This past Sunday the Upstate Minis held their 7th Annual Bulldog Fun Run. The event is a benefit for the Greenville County Animal Care Center, and consists of somewhat British-related events taking place all over the county. Laura and I participated in our first one in 2016, and we put this one on our calendar so that we’d be sure to participate this year. It was our first outing with the Upstate Minis since returning from Washington.
The rally point was the Greenville County Animal Care Center, located in the old Animal Shelter facility on Furman Hall Road. We registered for the event and made a donation to the center. They were offering tours of the facility, but we arrived a bit too late for that. We had been busy giving Ruby her first decent bath since returning from Washington. She was happy.
We greeted friends we hadn’t seen in over a year, made new friends, and gathered for a photo with our Minis.
Jeff Goodman gathered us for a drivers meeting and went over the rules for the event.
We would be traveling to six locations all around Greenville County. At each stop we would be competing in events to earn points…sort of. As in golf, the goal was to get the lowest score possible. Mistakes would garner penalties. The locations and events were kept secret until we received our envelopes at the drivers meeting.
Some of the photos below are from the Upstate Minis Facebook page. We were either too busy, too tired, or too frustrated (more on that later) to take photos everywhere.
We loaded up and headed to our first stop at Eastside Park in Greer where we would play Quiddich against another team. We donned robes and had to ride brooms. If our broom touched the ground we got a penalty. Each team took a turn throwing balls through three hoops while the other team tried to block. Every time a ball went through a hoop it was a score against the other team.
Next up was a “Tea Duel.” We were advised to have the navigator read the rules as we drove to the next venue in Mauldin. This was much like playing Chicken, except with cups of tea and shortbread cookies. We were to take a cup of hot tea, dunk a cookie using only index finger and thumb (additional fingers would incur penalties) until 75% of the cookie was submerged, hold it there for five seconds, then lift the cookie, then eat it. The one who ate the cookie last would win, adding five points to their opponents.
This wasn’t as easy as it sounds. The cookies disintegrate quickly. If you hold them too long, they will fall apart. I found this out the hard way, thinking I’d be cool and outlast my opponent. As I tipped my cookie toward me it came apart completely. I looked like a baby had thrown up all over my shirt. It was an absolute mess. The first photo shows me before the event in a cool hat that I really wanted to keep, and someone was able to catch me with cookie on my shirt afterwards.
Laura did great, managing to beat her opponent.
From there we drove completely across the county to Pleasant Ridge Park where we had to defeat the dreaded Black Knight. At this stop we had recreate the famous duel from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. We had to dress up as Arthur, then battle the Black Knight. The fewer hits it took to knock off his arms and legs, the better. Sir Bedivere oversaw the proceedings.
Laura doesn’t like this movie, and this scene is her absolute least favorite part. Therefore she let me be Arthur while she was Patsy, my faithful servant. I defeated the Black Knight with four hits (I could have done it in three but an arm snagged on his halberd and didn’t come off completely) for which I was awarded a token Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, one of the relics Brother Maynard carried.
We were on our way to our next event at Dolly Cooper Park when my navigator realized she had made a serious error. We were told to do the events in order. The problem was that we had two sheets – a tally sheet with the events in one order, and a group sheet with the order in which they were supposed to be done. Laura had us following the tally sheet, which meant that we were zig-zagging across the county and doing much more driving than necessary. It now looked like we might not finish in time. It turns out that we weren’t the only ones to make this mistake.
The next event was Hurling. We were to lob a heavy metal Bocci ball down the length of a field until it passed a traffic cone. Then we were to lob it back. The goal was to get it through the door of a wooden castle in as few throws as possible. Laura and I rushed through the event and I didn’t take any photos.
Now we had to travel from the west edge of Greenville all the way to the northeast. We dashed as quickly as possible (without breaking the speed limit too much) to Lake Cunningham, where we had to repel a Viking horde.
This was a driving test through a series of traffic cones. We were timed as to how quickly we went through the challenge. First we had to drive around a circle without pulling our navigator off a platform. Next we had to negotiate a slalom while the navigator held a cup of boiling oil (a cup of water). We gained penalty points if we spilled any. Finally, we had to place the heads of our Viking opponents (tennis balls) onto pikes (traffic cones) without hitting any cones.
The last event was at The Runway Cafe, where we would have our post-Run feast. There we would take part in a miniature version of Scottish Highland Games – caber toss, hammer throw, stone throw, and sheaf toss. Laura would do the sheaf toss and stone throw, and I would do the caber toss and hammer throw. The caber, in this case, was a 24″ version of the real thing and the stones and sheaves were bean bags. We would be scored on accuracy.
It was a great event and we had a blast. We raised nearly $3000 for the Animal Center, which is excellent. Our thanks to Jeff and Sherry Goodman and Bill and Mary Hightower for organizing the event, and to all the volunteers for their creative events. We didn’t come anywhere close to winning the Bulldog trophy, but we still had a wonderful time.