Amazing Race – Toronto Style

Discussion in 'Photojournalism & Sports Gallery' started by Antarctican, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. Antarctican

    Antarctican TPF Noob!

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    On Saturday I was one of more than 800 participants in a Toronto charity fundraising event called “City Chase” (subnamed “The World’s Largest Urban Adventure Race”), which resembles the television show The Amazing Race. The two-person teams are required to obtain stamps at 10 of 18 checkpoints scattered throughout the City within a maximum 6 hour period. To earn each stamp, you have to locate the checkpoint from the scant information provided, get there on foot or by public transit, then pass the physical, mental or ‘adventurous’ challenge associated with that location. You’re allowed to contact family and friends for help with locations etc., and the team members have to be within 50 feet of each other at all times. The first team to get 10 stamps and get back to the finish line wins. Most teams, including mine, were in it for the fun. In Canada the event is held in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax. In the three years since its inception, it has been so popular that it has now spread to the US, Australia, Hong Kong, London (coming up on September 16th) and Paris. My teammate was Linda, a doctor who lives nearby and is a jogging buddy. Our team was called The Penguin Chicks (that's me on the right). :mrgreen:

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    What are some of the tasks? Well, you don’t really know until you arrive at the checkpoint. We knew going into it that tasks from the other Canadian locations included: riding a mechanical bull, diving for stuff at the bottom of a pool, indoor rock climbing, drag karaoke, pulling rickshaws to raise $20 for the charity, canoeing, completing a scavenger hunt, answering trivia, eating/drinking something gross (like a live worm, or a wasabi beverage), playing underwater hockey etc. If you don’t like the task, you can pass on it and move on to the next location.

    So turning to Saturday's event, it started at 10 a.m. but you have to be at the starting area beforehand to hear the introductory remarks (because there’s usually the answer to one of the compulsory trivia questions hidden in there). They asked for 2 teams to volunteer to go up on the stage but I knew better than to do that. Each team had to pick one envelope, knowing that one had something good inside and one had something bad. The first team’s envelope had a $100 gift certificate. The other team, comprised of two girls, were told that they currently had 4 eyebrows between them and they’d have to reduce it to three. They were good sports about it and opted to each shave ½ of one eyebrow:

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    Right at 10 a.m. they announced the location of where you go to pick up the sheet with the list of 18 checkpoint locations, and 800 people go running off to get there (about 2 blocks away). Once you have the sheet, you contact friends to help nail down the named locations (usually just the name of a business or a park) so you can plot them on a map and decide your route. There is one compulsory section, which for this event consisted of trivia and picture puzzles that represent a phrase (eg. “VAD ERS” is ‘Space Invaders’, “nowHEre” is ‘he came out of nowhere’ etc.)

    We chose as our first destination the Toronto School of Art for a checkpoint called “Seriously Folks”. We had to do a charcoal sketch of a live nude model, using shadows and incorporating background elements, to be judged by one of the instructors. To my surprise it was a male model. :blushing: (Focus Anty, focus.) Photography wasn’t allowed at that stop, sorry!

    Next up was “Roll Up Your Sleeves” at a certain intersection. I had to squeegee windows to raise $20 (you can’t use your own money or ask passersby) while Linda held up a sign saying the money goes to the Children’s Wish Foundation. It didn’t take too long, but it was amazing how many people wouldn’t even make eye contact with you when you approached their car, or would virtually run the light to avoid you.

    Next up was “En Garde” at a high school. As its name suggests, it was a fencing task. What a hoot…when am I ever gonna have a chance again to fence with an epee? We were kitted out with the white jacket and metal helmet, and fenced against the instructors from a fencing club, scoring points for style and the number of ‘hits’ we could get anywhere above the waist. And they weren’t just letting us hit them…it was tricky, they were very fast at blocking shots, and you had to fake them out to get a hit. Here are some pics of the Penguin Chicks at that checkpoint:

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    From there we went to the Bell (telephone) store in a mall where we were given the loan of a camera phone with which to take pictures of 4 of 6 of the following items: someone with a french braid, a non-participant wearing socks with sandals, a person in a swing, a personalized license plate, a non-participant wearing braces on their teeth, and someone in a bed. Every kid in that mall must’ve been asked 20 times if they had braces [​IMG]

    Our next checkpoint was ‘Croquet at Night’: one person was blindfolded, and the other had to stand in one spot (inside a hula hoop) and direct their team member as they tried to navigate the 100 feet from the start area to the croquet wicket, around trees and other players. We hit that checkpoint at a busy time, so there were 10 people all yelling instructions to their blindfolded partner. I was the yeller (go figure) and my teammate Linda did a bang-up job of following my voice/directions to get through the course fairly quickly. These pics, of other players, gives you an idea of the task:

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    Next up was an adventure travel company, where the sheet said “Food Pong”. We assumed we’d have to eat something gross, but instead you had to bounce a pingpong ball onto a table filled with different coloured cups and depending on which colour cup it landed in, it would decide if you had to eat a peach, a cob of corn, or a piece of gum. With your teammate. Without using your hands. We got a peach. A bunch of other teams waiting to play decided to try to make us laugh, because if we dropped the peach we’d have to start again. I was laughing, but managed to hold on. You can imagine how this looked to passersby, and apparently several two-man teams refused to do it and instead went to another checkpoint:

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    Our eighth stamp was obtained at the museum, where we had to assemble a 3D puzzle of a dinosaur. That was pretty quick and easy.

    Our second last task was at the train station and was called “Prison Break”. One person was chained to a bench and had to sing “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” over and over while their partner was directed to a nearby payphone. At the payphone they had to dial a number, to get math tasks that had to be correctly worked out to give them numbers, which formed in random order the combination of the lock. Linda didn’t want to sing, so I got chained to the bench. I felt sorry for the judges at that spot, having to listen to bad singers sing the same song over and over for 6 hours!

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    The last checkpoint we chose was to go to a local greenhouse. Once there we reached into a bin and pulled out a photo of a plant. We then had to go through the greenhouse to find that particular plant and write down the scientific name for it (which was posted beside the plant once you located it). Having got our ten stamps, we raced back to the finish line, happy that we’d completed the course. Mind you, we were well behind the winners.

    Afterwards there’s a big party at a local drinking establishment called Philthy McNasty’s. In speaking with other players we heard of other tasks at other checkpoints: having to switch clothes with each other in a small tent, pull a rickshaw with 2 people in it for about 1 km, do indoor rowing for 5000 meters, paddle across a pool while balanced in a tippy plastic saucer, make a one-second animated film at the National Film Board (ie do about 10 drawings which are filmed and sped up), saw through a 2 x 4, etc.

    (If you read through this whole thing, thanks for your time!)
     
  2. lostprophet

    lostprophet No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's official, Antarctican is insane :lol:



    Yeah right you CHOOSE that one by accident, I bet that was the only reason you entered :lol:


    But on the plus side it looks like we have the offical TPF London Meetup singer.



    Well its looks like you had a better saturday then me
     
  3. inneist

    inneist TPF Noob!

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    Hi, I have gone through your article. Good writing, and clean photos. The only suggestion is the font size should be increased. :)
     
  4. Antarctican

    Antarctican TPF Noob!

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    No! Really, we don't know 'til we arrive at the checkpoint what it is we'll have to do. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it! :blushing: )

    Ummm, I was one of the 'bad singers' referred to. Trust me, you doooooon't wanna hear me sing. :( Ever.

    Something is wonky with the font...I tried to have it uniform throughout, and it shows it in the editing box as uniform throughout, but when it appears on the board some paragraphs have the large font and some don't. Tried again to fix it after reading your comment and it still won't change. Sorry!
     
  5. lostprophet

    lostprophet No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    so tell me what was your favorite task?
     
  6. Antarctican

    Antarctican TPF Noob!

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    Well, that would be a tossup between the two involving, umm, swords.

    (You just HAD to ask, didn't ya??? Couldn't let me preserve the facade of being a sweet little Canuck??)
    [​IMG]
     
  7. lostprophet

    lostprophet No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    hahahaha youve a dirty mind
     
  8. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    thats cool anty..... we never get stuff like that happening over here..... not that id take part..... im a party pooper :mrgreen: ....... na, id consider it for charity ;) ...... so i wanna know.... how far would anty go?!..... would you loose an eyebrow for charity?!...... if you say no your a mean person :mrgreen: (j/k)
     
  9. Antarctican

    Antarctican TPF Noob!

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    I'd probably have a hard time parting with a whole eyebrow. Doesn't make me mean...I'd donate money instead! :eyebrows:

    London has one of these happening on September 16th...!! (Yeah, I know, you'll wait 'til there's one in Plymouth.) :greenpbl:

    Re 'how far will one go', my teammate is a lot shyer than I am, so i was the one who had to approach strangers to ask them to pose for the picture tasks, and i did the squeegee-ing etc. The scavenger hunt items from the June running of this event were even more 'out there', like bring a non-participant wearing tighty-whities up to the judging stage, and someone wearing cutoff denim shorts, get a picture of a guy wearing a dress (I convinced a store clerk to do that one :blushing: ).
     
  10. JTHphoto

    JTHphoto TPF Noob!

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    that sounds like fun anty, looks like you had a great time.

    I participated in somethine similar here, but not on such a huge scale. A friend was REALLY into "The Amazing Race" and set one up for a saturday afternoon/evening, donating all the prizes himself. i think we had about 10 teams of 4 people each. We had to knock over so many pins (a lot) at a bowling alley, then race off to a cornfield maze, and confirm the pictographs at each checkpoint. We also had to answer trivia and brain-teaser questions to progress. Finally we had to accumulate enough prize tickets at a local arcade to win one of those big prize teddy bears in order to complete the race at a downtown restaurant where everybody was meeting for dinner. We came in dead last, but it was still fun.
     
  11. Antarctican

    Antarctican TPF Noob!

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    ^^^ JTH, that sounds like a great race, and how awesome that your friend set it up!!! It really is a ton of fun to do one of these.
     

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