City Chase

Posted by martin.parnell |

Latest Race completed:

  • City Chase, Toronto

  • Date: Saturday August 13th 2011
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Temp: 24C
  • Distance: 12.00km (running), 29.00km (total travel)
  • Run Time: 5hrs 16min 41sec
  • Video: City Chase, Toronto
  • Total nos of Runners: 1200+

One of my favourite shows on TV is "The Amazing Race". Teams of two have to travel around the world, solving clues. They also have to do some incredible tasks like zip- lining down a mountain and eating exotic foods.

Well, on Saturday August 13th, I was involved in a "mini" Amazing Race, called "City Chase". It was held in Toronto and had over 600 teams of two people. This series has been going since 2003 and is held in a number of cities in Canada, including Calgary. The winners go to the national final, which this year is being held in October, in Halifax. City Chase is a global phenomenon, with 16 countries participating and each year there is a World Championships. I should also mention that City Chase is sponsored by Mitsubishi Motors and Goodlife Fitness. In the past three years these events have raised over $500,000 for the children's charity Right To Play.

That morning, I drove down from Sudbury and, at 8.15am, arrived at the Toronto Metro Hall. The race was scheduled to start at 10.00am. By the time I got there people were already milling around and picking up their race packages. I met Sarah Stern from Right To Play and she said that I would be giving a little pep talk, just before the start. I didn't have a partner for the race so Sarah had asked for a volunteer from the staff at the RTP office. Christine Wong had very bravely stepped forward for this monumental challenge.

Christine arrived at 9.30am. It was going to be a hot and humid day. The theme for the event was the "70's" and a number of teams dressed as hippies. Groovy Baby. At 9.50am, I was called on stage and announced that every $50 raised would provide one child with a Right To Play program for one year and  wished everyone the best of luck. At 10.00am the gun went off and more than 1,200 competitors set off for Union Station.

A little bit about the rules. Each team must get 10 "ChasePoints". There are two groups of clues and you must get three compulsory ChasePoints in each. There are 40 ChasePoints to choose from and you have 6 hours to complete the event. The other option is the "Enduro" event where you get as many ChasePoints as you can, in the allotted time (next chase!).

Christine and I arrived at Union Station and picked up our clue sheet. Then Christine hit the smart phone. She had lined up another RTP employee, Sergio, to help with the clues. He was on a lap top and helped us plan our route. In many ways Christine and I were the perfect team, she knew the city and was good with technology, while I have an encyclopaedic knowledge of 70's trivia.

Christine led the way and during the day we walked, ran and jumped on and off buses, trolleys and subway cars. To be honest I didn't have a clue where we were going but I felt we were making good time. At each ChasePoint we had to do a task. The most memorable were running on a treadmill for the amount of calories that equalled a chocolate bar, pulling a vehicle (not a smart car) and eating a worm (Christine had to wear a snake).

We arrived back at the finish in 5hr 22min 38sec, good enough to place 137th out of 600. Not bad for a couple of rookies! I had tracked the distance covered. We had walked/run 12km but travelled a total distance of 29km. What a blast. All day we chatted with other teams and met many people on the streets and public transportation. One group, from New York, wanted to know what we were doing and planned to see if their city had a Chase.

This year, the Calgary event was held on June 11th. I am definitely going to enter next year's Chase. Now all I need is a partner with a smart phone.

Dr Randolph Randolph's book of animal jokes

Q: What do you get if you cross a frog with a ferry?
A: A hoppercraft!

Quote of the Day

"I like running in the snow alot to"

Faith (age 7), Mount View school

Race partner, Christine, has a new best friend.


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