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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.

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Shoelace Hack

January 8, 2012 in Exercise, Running

Have you ever held up a game of basketball with your friends because your shoelaces came undone and everybody had to wait for you to do them up? Or have you ever had to stop mid run just so you could stop and tie your annoying laces that keep unravelling? Say goodbye to those days.

When I was in first grade I learned how to tie my own shoelaces using the two ‘bunny ears’ method. It was easy enough to learn but I found it unreliable at keeping my laces tied. Eventually, I would learn that there was another way to tie laces. I started to notice the majority of my friends and other kids tying their laces using only one bunny ear, wrapping the other lace around it and making a second loop through the middle. I thought this was super cool and wanted to be like everybody else so I deflected to the one bunny ear way.

One bunny ear or 2, neither was 100 percent resistant to becoming undone, especially during sports. Some laces were worse than others, depending on the type/style of lace. So I learned and resorted to double-knotting. Problem solved, right? Well, not exactly. Double-knotting is great at keeping your laces locked but they’re a pain to undo.

Five years ago I encountered and adopted a surefire way to tie my laces without having them come undone on their own, yet easy enough for a toddler to untie. I can’t remember where I learned this from but if I ever come across it again, I will most definitely give it due props here.

It won’t be long before I’ll have to teach my kids how to tie their laces and this method should save them from any shoelace grief in the future. Try it for yourself and let me know what you think.

Instructions: Make two loops (bunny ears) and cross them, thread one loop over and through the middle, then thread the other loop under and through the middle. Voila! You’re off to the races.

Update 01/15/12: I’ve just learned that this is called a “double slip knot” or “Ian’s Secure Shoelace Knot” according to Ian’s Shoelace Site. This site is the epitome of shoelace geekdom and I love it. Visit his website for step-by-step guides and illustrations on tying shoelaces in dozens of different ways.