On Saturday, June 19, 2010 I competed in the 2010 Mitsubishi City Chase. Dubbed 'the world's largest urban adventure', this event saw 600 teams run in a massive scavenger hunt through the city, completing challenges, answering trivia questions, and having a wonderfully exciting day.
1. Have a competent HQ: Most teams have at least one person available to contact by phone to google clues and do some problem solving. Make sure they know a) the city well, b) how to use the internet, c) how to use cell phones (send text messages, receive picture messages). Ryan (my partner) and I simply took a picture of our clue sheet, emailed it to HQ, and had them send back the answers and directions.
2. Get a big map: We naively thought City Chase would only occupy the downtown core. WRONG. Far corners of the city were used... unfortunately we didn't have a map to capture that. Our downfall may have been because of this. By seeing where Chase Points clustered, we could have avoided isolated points in favor of better, strategic locations.
3. Pack light: It appeared that the more experienced the City Chaser, the lighter the knapsack. A team who had won the year before only had fanny packs to hold their things. The backpack became seriously heavy as the day went on. Pin your bus pass to your shirt to avoid hassle. Have water, ID, cell phone, map, pens, and extra paper.
Ran from Nathan Phillips square to Spadina, where we took a street car south to Queen's Quay. Chase Point #1 (Breakdancing) and #2 (Kayaking) were down here. Caught a streetcar east to Union Station, and then ran to #3 St. Lawrence Market (Walkie-Talkie mini hunt). Ran up to Church and Adelaide to #4 (Hair Salon Braiding), then made our way over to Queen Station to go north. Got off at Bloor and visited #5 (FIFA trivia), then took the subway east to the Danforth. Got off at Pape and went to the park for #6 (Strip Jenga) and #7 (Lacross Skills). Ran back onto the Danforth for Chase Point #8 (Tie a Bow-Tie) and #9 (Unchain Combination Lock). Got back on the Subway heading west and got off at Bloor. Previously busy Jack Astors was now empty so we completed #10 (Bartending Pour) and Went into Yorkville for #11 (Shed a tear). Ran back to Bloor subway and headed north to St. Clair. At Goodlife we completed #12 (Burn off your favourite chocolate bar) and ran a shortcut to the park to do #13 (Boot Camp) and #14 (Ball in head-bucket). Ran back to the subway and went north to Davisville to complete #15 (Video scavenger hunt). Ran back to subway and went north to Eglinton to complete #16 (Comedy Club). Hopped back on to the subway with an hour left in the race, went south to Bloor and west to Dufferin, where we completed #17 (Push a car in neutral). With 25 minutes left in the race we ran back to the subway, headed east to St. George, and south to Osgoode. Ran to the finish line with a time of 5:53:00. At this time they told us we had the most Chase Points of anyone (YAY). Unfortunately, with 2 minutes left to spare, a couple of guys crossed the finish line with 21 Chase Points. That was a bit of a bummer.
Overall it was a great race, and I recommend it to all! I will be doing it again next time I am in Toronto. Only next time, I plan on winning. YEEHAAAW