- George Bernard Shaw
I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason. So when we went to sign up this past summer for the 2008 Men's Health Urbanathlon in NYC, to take place on Saturday, September 27, and we found out the race had already filled up, we weren't too distressed.
So we just went ahead and signed up for the one in Chicago, to take place three weeks later on Saturday, October 18, in colder weather and approximately three miles longer. I admit, even after we signed up and secured our spots, the idea of a longer race in a city we'd never been in, still lacking airplane tickets and hotel reservations, did seem daunting. Plus, we had yet to really start training.
Well...we did it. And it was truly an awesome experience =)
The race turned out to be approximately 11 miles, give or take, and it was a total blast. In addition to the running, we had to tackle obstacles (hence the name, Urbanathlon), including jersey barricades, culvert crawls, marine hurdles, cargo net crawls, monkey bars, taxi hurdles, a stadium climb, and a rope wall from where you launch yourself, in less than graceful form, to the finish line.
As you can see from the pictures in the following links, Alex and I have two very different running styles. His is more serious, whereas I take the more lighthearted, if-I-don't-stop-smiling-maybe-I'll-finish-quicker approach.
In the race itself, we saw a good stretch of the city, including Navy Pier, Soldier Field (I'll never look at football stadiums the same way again), Grant Park, museums, aquariums, buildings, buildings, and more buildings. When not racing, we checked out the downtown area, went up Sears Tower, declared a restaurant our favorite in Chicago (the Exchequer Restaurant & Pub), ate Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, rode in an old-school elevator, and even slept in a park next to two giant Native Americans on horses.
And we did it all in three days. Pretty awesome =)
What about next year? Well, as much as we loved Chicago, we would like to get back to our roots and do the Urbanathlon again in NYC.
So that just leaves the question - who's up for joining us?