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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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The Kinetic Family Guide to The Rush – Part 1 of 2

June 14, 2012 in Exercise, Outdoor Activity, Race

Rush Essentials

The BC Lung Association’s Rush Race & Urban Adventure Scavenger Hunt is a 1-day amazing race style event where  teams of 2 must navigate the streets of Vancouver, solve mystery clues, locate hidden checkpoints and complete gruelling physical and mental challenges. This June 23, 2012 will be our 2nd time participating in The Rush.  We’ve participated in several other  urban adventure races in the past and out of all of them, the Rush is by far our favourite. It’s extremely well organized, challenging. affordable, tonnes of fun and it’s all to support and promote a great cause.

If you’re new to The Rush this year or thinking about doing it in the future, we’ve put together this quick guide to some of the essentials you’ll need to help your team achieve Rush success. We base this only on our past experience and we hope that it can be of help to rookie rushers.

So here it is, the Kinetic Family’s Guide to the RUSH.

Phone a friend. The Rush allows you to use the help of friends or family (not on the race course) on the day of the race. They can google stuff for you, look up the best transit options, and help you solve clues when you’re stumped or while you’re on the go. Your support team could be at home, work, or anywhere but on the race course to help you solve and decipher clues and pinpoint the exact location of the checkpoints. Having this kind of support on stand-by is invaluable to a team’s success.

Plan your route. Because there is no predetermined route or order in which you have to complete the checkpoints, it’s important to map out a most efficient route. There are mandatory checkpoints that everyone must complete so be sure to take those into account and work them into your planning. Do you hit the furthest checkpoints first and make your way back? Or do you start close and knock checkpoints off as you go along? Either way, be sure to plan ahead and map it out.

Have a good map. It is extremely useful to have a good map of the city. A detailed map, especially one that shows the civic addresses, is very handy. We’ve found map books to be easier to manage on the go than big fold out maps. This is a matter of preference, of course. Also, make sure your map covers the surrounding Greater Vancouver area and not just the City of Vancouver. You never know where The Rush might take you.

The race before the race. There are several pre-race contests that can help you gain an advantage. For example, as a mandatory requirement of the race, each team must raise a minimum of $200 for the BC Lung Association. Teams that raise five hundred dollars or more receive a ‘charity checkpoint’, meaning they would be required to complete 1 fewer checkpoint than teams that didnt. There’s also a video contest that awards the team with the most popular video the coveted Gold Rush pass. The Gold Rush pass allows a team to bypass any lineup at any one checkpoint on race day. This can save your team lots of precious time and could be the difference maker in a race where every minute counts.

Use transit wisely. The use of public transit is permitted, so use it to your advantage. Have a transit map/schedule readily available (download the Translink app to your smartphone)! Or make sure your support team is familiar with the Translink website to look up routes and schedules. Using transit will help keep your legs fresh and the time sitting on the bus or skytrain can be used to plan your next move.

Run rusher run! Yes, you can use transit, but it may not always be the best option. Do you want to spend your time waiting for and then waiting on a bus when you could be making traction on foot? You also run the risk of getting delayed on transit due to all the passenger pick ups and drop offs at every stop, especially on major routes. Be prepared to do some running as transit can only take you so far and The Rush often has you going off the beaten path.

Obey the law, obey the rules. As a Rusher, you’re expected to obey the rules and laws of the land. Remain courteous to the general public on the streets who are out to enjoy the day just as much as you are. Play nice.

Get Social. The Rush crew will often drop hints about the race via their blog or on Twitter and Facebook. We suggest you follow all three.

Fully Charged. Have your (smart) cell phone handy and charge your batteries. You will need this. That is all.

Seek the help of strangers. Can’t solve a clue or find a checkpoint yourself? Ask around. You never know what a good Samaritan might know or what they can do for you. Sometimes you might even need them to help you complete a challenge.

H2O. While the Rush has been known to make participants eat some interesting things in the races of past, it’s important to have a good breakfast and stay plenty hydrated. You’ll be rushing all day and goat testicles may not be favourable to your pallet. Bring water.

Well, I hope that gives you an idea of some of the things you might come to need and expect come race day. Did we forget something? Got an extra tip that’s not on our list? Post in the comments.

Good luck to all the Rushers out there and come back for Part 2 of this post where we will recap our experience on race day.