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The Kinetic Family Guide to The Rush – Part 2 of 2: Lessons Learned.

July 7, 2012 in Exercise, Outdoor Activity, Race, Running

RUSH2012 Fly on the Wall

Rush 2012, Photo by Suhkraj Bhattal Photography

First off, a shout out to the B.C. Lung Association, Pinnacle Pursuits, and all of the volunteers for putting on another great RUSH event. It’s always nice to participate in a race that is so well organized. Secondly, congratulations to the winning team, Team Exhalent, for an impressive 3hr:28mins finish. And last but not least, a big pat on the back and thank you to everyone who participated and helped raise over $60,000 for the B.C. Lung Association.

Our team finished 7th overall (Race Results) which was a huge improvement from our 27th place ranking in 2011. It was a lot of fun and we’re happy we completed the race unscathed, and more importantly, with our relationship still intact. Here’s a RECAP of our day & the lessons learned that we hope to build on for next year.

June 23, 2012 – We arrived at the race start location at Jack Poole Plaza just after 9:00am where we noticed that the opening ceremonies had already begun. Not wanting to miss out on anything, especially any clues or hints, we skipped a planned pit stop to the washroom and headed straight for the Rush stage to join the rest of the Rushers. We thought we’d have some time to sit back, gather ourselves, and perhaps take turns going to the washroom while the other person took note of any pertinent information being given out but that was definitely not the case. This is the rush; expect the unexpected...

RUSH 2012 It takes two

The Rapping Parents, Photography by Jorge Pasada

Runners up in the Rush video contest (we were one of them) were summoned to the stage to perform a snippet of their ‘rushified’ song for another chance to win a Gold Rush Pass. The competition had begun before the race had even started. The battle for the Gold Rush Pass came down to us and Team Wolfpack with their rushified version of NSYNC’s Bye Bye Bye (Rush Rush Rush). With Team Wolfpack’s superior vocals, we were in tough, but we managed to win the crowd and thus win the challenge. With Team Wolfpack having won the previous (mouse trap) challenge on stage, it came down to a tie-breaker task which involved Dawn eating a couple of goat testicles to seal the win for our team. The lesson learned here is not to practice eating goat testicles for the Rush but to arrive to the race early. Had we arrived any later, we would have missed our opportunity to challenge for the Gold Rush Pass.

RUSH2012 Scramble Start

Photo by Suhkraj Bhattal Photography

The race got started with a mad scramble for balls which teams needed to obtain the clue sheet. Once we got our official Rush clue sheet we were on the phone with our support team right away. Once again, I’d like to reiterate how critical it is to have some sort of support in place. Dawn and I alone, probably could have spent the entire time just trying to figure out clues. Although we had already identified the general location of some of the checkpoints, thanks to some pre-race hints, we still spent a significant amount of time at the beginning solving the rest of the clues. In hindsight, we spent too much time standing still at the beginning when we could have been making our way to our first checkpoint and solving clues along the way. It’s important to start quickly. Much like an Olympic one-hundred meter sprinter at the start line, a fast start when the gun goes off could be the difference between silver and gold.

After about 2 hours, we had completed 3 checkpoints challenges (at UBC). We had also solved the majority of the remaining clues and mapped out their locations. It was just a matter of getting to the checkpoints in the most logical and quickest order possible and successfully completing the checkpoint challenges. We completed two more checkpoints around the Langara & 49th Avenue area and were halfway done. We were making good time and reached a critical point in the race where we had to decide which checkpoints to go to next. There were a couple at Queen Elizabeth Park which were the closest to us at the time, but there were also 2 checkpoints near Vancouver City Hall that were easily accessible along the skytrain route. We chose neither and figured our best bet was to hop on the skytrain and head for checkpoints which were closer to the finish line. We completed our next 2 challenges at BC Place, one of which was a charity checkpoint, meaning we didn’t have to do the challenge since our team raised over $500 for the B.C. Lung Association. It is totally worth the effort to do the extra fundraising to qualify for the Charity Checkpoint pass.

RUSH2012 Finish Line

Photo by Suhkraj Bhattal Photography

With 7 checkpoints in the bag, we were pleased about our progress and hadn’t yet encountered anything too painfully challenging; that is until we got to our next stop. There were 3 checkpoints around the Main/Terminal area and these would be our final 3. There was a checkpoint on a grassy field just north of the Telus World of Science which required a little bit of mathematical skill and engineering ingenuity. We quickly and regrettably learned that these were not our strong suits. After painfully getting through the exercise, we were down to our last two checkpoints.

The next one was in Chinatown and got through it quickly without much trouble. We were quickly off to our final destination: Pacific Central Station. We were still feeling pretty good about our chances at this point. Looking back at it now, this last challenge wasn’t really as daunting as it seemed to be at the time. It required plenty of patience and some critical thinking and at this point in the race, with us being so close to finishing, we sadly buckled under pressure and flustered ourselves out of contention. We felt so hurried and worried about getting this last checkpoint over with that we lost our ability to listen and listening just happened to be critical to completing this challenge. As a Rusher, it’s in your best interest to take a minute to listen carefully to the instructions at the checkpoints. It could cost you a trip around the world.

Well, that was our Rush 2012 experience and we hope that fellow and future Rushers can learn something from our experience and now that we’ve given you the low-down (go here for Part 1), what are you waiting for? Registration for next year’s event is now open. Get out there and Rush! 

RUSH2012 with Team Exhalent

Picking up some pointers from 1st place team, Team Exhalent. Photo by Suhkraj Bhattal Photography

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‘Tis The Season

May 16, 2012 in biking, Exercise, Outdoor Activity, Running

It’s been a very busy spring thus far and race season is definitely underway. We have always enjoyed participating in organized events as a fun way to commit, work and train towards a goal. We also like to get the kids involved, one way or another, whenever we can. Here’s a quick summary of what we’ve been up to lately.

Sun Run 2012 T-ShirtVancouver Sun Run 10K, April 15
When Dawn and I signed up to do the Vancouver Sun Run this year, we both set out to accomplish new personal bests and with each others support and a little help from an Ample Ant (Aunt) who watched and waited with the kids at the finish, we managed to pull it off! The Sun Run organizers do a really good job of making this a family friendly event as there is a Kids Zone set up in BC Place that provides plenty of kids activities and entertainment. If you have kids that want in on the run action or if you would like to do a shorter run with the family, there is a 2.5K Mini Sun Run that starts before the 10K Sun Run and it looks like a fun run for the whole family. We’ve never done it ourselves but perhaps it’s something to consider for the future. If you’ve done the Mini Sun Run with your family, we’d love to know how it went.

Suburban Rush Kids Race, April 28
Suburban Rush is an off-road, trail running and mountain biking adventure race with mystery challenges along the way. Dawn and I opted out of this race and decided instead to register and fully support Malaya in her first kids bike race which was also part of the event. The Kids Race for ages 3-7 years was bike-only and, depending on the age group, covers a short 500m-1km loop with challenges along the way (i.e. a bean bag toss). With Malaya’s new found love for biking, we signed her up for this non-competitive event and she had a blast! I know she looks a little nervous in the photo above but that’s just her intensely listening to the race instructions being given out. At the end, each kid received a participant ribbon and a chocolate chip cookie!

BMO Vancouver Half Marathon, May 6
This was Dawn’s first and my third go at the BMO Half Marathon. A 7:00AM start made this a little too early for us to wake up the kids and bring them to the event. Thanks again to The Ample Ant (Aunt) who watched our girls while we ran. Unless they’re running the race with you, there are definitely other ways to get the kids involved; like cheering the runners on from the sidelines! One of the most uplifting things about this race were all the people that came out to cheer and support the runners along the route. It’s amazing how cheers of encouragement can give you an extra boost to keep going.

Spartan Wall ClimbSpartan Sprint, May 12
The Spartan Sprint is a 5k race comprised of mud runs, obstacles, trail racing, physical challenges and mental challenges all in one. Dawn did this one on her own as the kids and I cheered her on from the start to the finish line. The event organizers also held a kids race (ages 4-13) as a component of this event and it is a much tamer and cleaner version of the adult race. Our kids are still too young to participate but I watched the older kids race and it looked like a lot of fun. They were divided by age groups and completed 0.5 -1 miles of small obstacles.

Next up:

The Rush, June 23
The Rush is an urban adventure race and scavenger hunt where teams of two scour the streets of Vancouver (and beyond) to find clues, reach checkpoints and complete challenges. It’s a one-day amazing race style challenge and fundraiser event for the B.C. Lung Association. We highly encourage you to join us for this event. The grand prize is a trip for two around the world! Register now.

Are you participating in an a race or special event this summer? We’d love to hear about it. Post in the comments and we might just join you!