Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The NYC Urbanathlon...and Snow.

Did everyone have a nice Halloween yesterday? We were pretty low-key this year, as you may have noticed by Achilles' homemade costume. We also never got around to carving a pumpkin, for the first time in years (no time/too tired, story of my life), which is kind of sad, but I choose sleep over pumpkins this year. Yesterday Eric got home from work early enough to catch a bit of the Hoboken Ragamuffin Parade (a great opportunity to show off your costume!), and then we spend the night passing out candy to trick-or-treaters. This apartment building is the first we have lived in that organized trick-or-treating for the resident children, and we were excited to participate. Then we dined on a delicious chocolate Halloween cake from Carlo's Bakery. A quiet Halloween, certainly, but nice.

I'm sure you all have been on the edges of your seats, waiting to hear the outcome of the Urbanathlon and our potentially snowy Saturday, yes? Well, the short version of the story is this: The boys completed the Urbanathlon, the weather was absolutely as disgusting as I expected, and then it snowed for 12 hours. You can imagine my feelings on THAT matter.

Jeff arrived late Friday night to spend the weekend with us for this race. On Saturday, our morning started with a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call, which was necessary for us to make the hour and a half journey to Queens (grumble, grumble) to get there by 7:00 a.m. to meet up with Dave and Salua. It was not warm at this time of day, but at least it wasn't raining. I was bundled up in leggings, jeans, rainboots, long-sleeved shirt, sweater, scarf and coat, and was still chilly, but at least it wasn't raining. Yet.

iPhone picture of Eric and me before the race, because I was too cold to be bothered to take out the good camera

Dave, Jeff and Eric ready for the start of the race at Citi Field

When we had all convened, we walked over to the start line, passing some of the obstacles Eric would later face during his leg of the race.

Jeeps to crawl under

Wall to climb over

In case you're curious, this was the race course:

Dave ran Leg 1 (green), Jeff ran Leg 2 (blue) and Eric ran Leg 3 (pink).

Jeff was the first to depart from the group, at about 7:15, as he was running the second leg of the race and had to get on a bus to take him to his transition point. Poor Jeff, because that meant he had probably about an hour and a half to stand around and wait, without a sweatshirt or jacket, in the cold and rain. That sucks.

The guys were all smiles as Jeff departed. Again I will mention that it was not yet raining.

Shortly thereafter, Eric, Salua and I also bid farewell to Dave. Dave was running the first leg, and he had to line up at the start while we went on to Eric's transition point to wait.

Crowds of people gathered at the start

As we walked to Eric's transition point, we passed the Unisphere - a Queens landmark

By this time, it was raining. And not just a light sprinkle, but enough to be umbrella-worthy. And it would not stop for the rest of the race. Fun! (Read: sarcasm.)

Eric's transition point was a great place to wait for both Dave and Jeff. First, we were able to see Dave run by us on his way through.

Salua waiting to cheer on her fiance - how cute are they?!

Here comes Dave!

We then sought shelter under a tree for a bit and waited. Meanwhile, Dave was meeting up with Jeff at the first transition point and Jeff started his leg of the race. Dave then walked back up to where we were to hang out with us for the rest of the morning. He was soaking wet, cold and muddy. Seriously, the weather sucked.

Fist pump! Way to go, Dave!

Before too long, we spotted Jeff making his way through the race to the parallel and monkey bars obstacle, where we were waiting. Somehow I missed him going through the obstacle, unfortunately - I think I was distracted by a guy doing push-ups in the mud. The rule was that if you could not complete an obstacle in three tries, you had to do 25 push-ups. In the mud. Gross.

Here comes Jeff!

The monkey bars - no Jeff in this picture, just a crazy half-naked lumberjack. Hey, it was Halloween weekend! (At least, I assume that's what is going on here.)

A poor soul doing push-ups in the mud

Once Jeff made it through the obstacle, Eric took off on his leg of the race and Jeff was finally reunited with his sweatshirt and umbrella. We then walked up towards Arthur Ashe Stadium to try to catch Eric as he made his way in for his first set of stairs to climb.

Jeff, Salua and Dave waiting for Eric to come by

Go, Eric!

On his way to Set of Stairs #1

After Eric passed us there, we walked back to where we began at Citi Field to see Eric as he completed the final obstacles to finish the race, which included climbing (or rather, sliding) over taxis, climbing up nets over a bus, crawling under Jeeps and getting up and over a wall to the finish line. By this point it was only raining harder and both of my rainboots had sprung a leak (how does that always happen to me?), so I was pretty much over it. And I wasn't even the one who had to do all the running, climbing and crawling through mud and puddles!

Eric going through the cabs (apparently he did a very cool movie-esque slide over the hood of a cab just before this, but I didn't get a picture. For shame!)

Climbing the net over the bus

And then, at long rainy last, the race was over! Congratulations, boys!

Way to go!

The race participants were entitled to two free beers at the Beer Garden tent, but by that time everyone was soaked to the bone and cold, so who wants to stand outside for even longer in a tent to have a cold beer? At 10:30 in the morning, no less? No thanks. Back to the train we went to begin the commute home!

Then, as Eric, Jeff and I arrived in Hoboken and were walking back to our apartment, lo and behold, that awful rain started to turn to snowflakes. SNOWFLAKES. In October. Can you feel the utter sadness in my soul right now?

Now, when the weatherman said "rain mixing with snow" for Saturday, I expected mostly rain with a few flakes mixed in. You know, mostly that "wintry mix" nonsense that is pretty much the worst kind of weather ever, but that would be it. But no. It was a legit snowfall. Once it started snowing, it did not stop for 12 hours. We had accumulation and the whole bit. In fact, it set a record for October snowfall in NYC - the last recordable October snowfall in the city was in 1952, with one-half of an inch recorded. On Saturday, 2.9 inches were recorded in Central Park, so yeah, I'd say we beat that previous record. UGH. Not only that, but there was thundersnow. Again! So in the last three months, here in New York we have experienced an earthquake, a hurricane, and a record-setting October snowfall complete with thundersnow. What is happening?!

The view as I stepped out of our apartment Saturday night to take Achilles outside. Achilles was none too pleased, I'll tell you that.

Of course, we were lucky, as many areas around us got dumped on significantly more (I saw numbers as high as 19" in parts of New Jersey as of Saturday night) and many lost power. The worst that really happened to me was a renewed interest in figuring out exactly how much it would cost to spend some time in San Juan in December. I need a beach, people.

Needless to say, given the weather, we spent the rest of the day/night hanging out in the apartment, napping, eating and watching TV. On Sunday we went out to brunch, then went to Carlo's Bakery to pick up some baked goods (including the aforementioned Halloween cake). Then Eric and Jeff went into NYC for a while to check out the holiday shops at Bryant Park (yes, already) and watch some of the Broncos game before Jeff had to catch his bus back to D.C.

As awful as the weather was for the race, I'm glad the boys persevered and I'm glad I got to see them do it (although I wouldn't have minded if hot chocolate had been involved, at least). Now let's all cross our fingers that this early snowfall means an easy winter from here on out. Please?


moderndaywife said...

Congrats to Eric, even those pictures make me feel cold lol :-)

Jessica Renee said...

Congrats to your hubby and his friends but hello, congrats to you and the fiance too! Y'all are champs! And what's up with all that snow? If y'all could just figure out a way to share some of your cold, maybe we'd share some of our warm weather! lol..