I didn't know about this event until a week before, so didn't have time to prep much. Really, all I needed to do was purchase a decent pair of shoes and make a few disguises, but alas...
The game began at 7:00pm at the foot of Market Street. There was a good party atmosphere, with everyone signing up and receiving a Runner's blue ribbon and a map with the seven destinations and clues on who to look for at each destination. It was a nice crowd, about 60 people total. I was there with two friends, Ronzer and Mike. We named our team The Not Zombies.
At 7:30pm we were off! Almost everyone ran like hell through stopped traffic to a nearby bus stop to try and understand who were friends and who were Chasers. The first destination was Coit Tower, at the top of Telegraph Hill. Most people decided to run (it's only a mile) while others (including The Not Zombies) waited for the F trolley and then took the steep
climb up the hill.
Once we got to the bottom of Telegraph hill a funny thing happened, a bunch of Runners went for the Filbert Street Steps instead of the Greenwich Street Steps. The entire length of the Greenwich Steps was a safe zone, but the Filbert Steps was open country. I'm not sure what happened to the others, but
we never saw them again!!!
It must have been a bloodbath...
At the top of Telegraph Hill we spotted the last bus of the night getting ready to leave. I kept it from taking off by chatting up the driver while my teammates ran around looking for Ian's mom to sign their maps. (Ian, you gotta nice mom!) Once they had it, I was able to grab her signature while Ronzer and Mike held the bus. The driver was pretty cool about it, thought we were funny. (Funny ha ha or funny odd, I'm not sure...)
At our second destination we came across "Good Ol' What's His Name With The Red Hair" who bestowed upon us a Powerful Object. Oh Yeah! The Powerful Object allowed us to ward off one Chaser each. This was quite a timely gift, for Stockton Street was full of Chasers. To get away we ran like mad down the hill and into the alleys of Chinatown. When we saw the back door of a Chinese restaurant that was open, we ran inside full speed through the bar, into the dining room and out the front door onto Grant Avenue. HA! We were Chaser free!
Our next destination was the Cala Foods Supermarket. When we got off the bus on Sacramento Street, we were immediately spotted by Ian, who was about a block away. He started riding his bike up the hill towards us, so we jumped right back on the bus. With that, Ian turned around and made his way back down the hill to cut us off at the next bus stop. It took some real heartfelt pleading, but we were able to convince the diver to let us off mid-block. She was concerned that we were members of some Blue Ribbon gang, but let us off anyway. Despite being on a bike, Ian never caught us, it was a good fake-out! HA!
We made it into Cala Food with only one more Chaser incident and began looking for the Morton Salt Girl. Yeah Morton Salt Girl! You rock! When it rains, it pours! From there we slipped into the storage area in the back of the market, searching for a back door. I think we would have found it if we didn't make that wrong turn into the walk-in freezer. Some Cala Food worker was in there and he kicked us out. Bummer...
Our next four destinations were just as harrowing, but we were getting better at the game. Japan Town was swarming with Chasers, so we cut though the J-Town garage, sprinted across six lanes of Geary and hoped the fence of the housing complex across the way. In retrospect, it was probably a bit much, but we were determined NOT to get caught.
After our long, out of the way march from Japan Town to California Street we ran into Qarly. This was the SECOND time we randomly bumped into her on a bus during the game. It must have been fate. Qarly was the last survivor of her group, so we were glad to have her join us. This turned out to be a GREAT move, for she concocted a plan in the Presidio that kept us from getting caught.
Of the 60 people who started the game, it seems like only about 12 finished with their blue ribbons on. If that's correct, then 80% of the Runners didn't make it to the end!
It took us three and a half hours to finish the game, hardly a record, but we didn't care, we were still high from all the adrenaline rushing though our brains...
The next day I was really sore! Man, I need a better pair of shoes.
Here is our Journey details:
Bus...Foot..From - To
.........0.10..Start to Embarc/Mkt
0.68...........Embarc/Mkt to Embarc/Battery
.........0.30..Greenwich Steps to Coit Tower
0.62...........Coit Tower to Wash Square
.........0.50..Wash Square to Jackson
.........0.73..Jackson to Sacto/Grant
0.63...........Sacto/Grant to Sacto/Hyde
.........0.34..Sacto/Hyde to Cala to Sut/Hyde
0.64...........Sutter/Hyde to Sutter/JTown
.........1.42.. JTown to Cal/Diviz
0.83...........Cal/Diviz to Cal/Parker
.........0.74..Cal/Parker to Cal/Presidio
0.95...........Cal/Presid to Presid/Letterman
.........2.11..Presidio/Letterman to MacArthur to End!
4,35...........Total miles traveled by bus
.........6.24..Total miles traveled by foot = 10.59 miles total
Now compare our trip with straight path distances:
1.08 Start to Coit Tower
0.82 Coit Tower to Jackson St.
0.77 Jackson St. to Cala Food
0.97 Cala Food to JTown
1.65 JTown to Parker St.
1.52 Parker St. to MacArthur St.
1.28 MacArthur St. to End
8.08 miles total
Info from http://www.walkjogrun.net/
Next time I do this, I'm buying a new pair of shoes, brining a few disguises, a pen flashlight and water. Here's the suggested route, Journey Though The Land of Angry Americans:
Oh, and I still have my Powerful Object, I'll bring that too...