Sunday, July 4, 2010

Urban Assault

Last weekend Claudia and I did the Urban Assault race in Austin. Urban Assault is a race in which the competitors bike to various checkpoints where they have to complete "tasks". You do not have to complete the checkpoints in any particular order. The winner is the first person to complete all the checkpoints and return to the start. Claudia and I determined before the race that we were going to do this for fun so it wouldn't turn into a frustrated yelling match during the race leading to a prolonged awkward silence and battle of wills.

This year the start was at Festival Beach. The race was limited to 1500 riders who competed in 2 person teams as part of the men's, women's, coed, or family groups. Claudia and I completed a pre-race quiz so we were started in the first of 3 waves that went off in 5 minute intervals. The run to the bikes was chaotic but we found our bikes and took off to Metz Pool.

The first checkpoint involved jumping into the deep end of the pool, swimming half way across, grabbing 3 beach balls, and carrying them across the rest of the pool. Only one of us had to perform it so I jumped in and we were off. It all seemed very easy at this time. We rode to the next two checkpoints that were extremely close to each other. Bicycle Sport Shop and Jack & Adams Bikes. We went to Bicycle Sport Shop and completed the newspaper throw. I had to throw newspapers across a barrier while on my bike to Claudia who had to catch them in a box. Jack and Adams had the adult HotWheels course and the line was extremely long. We stood in line for a minute and then we decided to go on to another checkpoint that hopefully wasn't as busy and then hit Jack and Adams on the way back. We went to Daily Juice for the first of the mystery clues and then to the Paddle Boat dock but the line there was worse then it was at Jack and Adams. We decided to come back to this one also and headed north to Ozone Bikes. We worked out some communication on the way and things started to roll smoothly. At Ozone bikes we had to complete a puzzle of carpet pieces within ten minutes while people shot us with water guns. Thankfully Claudia figured it out and we were on to Peese Park for Human Polo. Here I carried Claudia on my back while she hit a ball with a large polo stick around a circle. Then we were off to REI for Human Bowling. Claudia lay down on a long skateboard and I had to push her down a slight incline to know down the bowling pins. We nailed it on our first try. Feeling confident we headed back to the Paddle Boat dock but the line was still long. We stood in line for about 45 minutes before starting the hardest challenge of the course. Claudia sat on a large inflatable duck and I had to push/tow her in Town Lake out to a floating alligator and back. It is amazing how hard it is to swim and push/pull this duck around. Feeling tired and hungry, we headed back to Jack and Adams. Thankfully there wasn't a line any more and we completed the adult hot wheels course complete with awesome power slides through the corners. This was the most fun task in my opinion. On the way back to the start finish we stopped at the Austin American Statesman to complete the second mystery stop and get our vampire teeth that we had to wear at the finish. The ride back to the finish was tough as we had been out there for about 3 hours and it was hot and humid. We arrived back, put our bikes on the rack and went through the water slide into some filthy water to finish. Thankfully one of the big sponsors is New Belgium Brewery who provided free beer at the finish. Love the liquid asprin!!

We finished at 3:23:06 which was 143 of 303 coed teams and 304 of 583 finishers. The best time was 1:17:12 by an all male team but we accomplished our goal of having a fantastic time together. I love being on the bike but nothing compares to sharing that love with the person I love the most. Hopefully, we will get a chance to complete this together again.

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