One of my bucket list items for the longest time has been to compete on The Amazing Race. In fact, I began the process to apply for The Amazing Race Canada shortly after Liam was born with my best friend but we just couldn’t get in our shit together to film a compelling (read: winning) video. When I heard about the City Chase last year, I knew it was likely the closest thing I’d get in this chaotic little life of mine and I knew I had to do it with my best friend.
We hit the road bright and early, coffees in hand, armed with sunscreen and snacks but generally unsure of what we would be in for over the course of the day. I was pleasantly surprised to arrive at the grounds and find free parking right at the start of the race which is virtually unheard of. We got through registration and received our City Chase shirts with plenty of time to hit the bathrooms, slather ourselves in sunscreen and cut the sleeves off said shirts because it was stupid hot and expected to get hotter as the day went on. We were led through a warm-up and long, drawn-out introduction to the day, which made me super anxious to just figure out how to get our clue sheet and get started. FINALLY, we were told where to get the clue sheets and the flurry of red shirts dispersed over Stampede Park. Since this was our first time doing the event, we really had no strategy other than employing other people to help us solve the clues as we hustled where we needed to be. The clues revealed addressed for all of the checkpoints. The goal of the race is to complete 10 checkpoints and make it back to the finish. Alternatively, you could choose to go for the endurance race and complete the most number of checkpoints, with 24 in total.
The rules state that you can only travel by foot, bus or train. Our first stop was the zoo and science center, which, with train service being down in the downtown core, was a long trek. We continued on west along the river from there hitting several checkpoints along the way before heading down 14th street and over 17th avenue back to the Stampede Grounds to cross the finish. I wished I would have worn my TomTom to track exactly how far we had walked that day because it seemed like about 20kilometers. Some of the checkpoints we completed were as simple as bean bag toss and guessing smoothie flavors to the most fun things like zorbing and catching bottle rockets. You never really knew what the task would be until you got to the checkpoint which was fun. If you follow me on Snapchat (find me at thebexfactor), you would have saw how excited I was that we stumbled across the zorbing checkpoint. Seriously, that was the highlight of my day.
Did I mention that it was about 28° and we didn’t stop for lunch? It was a little bit insane but we were on such a mission to finish and get our ten checkpoints that we just kept trucking along. By the time we crossed the finish line at 3:30, five and a half hours later we were hot, sweaty, starving and exhausted but man did we have a blast! We graciously accepted our free bottle of beer before hobbling off to find ourselves some dinner.
Would I do this event again? Absolutely. It was such a fun way to spend the day with my best friend, free from the choas of kids. We got to enjoy a beautiful day together, see the city of Calgary in a completely different way (seriously Calgary, I have a crush on you, you pretty little thing), and have an absolute blast. Next time the strategy would need to change slightly though. I think that we would have been better off to solve all the clues and plot the addresses onto an actual map so we could determine our route instead of figuring out where to go from point to point. OR, we would just have fun and be careless and maybe stop for a bite and beverage along the way. Whichever way you take it, you’ll surely have a good day.
Have you ever done City Chase?
Lifelong dreams to compete on The Amazing Race? Or any reality show for that matter?
Hope you all have a great weekend friends! I have a little 5k run tomorrow and no real plans after that which I’m definitely looking forward to.