Whistler is such a beautiful place. In case you didn’t know, it is the first resort municipality in Canada. It has been rated the #1 ski resort for the seventh consecutive year by I don’t know which body, but it’s not hard to agree. It is a premier world-famous tourist destination that will host the alpine events in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
In the summer, people flock to Whistler for sightseeing, golf, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, and what-have-you. All the times I visited Whistler was in the summer, but my trips were confined to the cosmopolitan Whistler Village at the base of Blackcomb Mountains.
Inside Whistler Village
Our organization is having a 5-day staff conference up in Whistler this week. I, like all non-commissioned or salaried staff, am not required to attend our annual staff conference. But yesterday, we were all bussed up to the conference for a day of vision casting and teambuilding. Our company contracted the Canadian Outback’s Amazing Race Whistler to run the teambuilding event for us. More than 100 of the 200+ conference attendees signed up for the race. I was one of them.
The Amazing Race website said “anyone can participate as no special skills, athletic ability or experience is required.” I also heard the race was adjusted to suit our company. I had no misgivings about joining it at all. I saw it as a way to see more of the resort town beyond Whistler Village. I thought it was all fun, easy for everyone including those who didn't like running.
As soon as we had the orientation and my team of five left the base, I immediately doubted my fitness to join such race. I was teamed up with 4 other staff – two young, athletic-looking guys; one young, petite girl; and Minnie, also Filipina who was about my age. My younger teammates seemed eager to race, while I was there for some sightseeing and picture-taking. When I saw my teammates excitedly take off in a hurry, I thought, This is not how it's supposed to be! We didn't even have any warm-up and just had a big lunch.
My teammates. On the way to Alta Lake park.
I was trailing my team early on. Minnie started fast but eventually her small strides were no match to the Canadians. My teammates soon realized they had to go slower. They couldn’t proceed to the next route marker anyway without all five of us. They had to wait for Minnie and me at intersections just to make sure we did not lose our way.
While my teammate was busy with a challenge,
I was busy with a photo-op.
“How are you doing, ladies?” the guys would ask to make sure Minnie and I were all right. “You’re doing great,” they would give us regular encouragement.
My biggest contribution to the race was taking on the challenge at one station. The choice was for a team member to scale the Climbing Wall, which sounded difficult, or to eat a bag of dried sardines the size of dilis or dried anchovies. I took the bag and started eating. That shouldn’t be difficult for Minnie and me who were quite familiar with dried fish. We started munching the fish, and the 2 guys were emboldened to eat a few. Ugh! Yuck! Eww! they said while eating. The other girl just watched us. The fish was tough, not crunchy. It wasn't fried. I finished the pack and then we were free to go to the next station. All in all, there were 7 stations. I thought I would collapse at 4. No wonder we had to sign a waiver.
I passed by scenic spots, but I could not
stop long enough to enjoy them.
We finished the race earlier than the allotted time of 2.5 hours. We received some kind of recognition at the awards ceremony. The race was very exhausting and fun, in that order. A good way of getting to know other staff, but I will not sign up for this kind of race again. I estimated that it covered about 5 kms. I heard someone say more.
I woke up this morning with my body all sore. I called in sick. I still can hardly walk or move about. My legs and hips hurt like crazy.
Lesson -- If I want to go sightseeing, joining a race, be it so amazing, is not how I'll do it.
After the race. That's me in Whistler Village.