Anyways, so we went there for 12 noon on Saturday, November 20th (arriving late of course :P) and the area was set up very professionally. We were greeted by organizers and had to register (Team Halifax....lame i know) and this is where we received our rules, race shirts, etc. After changing and time to check out the rules, we were gathered as a group and went over all the details with the organizers (AXN TV station). At that time we were then given our first list of tasks...where we had to complete 6 of 7 tasks, with one task that was mandatory for each team.
The rules were pretty simple. You complete a task, get a stamp in your team "Passport" and you move on to the next task of your choosing. IF you do not finish the task in the allotted time, than you incur a penalty/hold of usually 2 minutes. IF YOU WERE SNEAKY AND PLANNED AHEAD, SOME TEAMS ACTUALLY QUIT THE TASK!! This is because the standard 3 minute penalty for quitting the task AND the penalty for not completing in time were less than trying to complete a task + penalty....sneaky buggers.
To begin the race, 1 partner had to pop a balloon, which had a map on the inside showing where the tasks were. Again, they could be done randomly, but the CRANE had to be completed by ALL TEAMS.
Well because I'm an idiot, I didn't look at the paper/map. I was literally the 2nd person out of the group, but then realized it said SORRY TRY AGAIN!! WTF. So I had to scramble back, find a map on the floor and take off with Andy. Luckily we didn't lose much ground because you WERE NOT allowed to run on the stairs/escalators, so we caught right back up.
We decided to do the hardest tasks first and ran directly to them....this really killed us because one of the tasks we planned to do we unknowingly bypassed....which eventually we had to run alll the way back to...then allll the way to the pit stop....literally costing us about 5 minutes easy.
TASK #1 - the first task we completed was where we had to balance a round table top on a stick, using a combination of 8 cups of water and pebbles to balance the table top for 5 seconds on the stick. It was actually quite easy and we did it quickly.
TASK #2 - the second task we did was the mandatory "Crane" where you had to pick up floating balls in a makeshift pond, and put them in a basket. The contraption was made of two fishing rods and a can like object that opened and closed. Needless to say we did NOT get 1 ball, and wasted time.....Most teams fared very poorly on this task!!
TASK #3 - we then ran to the next task where we were given an image comprised of shapes, and then given 7 different sized triangles and paralellagram's. We then had to put the shapes together to form the image we were given. After a little frustration, we completed this quite quickly and moved on.
TASK #4 - this task was very close, and was very easy. We had to use plastic chopsticks and transfer 20 marbles to a second bowl. I did 2, and then Andy flew through the rest.
TASK #5 - there was a combination of building blocks encased, which we would use as a reference, and than build that same display at our workstation. It sounds easy, but with 4 other teams running back and forth, it got very confusing, and unfortunately we again ran out of time and also incurred a penalty. It was also here (VERY CLOSE TO THE PITSTOP) that we realized we had to run all the way back to the beginning almost to complete our 6th task.
TASK #6 - here we had to wait about 2 minutes because there were no open stations....every minute counts.....until it was our turn. Here we simply had 5 minutes to count a HUGE box of change. Again we ran out of time and incurred a penalty.
Here is also where I am suspicious. The eventual girls who won the entire race left this task for the pitstop at the exact same time. Albeit they ran much faster as Andy was hurting, so they obviously checked in just ahead of us....but I truly fail to understand how they gained SO MUCH ground on us! They did have friends/family running with them, which would have been key for Zone 2....but Kudos to them....
After task 6 we had to run all the way back again to the pitstop, where we were given our next round of clues and just continued on. Of the 24 teams racing, here 6 were eliminated. Andy and I were team 14 at this point. For those of you wondering, the task we chose not to do was to take a Rubics Cube and make one side a full colour. We skipped this because neither of us know how.....here teams could have really jumped ahead!
Again, we started off on a bad note as we went up an escalator to realize we had to be down....we then ran to the first of 4 tasks. AGAIN in this leg of the race, you had to complete 4 of 5 tasks and proceed to the next pitstop.
TASK #1 - Andy was on the 2nd floor with beanbags, while i was on the 1st floor with a bucket attached to my head. Simply I had to catch 5 of the 6 beanbags in the bucket. EASY. unfortunately, we lost time as Andy had the passport and didn't know we got it stamped where i was......no way of us knowing!! but that's how it goes
TASK #2 - Here we had to bring a mall patron to the Columbia store to look at the products. Once we did this we got a stamp....easy right? Well half of the ppl we asked didn't even look at us....I mean not even polite enough to say "No thank you" or they looked at us like we had the plague. Finally after pleading and explaining to a few girls, they came with us, and we took off! This is where the eventual champions had a lead, because their family/friends who were with them could have just volunteered. Tricky tricky! Unless they actually got someone to come in with them!
TASK #3 - Across the hall from Columbia we had to go to Toy Kingdom and play BOP IT until you got 20 in a row. HERE WE WERE PISSED. We were the first team to arrive, but had to wait for an open judge, but when he became open, he went to another team!!! Again costing us more time. I got it very quickly, and here we ran to our last task.
TASK #4 - on the 5th floor we had the option of completing a Sudoku or running to 4 stores and getting stamps. We chose the latter, and off we went. Andy returned to Columbia and Toy Kingdom, while i went to the theatres. It was a super easy task and we finished quickly, jumping ahead of some teams. However, here we really started to slow down.
We made it to the next pitstop as team 12...the last team to make Zone 3...again 6 teams were eliminated.....Here was a twist though, they gave us our tasks which had to be completed in order.
Again, for those of who care, the task we opted not to complete was another joint effort where you and your teammate had to complete a maze with a pencil...however, the pencil was in a contraption where both teammates were on the opposite side of the table holding to arms of the contraption, and they had to complete it in unison. Picture this
TASK #1 - in the food court area they had a big inflatable mat with a swinging beam. The objective was for one member to try and cross the beam. The further you went, the less of a time penalty incurred. I did this task and we incurred a 1 minute time penalty. Pretty easy and fun with sooo many people watching!
TASK #2 - we then had to go outside to a grassy area to complete a hanging maze. Essentially a big wooden maze with holes was being held by strings, and with teamwork, Andy and I had to get all 3 balls through the middle hole. It just finished pouring rain...although with my sweaty shirt you wouldn't have noticed, and we completed this task after a few minutes. Here I am suspicious again, as there was only 1 judge and he didn't really seem to take notice. We could have easily cheated and not have been caught.....but we didn't :)
TASK #3 - Here FRUSTRATION was the name of the game. First off, the judges refused to tell us any rules, telling us to check ours.....but there were no rules given. Essentially we had two 5 foot wires that were bent in different angles, and we had to take a hollowed spoon type device and go along the wires, not touching it. THINK THE GAME OPERATION. You had to complete both wires. BECAUSE the guys refused to tell us we lost time. We also lost more time as we became extremely frustrated. Finally as the allotted time was ticking down, we completed the task, and moved rather slowly to the pitstop......
At the pitstop we were informed we DID NOT make the top 8 and did not make the last zone. We were both disappointed, but I think we both knew it was coming. We then returned to where we started and collected our goodie bags!! Here I also tried one of the final tasks, like a 3 part ladder, with a pole, rope net and rope....i went up rather quickly and completed it. Here we realized that almost ALL OF THE PHYSICAL tasks were, and were bummed out as I think we would have made some noise in the final round. other tasks included:
-one partner piggybacking the other BLINDFOLDED while the other partner gave directions to walk and not step on mouse traps!
- 1 teammate had to walk on a large foam log, like a lumberjack, and while walking on it/rolling it, catch soccer balls...the more you catch, the more points
- There was a task in the basement at ACE Hardware, where the teams had to construct something
-And there was a task where they through a dart at a board and whatever it landed on they had to complete.......the team we saw had to Thread a Needle......hahaha
While we waited we got to socialize with people, talk to the organizers and plant seeds in their head about us applying for the actual TV Show race, and just have fun. We were both pretty sore, tired, and me extremely sweaty (called out be the host). However, it was a GREAT experience, really fun, and really let us understand what we would have to work on if we were ever so lucky to get on the real AMAZING RACE ASIA!