Hola! I hope you guys all had a great weekend. I definitely did, but it was much too short, as most weekends are.
You may remember me mentioning on Friday that I was participating in The Running Date yesterday, which was an Amazing Race-esque event downtown Toronto that I won an entry into through Sam’s giveaway at Health, Happiness and Skinny Jeans (thank you Sam!!!). I love a good scavenger hunt, so this event sounded right up my alley.
Since Andrew was unable to make it, and the event was made for couples, I brought along my friend Lisa as my backup date!
I brought a couple pairs of glasses along as well, as you never know when they might be needed.
Lisa was the perfect date to bring actually, because she was just as enthusiastic as I was about The Running Date. We had a LOT of fun (even though we pretty much came last, but I’ll get to that). I was worried about bringing a non-lover for my date, but there were a few other couples that weren’t actually couples as well, and we didn’t have to do anything too risqué ;).
My favourite real couple was a husband and wife who were visiting from Colorado, and just arrived on Friday night. I guess they were googling things to do in the city and found this so they decided to register and get to know Toronto! Lisa and I thought that was cute.
I met Lisa at her apartment in Toronto around 9am, and we took public transit over to the University of Toronto campus, where The Running Date home base was located.
We registered our team (team name Lindsey and Lisa’s Excellent Adventure), and picked up our race kit, which included snazzy and official-looking bibs.
So we didn’t look too crazy running around the city like maniacs with our bibs on. But still a little crazy. Actually, apparently one of my beautiful blog readers saw and recognized me! (I am excited about this because I don’t think it has happened before.)
Ana, you should have said hi!
Anyway, after a presentation from the organizers outlining the rules, we received our clue sheets so we could get on our way.
You had 4 hours to figure out each of the 6 locations using the clues, and then somehow get to the location to compete in a challenge. The race spanned a large area, from the UofT campus all the way down to the lake. You were allowed to take public transit (bus, subway, streetcar, etc.) to get to a location but you could not drive or take a taxi. We definitely utilized public transit a few times, as some of the locations were far apart.
Also, you were encouraged to use a smartphone, and I really do not see how anyone could have done this without one. I had my face glued to my iPhone pretty much the entire time, even when I was running.
The first couple that completed the required challenge at each location and made it back were the big winners.
There was an additional sheet with 5 extra challenges that you could complete on your own as well. A couple I remember are take a picture of yourself hugging a stranger while holding a sign that says “Free Hugs”, and take a picture of yourself giving an elderly couple a postcard with hearts on it (finding a postcard with hearts on it was no easy feat!). Each of those additional challenges that you did not complete would cost your team 25 minutes off your time. We did not complete all of those challenges because we were running out of time at the end and just wanted to finish the checkpoints.
Now that I re-read our clue list, the answers look pretty obvious to me, but they were hard. Especially when we were in frantic race-mode. While the other couples (30 in total) immediately sat down and got to work figuring out the clues, Lisa and I decided to just start running. This was a very bad decision, and I believe it was ultimately our downfall. We had no idea where we were going or what we were looking for. We didn’t stop to plan a route, so we ended up zigzagging all over the place, which cost us a lot time.
No worries though, it was a seriously fun time (and a good workout, we ran a lot), and it was a great way to explore the city.
Oh yeah, it rained. Quite a lot. And it was cold and very windy. We were still in great spirits though. We laughed pretty much the entire day.
Our first stop was at Yulla (clue #3), a sushi restaurant in the Financial District. The challenge here was pretty fun. I had to make a sushi roll, blind-folded, while Lisa gave me instructions.
And here is how that turned out.
Oh well, I don’t think attractiveness earned any extra points. And it still tasted good!
Yeah, we also had to eat it…
We are going for a romantic Lady and the Tramp spaghetti thing in this blurry picture.
Another location was the Museum of Inuit Art by the water front (clue #6), which I never even knew existed and was seriously cool. I wish we could have stayed in there for longer.
For this challenge I had to run quickly through the museum, pick a piece of art to sculpt with play-dough, and bring my sculpture back for Lisa to view. She then had to sketch my sculpture and bring her sketch with her back into the museum to see if she could find the piece of art.
We had some troubles with this, as I chose to sculpt the first Inukshuk I saw, which Lisa somehow missed when she went into the museum herself, but instead found an entire cabinet of them just after my original Inukshuk… We had to redo that challenge, needless to say. Inukshuk overload.
We stopped for lunch at a little deli inside the same building (I know, who stops for lunch during a race?), as we were both starving and were having trouble figuring out a couple of the clues on an empty stomach.
I chose a chicken avocado wrap that I had high hopes for, but sadly was only okay. We should have got street meat! I am regretting this.
It worked though, as soon as we had food in our belly we had no problem figuring out the tricky clues we were having trouble with.
One led us to a cute little video shop (clue #1)…
That also served gellato! At the challenge here we had to draw a movie title from a box and then act out the movie. We got Dirty Dancing, and I am not going to lie, I can do a pretty good Patrick Swayze ;).
The video shop was in a vibrant little neighbourhood that I had never been in before.
And our last stop of the day was at the Tea Dynasty (clue #5), where we had to smell three containers of tea leaves and guess the flavours of tea.
The flavours were peach, apple, and milk. It took us a couple tries to get milk, such a random flavour for tea! Sounds pretty gross actually.
And finally we were done! We raced back to UofT and arrived at the finish line at 3:28, two minutes before disqualification and second to last, haha.
But you know it isn’t about just winning, it is about having fun, and we definitely did! We were excited just to finish :).
It was SUCH a fun day. What a seriously great idea for a date. I would definitely compete in something like this again. Lis and I are already talking about next year, and if we do this again we plan to take it more seriously and maybe actually try to win.
We didn’t win any prizes, which consisted of iPad for first place, a couples’ helicopter ride over Niagara Falls for second place, and dinner at the CN Tower’s 360 restaurant for third (we actually made friends with the third place team, they were pretty funny.)
I hope you guys enjoyed reading my long-winded recap, and enjoy the rest of your Sunday! I do not feel like making dinner at all, and PB and jam sandwiches are sounding pretty good to me right about now.
Would you participate in something like The Running Date? Or have you ever participated in something similar?