Thursday, September 10, 2015

Road Runner Sports Adventure Run

As I mentioned in my training re-cap, last Thursday I participated in an Adventure Run at the Road Runner Sports store in Rockville.  You guys, this was so much fun! There are a lot of details but I'll do my best to recap the evening.

First of all, what is an adventure run?  Here is the description from the website: 

Rockville Road Runner Sports Adventure Run is a fun, 60-minute scavenger run filled with hundreds of friends, giveaways, raffle prizes, and music. It’s awesome.  The idea is you run to fun checkpoints near your Rockville Road Runner Sports store to grab as many free raffle tickets as you can. The more checkpoints you get to, the more chances you’ll have to win over $3,000 in gift certificates and prizes. Did we mention it’s FREE?

Now, logistics.  It is the first Thursday of the month and the running starts at 6:30 but the registering, sign in, and sponsor booths start at 5:30. There is no parking at the store.  I had my husband drop me off and pick me up so I'm not sure how smooth or not the parking was but no one seemed to be complaining. It was at a nearby parking garage and it was still free.  Speaking of free, the whole event is free!  That's right, no need to pay for anything if you don't want to.

We got there around 5:45 and there weren't a lot of people there yet.  We had registered in advance (I highly recommend this as it gets you more raffle tickets and the map emailed to you at 6:30) so we went inside to pick up our stuff.  They had a list with the names of people who had pre-registered so we got checked off the list and handed a ziplock bag with raffle tickets.  We also got extra raffle tickets for dressing in theme.  It was the 80's for this month so I pulled out the leg warmers and rocked the side ponytail :) If you wore an Adventure Run shirt, all your raffle tickets are doubled.  I might have to do this next time.

Next, we went outside to check out the sponsor tents.  Asics and Zensah were there and they were even letting people try using their products during the run.  You just had to leave them your license or some other form of collateral.  There was also a bakery with delicious bread samples, some honey stinger samples, another food company with some granola samples, a company with foam rollers and sticks that you could try out, etc.  Each tent you stopped at got you more raffle tickets.

So at 6:30, the map was revealed.  The map was pretty hard to read but they listed the stops with addresses as well as how far they were and how many tickets you got at that stop.

In addition, you were emailed a link to the map if you registered in advance.  This map was interactive on your smart phone and really helpful.  It was also announced that there was a secret stop which wasn't on the map.  You could check the store's facebook page for the secret stop to get those additional raffle tickets.

If you weren't familiar with the area, they also had 2 runners serving as guides and you could just follow them.  We weren't sure what pace they were going to be running at and we were reasonably familiar with the area so we decided to hack it on our own.

The stops ranged from right across the street to a mile away.  We decided on a rough course that was a loop where we could hit some stops on the way out and some on the way back.  We went to the first stop, right across the street, which was Qdoba.  The "challenge" there was to try one of their chips and salsa.  Challenge accepted!  We did that, got our ticket, and were on our way.  Next time, I think I would save the closer ones for last since this one was super crowded.

Next, we went one strip mall down and hit a bakery that was one of the stops.  After that, we ran several blocks (I think we hit the 1 mile mark during this run portion) to a Sport and Health.  The challenge here was running up 3 flights of stairs and pushing a heavy sleigh out and back on their balcony and then running back down the stairs.  Ugh.  But we did it!

After that, we hit the secret spot.  It was a little hard to find since it wasn't on the map but it was in a park and we found the Asics rep there.  We had to tell him two of the Asics models that had been available for trying and we got more raffle tickets.

Next, we ran back up to the main road and to our last stop, Chick Fil A.  We hit the 2 mile mark somewhere during the run to the restaurant.  We had to look a bit to find the person with the raffle tickets here but once we found them, we had to drink a shot of their frosty lemonade.  They also had water we could refill our bottles with, which was nice.  And then we headed back to the store.

We got back to the store at 7:25 which was good timing since everyone had to be back by 7:30 for the raffle. We ran 2.9 miles in the hour but there were obviously lots of stops, not only for the raffle tickets but also for traffic since these were some heavily traveled roads.

Hot and sweaty but happy to be in the air condition!  Once we were back in the store, they had more water for us and everyone got busy separating their raffle tickets to put in the bin.

This portion of the evening felt long to me.  It's weird to complain that they gave out so many raffle prizes, but it took around an hour so it was around 8:30 when they were done with the raffles.  Sadly, neither I nor my friend won anything.  There were a couple people who won 2 or 3 prizes.  Having the Adventure Run shirt definitely helps since that doubles your tickets.  Also, there is a special raffle for people who bought something in the store before the run so that would also help your chances of winning something.    

All in all, this was a really run event and pretty well organized.  My friend and I both left saying we wanted to do this again.  The last one for this year is in October and I got an email saying that you need a light to participate in that one.  That makes sense since it will probable be dark and safety comes first.

This is the first time I've done this type of scavenger hunt.  I was a bit nervous at first since I really didn't know what to expect but I wouldn't hesitate to do something like this in the future.  Have you ever done a scavenger hunt type run?