had to jump rope together five consecutive times. Every time my feet landed on the ground, I felt them going "I hate you I hate you." But it was on to the last stop!!

Clue No. 10: Find a crimson-like 15 foot sculpture by Robert Coon made of Aluminum. Locate a race official for your dare. 

This statue was in City Plaza! Unfortunately by the time we got there, since they got started a little late, the people had left, so we didn't have a dare to complete. So we took a picture with the statue instead. 

And then we headed back to Tir Na Nog to check in!!!

Overall it took us about 4 hours and we walked TEN miles. It was absurd. We were so dead tired by the end of it. Some people were running a lot, which I thought was straight up cray. And I'm sure people did a better route than we did, but overall, I think our strategy worked out decent enough. We didn't win, but we completed and weren't last, so in my book, that's a dang good personal win.

While I don't know if I could talk myself into doing something like this again, I did really love getting to see parts of Raleigh that I hadn't seen before. The weather was just so great that it made it worth it spending that long out running around town. Plus it reminded me why I love the downtown community. We went past so many residents who helped us find some of the spots, it just kind of warmed my heart. Also, every time we passed by people in the Urban Dare shirts we all kind of smiled, said hello, and occasionally talked about what we had done so far. It was a nice "we're all in this together!" feel to it.

And now that it's done, my legs will hopefully stop hating me!

1 comment:

  1. A friend of mine and I also did Urban Dare Saturday (we were Thor and Captain America) and you are right, it was seriously CRA!! We covered about 11.5 miles and it took us about 4 hours as well. This was my first "race" thing like this and I was NOT expecting this level of ridiculousness :) It was fun though, just a super super long afternoon! Hope you guys had fun!