Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Urban Dare, or Where is the Spirit of Learning?

So, as part of my birthday celebration happy fun time, we signed up for the Urban Dare in Austin.  I’ve wanted to do it the last few years, but it’s pretty expensive.  This year, I said, fuck it, it’s my birthday.  I’m not going on vacation, I’m not staying in a hotel, I’m going to do SOMETHING fun, so this was it.

The weather was perfect as we rolled up to Mother Egans Pub at around 11:30.  We got in line, signed our waver, changed into our spiffy shirts, and waited around a few minutes for noon to get there.  Finally, we were told to go down the block to a field, and we had to play multiple choice trivia until we got it right.  We happened to be in the right spot even though we didn’t know the answer, and we got our clue sheet and were off.

And by off, I mean to the parking lot in the field furiously getting through the clue sheet using our phones to google all the clues and find the most efficient way around.  Where we spent the first 20-30 minutes.  Next time, we might spend a little less time prepping and just run and google at the same time.  Once we had all but one mapped out, we set out for the furthest north, with a quick stop on the way that was right up the street.

Clue #11 – Who dat – who dat – who dat gonna beat dem Saints? Nobody this year. Get your picture with a VW that has been transformed into a Saints helmet. (That would be the Shoal Creek Saloon, a place we’ve actually always wanted to visit – they are supposed to have GREAT food).

Then, on the way, we ran into a woman with a puppy, so we knocked this one out.  This lady was nice enough to stop but her dog really didn’t want to cooperate with crazy strangers wanting him to shake!

#5a – Get your picture shaking hands with a dog.

Clue #3 – DOUBLE JEOPARDY – First, get your picture in front of the store that rhymes with Roy Boy, and has the same amount of letters. Second – you much purchase 1 item and bring it back to the end of the race with your receipt. We bought a pretty little 20 cent marble.

We purchased our marble, got our pic snapped, and were on our way.  This was about 2 1/4 miles from the start.  Next, we hit the nearest clue, just down the street.

Clue #8 – He first visited Yosemite National Park in 1916 with his family, where his father gave him his first camera, a Kodac Brownie Box Camera.  He is world renown for his black and white photos of Yosemite and other major parks of the west.  Go to the park with his last name for your golfing challenge.  Fore! (Adams Park)

Here, we had to throw these two golf ball things around hurdles.  We both sucked pretty hard at it, but I sucked less, so after about 10 minutes I finished and we moved on.  We took a bit of a detour getting there so it was about 3/4 mile here.  Then we headed to campus to get the next picture.

Clue #10 – She said, “Do not call for black power or green power. Call for brain power.” Get your picture with her statue (Barbara Jordan). Campus was WAY, WAY crowded that day with lots of kids, it was a lot of dodging and weaving because they were all taking their sweet time.

We continued around campus and finally found some people willing to help us with 5b:

#5b – get a picture of someone NOT in the race doing a cartwheel.  Someone we had asked before about signing a waiver or suing us if they got hurt or some crap.  Seriously people?  Thought I left California, ya know, the land of palm trees and frivolous litigation?

By the time we left campus we were closing in on 4.5 miles.  We had a crossroads – head southeast and hit the furthest east stuff first and backtrack a little north later when we headed west, or head straight south and have to backtrack a bit the other way.  We decided to head east, so off we went.  However, we had just gotten the 411 on the clue we couldn’t figure it out before (yay for nice people) so we stopped here:

Clue #7 – get your picture with the spirit of learning. Yeah, this one was freaking HARD to find.  It was in front of some teacher’s union building or something.  Did NOT show up on google at ALL.

We actually went a little too far east after that, and had to backtrack, but soon we appeared here:

Clue #1 – 59 year old Brent L. found a stash of dynamite in a shed on his 5000 acre ranch. Concerned for his family’s safety but not his own, the rancher removed the dynamite from the shed, placed it in a field of knee high grass, backed away about forty yards, and fired a shotgun at it. The dynamite blew up and the shrapnel hit the rancher in the head. The man was air lifted to the hospital, where he passed away. They give annual awards for this type of feat. Get your picture in front of the Pub that goes by this award’s name. (I did not even have to google this one thank you very much.)  I believe we were probably about 6 1/2 miles here.

Next we headed on to the Austin Music Hall to take care of the next task.  Clue #6 was… Go to Killer Riffs for your bubble dare.  We had envisioned something like having to get in those big plastic bubbles or blow big bubbles with those life sized wands…nope.  One of us just had to cover a piece of gum in whipped cream, get it out without using our hands, and blow a bubble.  I did it because after more than 7 miles – hey – a little sugar sounded good.  Whip cream nommed, bubble blown, we headed onto the last leg.

Clue #2 – go to city hall and get your picture with the stinger.  Didn’t have any clue what this was before we got there, but it was EXTREMELY apparent once we approached it.  We found some people on the way to our next dare that said they were taking it down soon so we decided to run the next leg – probably about a quarter of a mile.
Clue #4 – Go to Woolridge square where you must perform 2 dares.  Well, we found Woolridge square, but it had been FRESHLY MANURED that day so it stunk like no other.  I felt really sorry for the volunteers assigned to that station all day.  The first thing we had to do was a wheelbarrow course – I volunteered to be the wheelbarrow, and was very glad for all the arm and core strength I’ve been working on lately, I didn’t even have to stop.  Then, we had to run around and find little markers with letters and numbers on them, and had to find the ones that corresponded to the letters in our word.  We got that done and headed on our way, breathing a sigh of relief…and actually fully breathing again because it didn’t literally smell like shit.

We noticed it was getting close to 4pm – which was 4 hours in.  We decided we wanted to finish before 4 hours so we decided to run the last legs.  We ran about another quarter of a mile and hit up the last stop:

Clue #9 – ROMAN MATH TIME: Get your picture with the orange and purple sculpture at XXXIV times XXIV Congress Street. (816)  This is my yaaaaaay we finished pose.  No time to celebrate though- we commenced with the running, about another quarter mile, and rolled up at Mother Egan’s again with a finish time of 3:59 and some change.  Hooray!

Then, there may have been some hard cider and chips with curry.

Total miles walked/ran: 8.62

Fastest speed: 7.3 mph

It was a lot of fun, I do believe we are going to do it again next year, try to run more of it together, and come up with some creative costumes like these gals, who won the contest.

Next up for races – 5k up in Georgetown (the little local 1 dollar entry fee one) next Saturday, and then Warrior Dash May 2.  Yay for 3 races in a row WITH Zliten!  Have you ever done an adventure race?


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  1. sounds like you had fun

    you should check out CitySolve Urban Race


  2. MizFit


    Im toying with running the cap.10k on the 11th of april (husbands birthday so lots depends on him :)) any chance of talking you into it?

  3. How fun is this?? I’ve never even heard of this before but it looks like a riot! So glad you got to do it! Can’t wait to see what costumes you guys come up with:)

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