Thursday, March 27, 2014

Great Urban Race Recap

Last Saturday, I participated in the Great Urban Race or shall I say, the greatest race EVER. I have wanted to do one of these urban scavenger hunt type races for some time, but I have always been out of town or injured. So when Sara texted me out of the blue about needing a fourth person on a team, I was quick to say yes. I checked my schedule and BOOM! Registered done.

Team Name:  Urban Quizzlers
Team Members:  Elizabeth, Sara, Marco, and myself (each possessing extra special qualities)
Team Colors:  Black pants, capris, or shorts with a red top (clearly Marco missed the memo)
Team Motto:  Not Sure 
Meeting PlaceCeltic Gardens, 12 p.m.

May I present the Urban Quizzlers!
The organizers read off the instructions for the urban race at noon at Celtic Gardens. The rules were that we got our clue cards, solved the clues, found the locations, took a picture with the sign of the location, performed the competition at the location, and then kept the flyer provided after we have successfully completed the competition. We could go in any order that we want, but we have to do everything correctly as stated or we got time added. Once we crossed the finish line, we could not go back. We could use our feet, buses, or the light rail to get to each location, but we could not use a cab, bike, or car. There were some other instructions, but most of them, I didn't understand and/or I just don't remember.

As soon as we could, we got to work on the clue cards. Some groups took off choosing to solve on the go, but most groups stayed to figure out where they were going. Some of the clues were hard and I'm still not sure to this day how Sara figured out the weird writing (looked like it was in Russian) clue.

To drink or not to drink beforehand...that is the question.

This was the second page of our clue sheet. #11 was the weird and hardest clue to solve.  

Eventually, we got the locations and grouped the closest ones to maximize our time and headed off. Unfortunately, Sara had a horrible foot injury and we couldn't run. Next time.

First stop, Christian's Tailgate. Our competition was to stack five plastic cups, with a piece of paper between each cup. One member pulls out the paper and the cup goes nicely into the bottom cup until all the cups were into one cup. I was scared. Everyone around were freaking out and doing it over and over again. This one team was yelling. And then Marco stepped up and said he would do it. He pulled out the paper saying, "Like this?" BOOM into the cup it went perfectly. He did it again and again until they were all done. We got it on the first try. The cups tipped over at the very end after all of the cups were into one cup. But it counted and proved that we were bosses of this competition.

Next stop, Junction Bar where we had to toss a fried mushroom from above into another team member's mouth stationed on the ground. This proved to be one of the more difficult ones for our team. Eventually, Sara (who doesn't like mushrooms) managed to get one in her mouth and we completed the competition.

It is harder than it looks.

Sadly, I didn't get a fried mushroom. I couldn't catch them, because they were chunked at my teeth or my chest area. Oh, they smelled so good.
I would like to say at this point, the sun came out. We expected rain and cooler temperatures all day. It was not. In fact, it was muggy and gross. I was thankful Marco got some sun tan lotion, but I still managed to get burned.

The next stop was the Refinery where we had to drop a golf ball on to the top of a beer bottle and then knock the cap off at the same time. Elizabeth proved to be a star at this when she said, "I don't get it," and then, immediately got it. I; however, could not. It took awhile, but I eventually got it.

A place known for burgers and whiskey, some place I want to go. This is where I learned that Elizabeth likes whiskey, too, and will help me on my scotch journey.
Sometimes a picture helps to understand the game.
Then, it was a long walk to District 7 Grill. There was no real competition at this location. We had to tweet our picture in front of the sign and then, we were encouraged to make a donation ($27 from the Urban Quizzlers). Thank God Sara had twitter on her phone.

Sara's picture that we tweeted.
On a side note, I did learn that Table 7 Bistro is owned by District 7 Grill when looking up the links for this blog post.

We then headed to the light rail station on Main to get to Birraporetti's where I learned that it serves Italian food, but is also known for their Irish bar. I never even put two in two together that there was a clover and wine grapes. This was also my first time using the light rail.

I had to use a spaghetti noodle to stack five penne noodles on without using my hands.

We walked over to Blue Fish (quite possibly the best clue ever since it had to do with Dr. Seuss, Red Fish, .... Fish). Again, it was my time to shine. We had to pick up the blue M&Ms with chopsticks. Elizabeth commented that she should do a challenge. But yeah, I've got this one. I'm going to say it was record time for me to get them out of the bowl.

We then headed over to Lucky Strike Bowling, which had probably our hardest competition yet. We had to roll this marble and knock over the pencil standing up on the other side.


It's harder than it looks.
And then we were off like a dirty shirt to Ben's Beans, which was literally right around the corner. I also had a hard time saying Ben's Beans; I kept wanting to say Bean's Bens. This was a memorization contest, as well as having two members like their Facebook page. While Marco and Sara prepared for the competition, Elizabeth and I went to the counter to get the cake balls. By this time, we were starving and they looked so good. So, we bought a dozen. Don't judge us. I didn't like the strawberry or pecan pie ones though. I did love the lemon ones.

We got back on the train to head back to midtown. Our first stop was a vegan place called Radical Eats where we were to learn how to make a tamale. Sadly, they ran out and just gave us our flyer. Oh well. I can't wait to come back and try this place out.

So, we hurried over to Katz's Deli right across the street and the first and easiest clue to get. Our competition was to hold a popsicle stick in our mouth and then stack five dice on top of each other at the end. We were given advice to use those molars and lock in to the stick. I'm not sure if Marco used that advice, but we got this one pretty quickly. 

Like a boss.
Finally, we made it to our last stop at Lankford's Grocery with quite possibly the best competition of the entire race. Using two team members and no hands, we had to pop three balloons. Elizabeth and I got there first and designated Sara and Marco as the participants. Yes, that's how we roll.

We learned the white balloons worked the best. Not sure why.

See, the balloon poking out the other end?
There was one competition I haven't told you about yet. The last clue was to get pictures of certain things listed in the boxes. Like Tic Tac Toe, we had to get three of those pictures lined up diagonally or across. These are some of our pictures.

Take a massive selfie with three strangers like Ellen at the Oscars. We found this bike party bus thing and took our opportunity. This was one of our boxes.

Take a picture with a store sign that says 50% or Half Off. We tried so desperately to find the movie Frozen, but didn't. This was also one of our boxes. 
Find a sign that had a misspelled word. Challenge Accepted! This was the first box we got and we used it. 
Take a picture with a Rodeo Houston sign.
Take a picture with a person wearing a belt buckle in which we missed a golden opportunity on the train with all of the rodeo goers.
And coming in just under four hours, we finished. We had a perfect entry of our stuff with no penalties. We definitely need to work on time though since we weren't in the top 25. Next year, though, we got this with or without being tethered to each other.

Sara and I eating our medals like true Olympians.
The awesome girls of Urban Quizzlers.

From left to right, Me, Marco, Elizabeth, and Sara.

 Other pictures that we took from that awesome day.

The guy in the costume wanted to take a picture with just me first.

I didn't know Nick Buckley was free, but apparently, he is and taking orders.


This looks like a good time.
I highly recommend this fun and exciting scavenger hunt. It's good exercise and it gives you a chance to see your city. I can't wait to try all the new places I discovered. Oh and we may be dressing up next year to try and win the costume contest.


  1. This looks like so much fun! I may have to join in next year!

    1. It was so much fun. I can't wait to do it again.

  2. THAT was the coolest race ever! Thanks for sharing your awesome experience with us!

    1. It was. Maybe next year, you can join us.


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