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I Adventure Ran

The past week, I have had a couple of opportunities to do things I loved as a kid, and never thought I’d get a chance to do as an adult. I am really just a gigantic child at heart. I can’t help myself, and I don’t want to!

Yesterday afternoon, I got to play in a ball pit in the middle of a museum, in the middle of DC. A BALL PIT! Can you believe that? It was freakin’ awesome! On Friday, I had my own Carrie Bradshaw moment during perhaps the greatest yoga class I’ve ever taken.

On Thursday evening, I got a chance to participate in a scavenger hunt called The Adventure Run. It’s hosted by Road Runner Sports, and my local store hosts one on the first Thursday of every month in the summer. I ran with a group of friends, got my sweat on, and got to try all kinds of goodies in the process. I’d call that a win-win-win!

Before the race officially starts, there is a sort of mini expo that is set up for all of the participants. Thursday’s expo featured products to sample from Honey Stinger, Asics, Zensah, and The Great Harvest Bread Company. I was super excited about trying out the Honey Stinger products because, duh, they are super delicious! I “tried” the Lime-Ade Energy Chews which are probably my favorite energy chews at the moment; I sampled three different pieces of the scrumptious Organic Waffles, and decided that the Lemon Waffle is my favorite flavor (I tried gingersnap, honey, and lemon); and got to sample the orange chews. My co-worker Bertha hadn’t tried any of the flavors before, and she loved them too! We collected our raffle tickets for sampling, which we would use later in the evening, and headed over to the next table.

I had never tried compression sleeves before, and was curious about how they worked in comparison to compression socks, of which I own several pairs. I thought that we just had an opportunity to try on the Zensah compression sleeves at the table, but we actually got to run in them during the Adventure Run! I swapped out my car key in exchange for a pair of compression sleeves, got measured for size, and pulled on some funky, tie-dye printed sleeves.

Next, my friend Liz told us that we had to try this bread from The Great Harvest. We tried this truly delicious bread that had cranberries and white chocolate in it. YUM! Finally, we started to make our way over to the Asics booth, but we were too late – the big map was about to be revealed! Had we made it to the table in time, we would have been able to swap out our shoes for some Asics running shoes to try out. What a cool opportunity! Maybe next time?

The big map reveal was pretty dramatic. Essentially, one of the Road Runner employees pulls down the map in front of the store window. Everyone runs over and starts snapping pictures. Basically, the picture you snap is your guide for the Adventure Run. There were a few volunteer tour guides with maps, but if you wanted to run on your own, you had to get a good shot of your map, and try to remember where everything was so that you wouldn’t have to reference the map often.

There were 11 different locations we could visit to collect tickets to be used in the mega raffle after the run. We had one hour to do it, and didn’t really know what was in store for each location.

Our strategy was to run to the furthest point (we were informed that was Palm Beach Tan), and then head back. My friend Liz and her friend Liz (not a typo) had done another Adventure Run, and said that it made the most sense to run to the furthest away point because everyone else would be at the closest point. One of the funniest things that happened the whole evening was when, after we started running, Bertha said, “wait! We’re running?”

Palm Beach Tan was a mile away, but we actually ended up stopping into Sport & Health first, since we had to pass it, and nobody else appeared to have run in that direction. When we got inside, I spotted Sarah from the Fluidity Barre classes, and we waved and said hello. The woman at the desk informed us that we had to run all the way to the top of the gym (3 floors) to find out how to earn our raffle tickets. The trainer at the top had no idea what we were supposed to do next, and someone suggested that we run back down to the lobby. Apparently, running all the way to the top and back was the challenge. “I should make you guys do 30 burpees,” the lady at the lobby said. Bertha and I had bug eyes at this point. Oh, heck no! We gathered our tickets, and then made our biggest mistake of the evening: following this tour guide who had caught up to us. This guy ran way too fast for me! I can hardly even try to keep up with Liz, let alone some guy who can run at lightning speed!

We ran to Palm Beach Tan next, did some jumping jacks, earned some tickets, wristbands, and coupons, and went on our merry way. This was where things got a little hairy. The fast people in our group split off, and our group became splintered. Bertha and I stuck together, and visited 5 more places. At this point, we were running out of time, and went back to the store. We traded in our compression sleeves, organized our tickets, and popped our duplicate tickets into the bin for the raffle.

The store was PACKED, and it was so loud from all of the excited runners. We ended up running about a 5k in total, and were hot and ready to win some gear! The Road Runner staff handed out all kinds of goodies, including some Honey Stinger gels and waffles (I’m convinced the waffle guy intentionally skipped our group in order to prevent being mauled), and everyone waited excitedly for their numbers to be called.

Unfortunately, the only winner from our group was Liz’s Liz. She won some free tans from Palm Beach Tan. The groups around us, however, were BIG winners! One lady sitting behind me won THREE TIMES! It was nuts! The group on the other side of us was made up of three runners, and each of them won a free pair of running shoes. That is cray cray!

I figured out the strategy to collect the most tickets and increase your chances of winning, but it won’t come in handy for me this year. (October is the last run, and it is the night before my Ragnar race, so I can’t participate.) Because I like all of you, I’ll let you in on what I discovered. The key is to buy an Adventure Run shirt, since you get double the tickets at each stop. Additionally, you should purchase some gear either before the run, or immediately after the run, before the raffle begins. The tickets you get for your store purchases are put in a separate bin, and you end up increasing the probability of winning because there are less tickets in that bin. Yeah, I know. I’m a nerd. But you know what? Being a nerd isn’t a bad thing when it helps you beat out the competition!

Hopefully Road Runner hosts Adventure Runs again next year. I had a BLAST! While I’m a sore loser this time around (though, I did clap for the winners), I can prepare myself for next year! I hope they pick a different color shirt for next year. (This year’s was bright orange.) I vote for lime green, yellow, or turquoise. What’s that? Nobody asked me? Fair point, reader. Fair point!

Have you felt like a kid again lately? What’s something you used to do as a kid that’s frowned upon now, but you would totally do if given the opportunity? Are you a sore loser if you don’t win a raffle where 20 other people win? What have you been up to this weekend?

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