How to Become an Urban Adventure Racer
If you’re bored of road racing, there are plenty of alternatives. If you’re into getting covered in mud or electrocuted, perhaps Tough Mudder, or Dirty Girl is for you. If you’d rather try flexing your intellectual muscles while you run through charming city neighborhoods, perhaps an Urban Adventure race is just the thing.
Minneapolis has already hosted the Great Urban Race in June, and is set to host four more in the coming months. The basic premise is to hunt down a bunch of clues and be the first one back to home base. On August 10th, The North Loop is getting a home grown urban adventure race of our own – the TC Urban Dash.
Urban Racing in the North Loop
The North Loop is hot! According to Downtown Resource Group “The North Loop has seen more development than any other part of Minneapolis in the past decade.” What was once home to a bustling commercial and industrial area, now sees quaint restaurants, chic boutiques, dive bars, condos and almost a Whole Foods.
The neighborhood is gearing up to host the first ever North Loop Fest. This event is “celebrating the residents, businesses & lifestyle of the North Loop!” A perfect backdrop to debut the TC Urban Dash.
What is the TC Urban Dash?
Your first step in becoming an urban adventure racer is to sign up for the Twin Cities in Motion, TC Urban Dash. This race will add something unique to TCM’s race catalogue. “The TC Urban Dash balances physical activity with a mental component where you must decipher puzzles, find hidden checkpoints, sprint on urban trails, and complete a cluesheet to make it to the end.”
In teams of two or four, you’ll traverse the North Loop, finding clues that will lead you to “hotspots”. At each location, you’ll collect points that contribute to your total. The race distance is estimated at 4 – 6 miles.
TCM’s Executive Director, Virginia Brophy Achman said,
Runners are eager for new ways to compete at the sport they love, and an urban adventure like the TC Urban Dash gives them a new, fun, and social way to be active in Minneapolis.
All participants receive NEOPOP FITSOKs, GU energy gel, a Soleus Dash running watch, entry into the North Loop Fest, a free beer at the Post Race Party. The winning teams get guaranteed entry into the Medtronic TC 10 Mile.
Tips for Success
You don’t necessarily have to be the fastest team to win. You just need to be the smartest. Here are a few tips to give you an advantage.
- Familiarize yourself with the area. The North Loop is bordered by Hennepin Ave on the southeast, Plymouth Ave in the north, the 4th street freeway entrance/exit in the southwest, and the Mississippi River in the northeast. Spend some time running up and down the streets to get a feel for the area.
- Pay attention to landmarks. The North Loop is a cornucopia of brand new apartments buildings, 100+ year old warehouses, parking lots, the Federal reserve and a mix of other wacky stuff.
- Use Technology. It’s unclear if you’ll be allowed to use smartphones. If not, get some google map images of the area and study them.
- Know Your History. Most likely, the clues will be some form of trivia and visual identification. Spend some time surfing whatever sites you can find that has information about the history of the North Loop.