Urban Dare

Today we ran a race in Miami Beach, it was an incredible day. The weather was slightly too hot for it but we were excited to see how we’d do and if we could keep our cool under pressure. I’m happy to say it worked out.

The race is called Urban Dare. They run these types of races throughout the US and Canada helping raise money for breast cancer research.

After regisetering we were given our shirts and numbers and asked to gather in one spot for the official start.

From here we were directed to the beach to find our list of clues. We had 12 to solve – use of an internet enabled device with camera was highly encouraged.

Clue List

  1. Desi Arnaz launched the famous rumba craze at this hotel in the 1930’s. Take a picture of yourselves with hotel marquee.
  2. Whether it is on the striped, large mouth, small mouth or white variety, find the name of this museum. Locate a race offical in the adjoining park.
  3. First figure out Manhattan’s signature park? Then do a reversal and you will find your next hotel destination.Take a photo of yourselves with the marquee.
  4. This site is where Cassius Clay captured his first heavyweight championship. Find Hall B and take a picture of you and its sign.
  5. Spine, belly band, flap and gutter are parts of this objects structure. Locate the South Beach store that twice has this obhect in its name. Get your picture in front of this storefront.
  6. Locate a five story mural by Nunca depicting a car thru a man’s mouth and another person eating jewels. Take a photo of you and the mural.
  7. This building was designed by architect Thomas W. Lamb and is a jewel of Art Deco architecture. Take a picture of yourselves with the Art Deco facade.
  8. Phoenicopteridae is the creature you seek. Locate a race offical for a task that requires teamwork in a section of this park near where you play basketball.
  9. Get a picture of two non-race competitors reenacting the famous WWII photography by Alfred Eisenstaedt.
  10. This man is ranked #15 on Rolling Stone magazine’s top 100 guitarist of all time in 2003. Find the lounge which bears the name of his band’s 2nd studio album. Take a photo of yourselves in front of this lounge.
  11. “Grande Dame of the Everglades”. Find the park that was named after this lady. Locate a race offical for a hopping good dare.
  12. This 1986 film was directed by David Cronenberg. Get your picture taken in front of this boutique.
  13. Finish — Playwright Irish Pub — Please have passport ready to be stamped.

BONUS: Locate the biggest non-edible apple on Lincoln road for a ten minute bonus.

We got to work at solving – googling key words to try to help us. Every internet search was incredibly slow and we quickly realized that the network was likely overloaded with race-goers. We decided to make a break for the local Starbucks to get onto some wifi.

Our biggest challenge would be finding the locations without having visited Miami before. We had several back-ups in our plan. The map on the phone with locations marked off, the hardcopy map with locations approximated and the clue sheet with addresses and/or intersections. This may have taken more time initially but it certainly came in handy when the phone eventually died. Our strategy: we got our clues solved first and set out running.

Our first stop was the Park Central Hotel eluded to in Question 3.  Our efforts to take a self shot were poorly successful at getting the hotels marquee in it so another team snapped a shot for us which had a finger in the way – sabotage perhaps?

Second stop was to the nearby at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Ocean Beach Park the “Grande Dame of the Everglades” for Question 11. We were set out with the task of skipping 5 jumps in tandem and locating two people to help you spin the rope. We made quick work and with a little luck found a pair of young guys who were happy to help us out. We were in and out within 5 minutes – so quick, we forgot to grab a picture.

We ran to our third stop, by now we’re starting to really feel the heat – with a little luck we found the Abraxas lounge, the namesake of Santana’s 2nd studio album. Question 10 – check.

The next stop was for the five story mural for question 6 – it was quite a ways back around where we started. We had difficulty finding this one. We went up and down the street looking for this mural – as you can see we couldn’t even get a full picture of it as it is hidden behind another large building. When we finally spotted it we couldn’t help but laugh – it turns out we were parked right beside it, we’re such goof-balls.

Wayyy out in the distance we found the Flamingo “Phoenicopteridae” Park mentioned in Question 8. We met the race official who said our task was to wheel barrow one of us for 5 laps around a circular group of cones. In the heat – this task felt just right for me to want to collapse as all the blood rushed to my head. We finished quickly and set off again.

Previously the site of Al Capone’s gambling ring, the Clay Hotel was where Desi Arnaz started the Rumba craze in the thirties. We got a nice lady who thought we were cute to take a picture of us. That’s Question 1.

A bit of a jog later and we hit the next couple of clues. For Question 7 we quickly found the the art deco Lincoln Theatre, brainchild of Thomas W. Lamb, but we had some difficulty getting our shot. There were tons of people around but only two were just standing around. We asked those girls if they could take a picture of us and they actually  declined. After a couple of tries we finally found someone else who helped us out.  Maybe those girls thought we were asking if we could take a picture of them instead of us. Or maybe two really sweaty folks in the same shirt, panting between sentences are not really anyone you’d want to get involved with in Miami? I guess that’s understandable..

The next stop on this crowded square was the Fly Boutique. I’m not sure it was named after the film but Question 12 was clear enough to lead us here.  On to the next!

Our final stop was the Book store filled with spines, belly bands, flaps and gutters described in Question 5. We found some nice people who were interested in what we were doing and happily snapped a picture for us. We were down to 3 more questions.

A bit of a run later and we found the building where a 22 year old Mohammed Ali aka Cassius Clay fought Sonny Liston on February 25, 1964. Exhausted, we eventually located Hall B and managed this self taken shot for Question 4.

Collins Park, adjacent to the Bass Museum was the final place we needed to find. Once there we were given a word and asked to search for the letters and their corresponding numbers throughout the park area. Once we found all the numbers we were to add them up and show the race official. Working well together we managed to get the numbers together quickly – getting the answer right the first time.

Leaving us to down to our last, and perhaps most difficult task – Question 9. Two non race competitors need to reinact this famous picture by Alfred Eisenstaedt.

At first we had difficulty actually finding people. We were in a quiet part of town and needed to get to a crowd. On our way we found what we thought may have been a couple but they spoke poor English and so we didn’t understand eachother – my Spanish is non existant. We continued on heading back to the Lincoln Lane Shopping area for a crowd. We found two people but they were immediately not buying what we were selling – perhaps it was because we had to chase them down?  We had all the elements right, we were looking for a young lovey dovey couple who would most likely be willing to help us out. A quick jog down the lane and we found them. We begged and pleeded and explained our situation and showed them the picture. They obliged and gave us this amazing shot!

We were giddy and raced back to the main road – all we needed now was some luck, and a bus going in our direction. We found it and hopped on for a short ride to the Playwright Irish Pub to make it to the finish line. Arriving there we found many other racers there with beer in hand – it was clear we were far off winning this one. Which we’re ok with.

We had a really good time, and we don’t know where we placed, but it didn’t really matter.  We accomplished what we set out to do – we worked together, saw the city in a short span of time and met some new friends. We enjoyed some dinner after the race with in the good company of other racers and new friends.

After dinner we strolled around the Ocean Drive watching all these guys with their flash cars or motorcycles with the girls on the back wearing nearly nothing. There’s one thing for sure, people watching in Miami Beach and you certainly get your money’s worth.

Once we were back inland we were headed to a Walmart we were at last night. It was early though, and crawling with cops, so we decided we would not risk breaking the “no overnight parking” rule which is posted right next to the sign that basically states that cops have the right to harass you “because they care”. So on our way out I accidentally turned the wrong way on a quiet two lane median road because it looked like a by-way, whoops! hope the cop didn’t catch that one. Andrew swears he never looked up. Then I forgot to turn the van’s lights on realizing once I turned out onto the road. Once we were 200 metres up the road from the parking lot, we were pulled over – the first time this has happened in the van. I refrained from automatically asking why he pulled us over despite my curiosity – we just played nice. It all turned out to be rather odd. He asked for all of our papers, we supplied the licence and insurance and were trying to remember where the registration was. He asked a few questions about where we were from and why we were here and before we could find the registration he got a call on his radio and told us to have a good trip.

We’re still not sure why he pulled us over – perhaps my messy median incident sparked his attention and he could have been checking that we weren’t intoxicated, but usually they ask if we’d had anything to drink. We also thought that he might have been checking seat-belts because we only have lap belts with no visible shoulder straps but it was really too dark to tell we were wearing them. We drove off confused and relieved. What a day.

Thanks Miami – it’s been fun!  (but we’re moving on tomorrow..)