Chicago City Solve Urban Race

Halsted Flowers

Halsted Flowers

My dear readers, lately the windy kitchen has been doing more racing than cooking new dishes, but the summer is really filled with lots of fun races, plus I want to check out a few of these urban scavenger races before I move to Los Angeles and am left without teammates! This past weekend, Kyle and I participated in the City Solve Urban Race and here is the recap of our adventures. Unlike the Great Urban Race, most locations are not staffed so there are a lot of selfies, some bordering on creepy, but still fun I hope πŸ™‚

We started the race at Mickey’s Bar and Patio in Lincoln Park, which we were very excited about as downtown was filled with (drunk) Lollapalooza festival goers. Unfortunately, AT&T reception still sucked (get your act together AT&T!!!!) so we had a slow start to the race. City Solve uses a multiple choice trivia question (which athlete played the longest in a Chicago uniform) to reveal the location where the clue sheets are handed out. Someone behind me mentioned Ryne Sandberg had ~14 yrs, and with wikipedia/internet down, we decided to head in that direction slowly while our wonderful significant others were trying to answer the question over the phone. As we got further away from the pub, wikipedia started loading and when realizing that Michael Jordan had fewer years, we started a little faster towards the Sandberg checkpoint. Sure enough, that’s where the clues were being handed out. While Kyle was trying to email our cluesheet pics, I started mapping out the locations that were obvious from the clues as well as solving some. AT&T was still misbehaving so I started looking up a few clues I had solved and luckily one of them, Halsted Flowers, was just one block away so we headed that way. This was a cute flower shop where we had to “repot” a succulent. I was all ready to show off my gardening skills and while I was getting ready the big pot, I asked Kyle to remove the plant from the smaller one, only to be stopped by the volunteer. It turns out we only had to pretend repot and leave the plant in its original tiny pot πŸ™‚ Β The race coordinator took the above picture of us in front of the fridge. Kyle was pretty observant and noticed the sunflowers which were part of a target shaped photo challenge. And let the selfies begin:

sunflower!

sunflower!

We took one more picture for the shop lady, and then we headed to the Diversey brown line stop and took the train to Belmont. At the train station, we asked a nice stranger to take a picture with his sunglasses for our bonus clue (5 min off!).

sunglasses! thank you stranger :-)

sunglasses! thank you stranger πŸ™‚

The first clue mentioned an Australian yogurt truck about a block west from Belmont. We sprinted in that direction and passed a tiny truck, but one of the other racers told us it was not the one and tried to follow other teams that were sprinting further west. We realized pretty soon that we were going too far, so we turned around only to find out that that was indeed the place. We had to say a phrase in Australian (more like Romanian) accent and then get our picture with the truck.

Noosa - delicious aussie yoghurt

Noosa – delicious aussie yoghurt

And here is a slightly blurry picture of the jerk who mislead us! I am not sure what he wanted to accomplish, since it was obvious that given our youth and ability to run we would be able to finish ahead of them (close to 2hrs too!!!). If you know him, please tell him to be ashamed of what he did!

unprofessional racer

unprofessional racer

Afterwards, we went east to a comic book store to pick up sunglasses to sell for charity. Again, my least favorite part of the race. The people we asked were at least nice and talked to us, but still they didn’t want to pay $10 for a pair of orange sunglasses from two sweaty racers! On the way, we took more pictures for our target and bonus clues.

chopsticks!

chopsticks!

Another bonus word was fun:

FUN!

FUN!

While Kyle was chasing a red prius cab, I noticed one parked on the other side of the street. Much easier to photograph, and another word ‘red hybrid’ done from our target clue.

red hybrid

red hybrid

We also stopped at Walgreens to take a picture with some sun tan lotion, which was another bonus word.

sun tan lotion

sun tan lotion

Our last clue location in the Belmont area was Argo Tea. An employee was nice enough to take our picture:

Argo Tea

Argo Tea

We sprinted back to Belmont, but did stop to take a picture with an American flag and our target clue was complete!!!

the American Flag

the American Flag

At Belmont, we took the train south to Sedgwick where we ran to North and Wells to complete two more clues: Red Orchid Theatre and Treasure Island. Funny story: the TI clue was about a bunch of actors playing some roles and I figured it might be the Second City theater, I was wrong, but the location was spot on, as Second City is right across from TI! πŸ™‚

Red Orchid Theatre

Red Orchid Theatre

The Treasure Island picture was really hard to get, but we got ours to count!

Treasure Island

Treasure Island

Sprinted back, but missed the train by 10-20 seconds 😦 At least it gave us time to take another bonus picture with ‘help’. On our way out of the station I noticed a CTA trashcan and despite having most of the letters washed out, I knew it spelled ‘please help keep the CTA clean’…I know, it’s sad, I spend way too much time on the CTA. On the northbound platform they had a newer trashcan and got to take our picture. This made the guy at the photo check point chuckle πŸ™‚

Help

Help

On the train, we took a picture with ‘friends’ just in case the fun in funday didn’t count. Kyle’s eye creeps me out, but all worth it for 5 more minutes of bonus time πŸ™‚

IMG_0324We took the train to Armitage and then run first to the Camelot Children’s store where a shop employee took our picture with their business card:

Camelot

Camelot

then to the Halsted Harp where some nice strangers took our picture:

Halsted Harp

Halsted Harp

We chose against taking the train, and run all the way to the finish line. It got hot and we were out of breath by the time we made it, but it was all worth it, as we finished SECOND!!! All our creepy pictures got approved and then we just hung out at Mickey’s until the awards ceremony. We enjoyed a nice champagne heavy mimosa and lots of water while waiting:

celebratory mimosa

celebratory mimosa

Overall, a very nice race despite the AT&T hiccup and the old man…and my first time ever winning anything at a race!!! very excited about it πŸ™‚

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4 Responses to Chicago City Solve Urban Race

  1. SECOND! Congratulations!! I am so proud and pleased πŸ™‚ This sounds like lots of fun! Though it’s too bad they still made you sell something. And that guy tried to tell you that you didn’t have the right ice cream truck? Seriously, bro. Be a team player.

    Woohooo! You win!

  2. Pingback: The Windy Kitchen has Moved West! | the windy kitchen

  3. Pingback: Great Urban Race National Championship, San Juan, Puerto Rico | the windy kitchen

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