Racing season has started again in LA! Sadly, this racer hasn’t been running much lately. Last October, some careless LA driver decided not to check for pedestrians when making a left turn and I hurt my knee pretty badly as a result. Thankfully, it wasn’t a head on impact and I did not sustain any serious injuries, but the recovery time was still slow…maybe it’s because I am getting old :-/ The slow recovery coupled with the fear of being hit again (cars gets close to pedestrians incredibly often in LA!!!) and the diminished daylight hours led to very little running since the accident. For a bit, I debated being a volunteer for the Xplore race since it is my favorite urban race to date, but then again, these races are so much more fun to run! :-)
Fast forward to the last week before we could register at a lower price for the LA race, I managed to convince a few colleagues to join me and we got two teams signed up. One of the racers had to back out due to a nasty flu, but I managed to convince yet another person to take her place. The said person has very recently moved to the US and had to buy running shoes the Thursday before the Saturday race :-) Some team members may or may have not have had difficulties with the technology and race set up. Someone may have decided to feed the parking meter in the middle of the race!!! All in all, we were not the most competitive teams joining the race, but we may have had the most fun Xploring LA :-) Keep reading for a recap of our adventure.
The race started downtown as expected. This year, we had to run to the access code location, while last year we somehow managed to figure it out ahead of time. Xplore HQ is getting more secretive :-) The closest (and first location we solved for) was the Angel’s Flight railway. I actually mentioned to one of our teammates earlier in the day that maybe Xplore will make us count the steps. Thankfully, we didn’t have to count, but we did have to climb the steps…ouch!!! We had to take a picture at the bottom and the top of the stairs to prove we did it.
After this, we took a not so efficient way to the US Bank tower to ‘fight’ with the security to let us take a picture in one of their elevators. Just kidding, we were perfectly behaved, just sneaked around until they could not find us to take the handstand picture in the elevator. The security lady was not amused by our invasion and kept sending the security guy to kick people out according to pictures from other teams as well.
After being kicked out of US Bank for the last time, we took a longer trip towards Grand Park where as expected a water fountain challenge was waiting for us. We stopped on the way to take a picture with an electrical charging station to solve another clue.
At Grand Park we had to plank over one of the fountain jets and take a video. Great way to cool down, and get my shoes wet in yet another Xplore Race! Thankfully, no sand followed this time. See the Chicago race recap for our sandy wet shoes adventure.
After the fountain cool down, we ran to the Plaza Firehouse Museum to take a video doing the ‘stop, drop, and roll’ drill. We got yelled at again, and kicked out from the sidewalk area in front of the museum…something was wrong with Los Angelenos that Saturday…lots of grumpy people!!! Seriously, we were just demonstrating fire safety in front of a firehouse museum!!!
We then ran down to the Wooden Spoon restaurant where we had to balance out spoons on our tongues. Even though two of us ‘stole’ plastic spoons from our respective offices, we proceeded to forget them at home. Therefore, we ended up BUYING spoons from McDonalds for twenty something cents a piece….seriously McDonalds?!?!?!?!
That’s where we ran into Andy from the Nads (the national Xplore champions) and Kris, another top contender. Got to photobomb Andy’s picture and help Kris with her picture.
We knew at that moment that we were not going to make it in the top two! Across the street we found a shop with a nice LA person (finally!!!) who let us take a picture with one of their mannequins trying on our best blue steel poses.
From there, we ran to the Metro station to find Spock buried somewhere on the wall. We got delayed since some team members did not have transit cards, but we did find Spock.
From there, all we had to do was sprint towards the finish line!!! The clue we skipped was the Grammy museum where we would have had to either sing or dance shake it off with some strangers. I actually know almost a full routine from my zumba class, but did not get to shake it off on video :-)
We made it in time to finish 5th and 6th close enough to 3rd and 4th that we might have made it if were a little more organized! Oh, well…we had fun and got to hang out with Andy, Kris, and Kirsten (Kris’s twin sister)!
Funny story, the other team that ran it with us did not realize that they did not officially finish the race…one of their pictures failed to upload to their Bonfyre. They were enjoying post-race drinks and fries when Xplore HQ asked them about it. Luckily, no other teams showed up in the meantime so they still finished on the same place :-)
Overall, another great race by Xperience Adventures! The goal is to race in other cities as well, but time will tell if I’ll have the time (and money) to travel. Need to accumulate more racing friends across the country :-)