By Maddie DuBray, Catering Sales Manager
On Saturday, April 27th, two of my colleagues (but most of all, my friends) and I competed in the first ever Seattle Urban Trek organized by the Seattle Sports Commission. The Seattle Urban Trek is a team adventure race similar to that of the popular television show “The Amazing Race”. The competition lead us on a scavenger hunt across a 10 mile trek of downtown Seattle’s urban terrain where we would complete a series of check-points ranging in varieties of cognitive and physical challenges. Lorna Stokes, Mark Smith and myself comprised the corporate co-ed team “Try To Catch Some Ray’s” representing Ray’s in the competition against roughly 40 other corporate teams ranging from ROOT Sports to Click 98.9.
We began our morning adventure at Bell Harbor on the Seattle waterfront. After settling in and pumping up for our big morning adventure, each team was given a map of downtown Seattle and the 12 check-points we would have to visit and complete a mystery task at each in order to progress to the finish line back at Bell Harbor. We were given 30 minutes to decide among our teams how we would trek across downtown Seattle, from as far north as the Seattle Center to as far south as Safeco Field, in the shortest amount of time possible.
We had agreed that Lorna and Mark would be the brawn of this operation, leaving me to be the brains, which all kidding aside, came in handy when finding the shortest and easiest route through the evil hills of downtown Seattle. Okay, maybe I’m kidding a little bit; sorry team!
All of the teams congregated at the start where we were first challenged by having to exchange one shoe each and then separate to different starting points. The starting buzzer blared and we took off north towards our first checkpoint at the Olympic Sculpture Garden where we were instructed to draw a landscape portrait of the waterfront. Easy in and out and on to our next adventure!
We were welcomed at the Space Needle by some of our nation’s finest military soldiers where we had to answer four questions about the Space Needle – I bet most of you couldn’t tell us how many lighting rods are affixed at the top! Fourteen, a bit excessive if you ask me, but anyway…
Following our questions, we had to complete 15 jumping jacks and then we were off running to Nordstrom at 5th and Pine where we were instructed to find the color of the Brooks running shoe that was in one of the display cases. Mark and Lorna broke off running the perimeter of the building and I stayed watch, lucky for me, as Lorna ended up bolting through the entire interior of the store until we all met up again.
Then it was break time at the closet shop that sold bottled water. That was a heavy start! Then we were on to the Washington Convention Center where we got quite the surprise, as we were told we would have to trek up to the top of Capitol Hill at Pike and Broadway and get a picture of our team with the statue of Jimi Hendrix that resides there.
That trek nearly wiped us and many of our competitors out. The hill up definitely added some definition to our gluteal area! Then it was back downtown to the Washington Athletic Club, then to the Seattle Public Library where Lorna and I had to reenact a scene from the movie “Jerry McGuire”. “SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!” we screamed at the top of our lungs.
It seemed like the physically hard part was done, at least we hoped, as it was downhill from there to a shady alleyway in Pioneer Square to complete a poem about with magnetic words on an electrical box. Check!
Then off to SafeCo Field, the farthest south we’d have to run. The finish line was coming closer and closer, but we still had four check-points left! We made a sweep through our check-points on the waterfront. First at Argosy Cruises where one of the boat hands showed us how to tie a running bowline knot; all three of us had to successfully master the knot before we could move on. Honestly, this was the hardest checkpoint. It took us at least 10 minutes for all of us to complete it but, to Mark’s credit, he finished way before Lorna and I, but that’s because I hear he wears awesome pants.
We finally finished and bolted to the Great Wheel for a fun golfing and team adventure. Next we were off to the Seattle Aquarium to answer an extensive quiz about the marine life in the Puget Sound. Can you tell us what type of rockfish lives in the sound and what color it is? Yeah, we couldn’t either. Thank goodness for Google!
The end of the competition was near and all we had left was Pike Place Market. Sweet, we thought, take the elevator! So we hopped on the elevator and made our way through the hustle and bustle of the Market when we reached our check-point where we were told we had to count the number of Seattleites between the fish throwing and the Pig statue on Elliot. Seattleites? What are these people talking about, are they crazy? Well, we were the first group to FINALLY figure it out. If I remember correctly, 12 is the answer. Can you figure out what they are? Look around next time you’re at the Market and see!
Then we rushed down the Harbor Steps back to the waterfront when two teams started edging up on us and it was on. Mark had it in him to jet towards the finish line but it took all we could muster for Lorna and I to catch Mark and in turn beat Taos Trio by 13.1 seconds!
“Try to Catch Some Ray’s” finished 17 out of 40 teams in 2 hours, 31 minutes and 22.8 seconds; it was close, but we did it! This was an amazing event full of great teams and remarkable sportsmanship. People from organizations all across Seattle competed, but most of all, cheered one another on straight to the finish line.
We may not have won a big, shiny medal, but we had an incredible time together and got to see and experience much of Seattle we might not have ever gone out and explored on a typical day downtown. I hope that we have started a tradition that will continue on with or without the three of us. Teamwork is a valuable stepping stone in the journey of success and this was a great exercise to bond companies and employees in a fun and challenging extracurricular activity. Each one of us brought our own strengths to the team and we had to band together to get to the finish line.
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” ― Phil Jackson. Or as I like to say, “Teamwork makes the dream work!” Until next year…