Touring with Taylor: Oh, the things you’ll do (to feed your competitive nature)!

Dan Taylor at the Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Race.

Greetings from Grand Rapids, MI …

I apologize for my brief siesta from blogging and keeping you updated on a minor leaguer’s offseason. Without a doubt, it is much more difficult to keep blogging on a consistent basis in the offseason because my schedule has changed and the routine of writing gets thrown all of out whack. Sometimes, I just wish I could have my hour or so of down time that I get in the mornings of the season, just to catch up with some writing, reading or relaxing. I do not want to complain too much, though, because I enjoy the offseason very much, and it’s a blast getting to wear all the hats I do.

With that in mind, I have spent the last month and a half training for the two races I competed in at the beginning of this month. The first race was October 8 and the second was the following weekend on the 15th. You may be asking what kind of race, and it’s a fair question, indeed. My first race was an Urban Adventure Race (crossbreed of amazing race and urban duathlon). The race was a team-based event where we were given a map with 40-plus checkpoints all over the city of Grand Rapids, and we had 30 minutes to lay out our best route to reach as many checkpoints as possible in the four-hour time limit. I am proud to say we gathered 36 of the 40 checkpoints and finished in a time of four hours and 50 minutes. After competing in something like this, you begin to have a real appreciation for our ancestors and their persistence.

After the urban adventure race, the Chicago Urbanathlon was next on my plate. Now, this race was much more individualized and was a crossbreed of obstacle course and half marathon. The race took place right in downtown Chicago and carried the racers through many of its most exciting places. We started going north to Navy Pier and then looped around back down Michigan Avenue to Soldier Field, and then back North to the finish. I am proud to say that I have now single-leg hopped up Soldier Field’s stadium stairs for almost a mile, I have climbed up and over a city transit bus, crawled under jeeps and even managed my way over marine barricades. I was able to complete this course in less than two hours and with plenty of mud and sweat to go along with it.

Again, if you will please pardon my absence for the last two weeks or so, I promise, I have not been slacking and doing nothing. I simply have been busy preparing myself to become as much of a competitor in these venues as possible. Like I said in my previous article, since we do not get to play in October (yet!) us minor-leaguers are left looking for different venues to unleash our competitive sides. What’s next on the docket for me? Great question. I’m not quite sure; I have not signed up for any new races, but I am always looking for a great one to fill the resume. Please leave some ideas for me to mull over and write about later.

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