Saturday, June 23, 2012

Loveland's Amazing Race

Day 231
To say it’s not like anything else states the obvious.  When you’re asked to sit on a toilet, wear a plunger as a hat and cheer on your teammate who’s tossing rings at you in a twisted carnival game, you know it isn’t going to be an ordinary day.

Loveland’s Amazing Race is a crazy, mixed-up, outrageous romp of a good time. 

For the second consecutive year, my husband and I partner up as one of only 500 teams to compete in the annual event.  Started by a local family who competed in the television version The Amazing Race, participants try their wits and skills in twenty different obstacles.  It helps to have a good sense of humor. 

We run, walk and bike between each station.  The event lasts upwards of three hours and all profits go towards helping local charities. 

This year, we invite Chaz’ two aunts to join us. 

You can’t ask just anyone to help chase down escaped convicts in the woods or use an industrial strength blower to navigate a basketball through a maze.  Halfway through the race (and about the time they each got a pie in the face after losing a challenge involving a fire hose and a clown), I have to wonder if they question the invitation.  Prize or punishment?  

The race gives one a unique perspective into your partner’s personality.  It's telling to see how someone reacts when they're shooting Angry Birds into a canoe or searching for a stuffed animal in a field while blindfolded.  

At The Dating Game, I answer questions and Chaz guesses my answers.  To the question “What cartoon character would your partner be?” I scribble down Roadrunner.  (He recently completed a 5K training program at a local running shop.) 

“What do you think?” the challenge judge asks turning to my husband.

 “Jughead!” Chaz shouts and the judge barks out a laugh. 

After a float down the Miami River in an inner tube where people in camo shoot at us with super soaker water guns, we run up the hill, discard our floats and hand-in-hand cross the finish line in Nisbett Park. 

The party’s in full swing by the time we arrive.  Friends and family laugh as racers relive the morning’s funnier moments. “Did you drag her or did she drag you?”  “And what is the capital of South Dakota?”  “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy…” 
We rip off of our racing bib tickets for food and drinks and join the crowds.  We lift our beers and clink them together in celebration.  We did it. 

“Next year?” 


We finish our pizza and check our watch.  We don’t want to leave but we have a sitter waiting at home.  Maybe next year with the boys a year older, someone can bring them here to meet us after the race and we can all celebrate together.  But now, we have to go.       

I turn to the racers next to us and hand them our two remaining free beer tickets.  “Good race,” I say and they laugh.  

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