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City Chase – North American Final takes place in ‘La Belle Ville de Quebec’

Quebec City.  My first Mitsubishi City Chase national final!

Team Calgary in Quebec City

What a roller coaster this event has brought me this year.  A fantastic 40th birthday gift and party, a confirmation that my ‘critical thinking’ skill-set is a very valuable and effective tool, new friends Canada-wide, and the harsh reality that crushing bitter disappointment can only lead me to try and improve for the future.

It’s 8pm and I’m currently in a window seat on Air Canada flight 167 back to Calgary.  Race partner Jen is asleep next to me.    We didn’t win…   we didn’t come close….  we didn’t make it to finish line …  .  Out of the Canadian teams, we finished 6th out of 7  (now how’s that for the crushing disappointment part).

I’ll get into a lot more details about the race later.  I’ve spent so much time the last two days analyzing the race in my head (what we did right, what mistakes we made, and how we could have improved) and I need some time to step back.

I can tell you that despite the result, I don’t think we let ourselves or our supporters down at all.  Sometimes the result is more than just the overall final standings – it includes the journey to get there and how you competed.

Of all the teams, we weren’t the physically strongest or fittest.  We didn’t have as much ‘National race’ experience as some other teams.  We’re smart but maybe not the cleverest or most ingenious.  Some participants spoke better French, and we assumed a few others had done more research and scouted Quebec City in person more than just a day before the event.  But mix all those characteristics together and I believe our team would rank fairly high.

For the time we were in the final, Jen and I raced hard.  We started around 9am Friday morning outside the Chateau Frontenac with just the clothes on our back.  No money, no phone, no map, no paper or pen, not even our watches.  We did pick up a Blackberry after the race started.  From then on we were almost always in the leading pack.  We proved to ourselves and others that we were a possible contender for the title.

Then the end.  I’Ile D’Orleans.  3am on a putting green.  An end to our adventure.  By the time we’re back at the Chateau Frontenac we’re already thinking how to get back to the City Chase Canadian Championship next year.  And what we’re going to do better to make sure we’re not eliminated too early.

That’s it for now, it’s my turn to get some rest now.

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If you want to see a short news clip on the race, check it out here.  (Suggest you right click on link and open it in a new tab.)

Also, this post deliberately name-drops the sponsoring companies.  Without them there would be no race.  Thanks for making at all possible.

This is why we like organizing!

The Calgary Grizzlies ChasePoint at Talisman Centre ©City Chase Inc.

The Calgary Grizzlies ChasePoint at Talisman Centre ©City Chase Inc.


We got some excellent feedback from the June 6 Mitsubishi City Chase event held last Saturday in Calgary. In fact, participant surveys filled out post-race gave us an impressive 9.65 out of 10!

Here is one letter that was sent to Right To Play, the charity we were supporting, toward which Calgary City Chasers raised almost $40,000. Dave Nash, Director of City Chase North America, is pretty certain that no other city in Canada will be able to match the generousity of Calgarians for a single event this year.

Confessions of an Urban Hunter: The Mitsubishi City Chase

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Happy Finishers at 2008 Calgary City Chase ©City Chase Inc

Escaping the mega-city — that was my purpose when I moved west to Calgary in 1997. That and getting close to the mountains. I arrived with an allergy to downtown, usually only venturing there to see the judge about my nagging Ontario leadfoot problems. I was a wilderness snob, and the city was a necessary evil to pay for my lifestyle.

Somewhere along the way, I lost this snobbery, and became a city booster! I began to appreciate the architecture, the culture, and yes even the infrastructure. Right here in our city was a plenitude of recreational and nature enjoyment opportunities. Then, in 2004, I stumbled upon the City Chase, an event some would say has defined me for the past five years …so much so that last season’s televised episode dubbed me “The Godfather of City Chase.” (more…)