This Saturday: Journey to the End of the Night, 2012
Journey to the End of the Night is an urban street game that takes place on one night, across all of Chicago. Imagine a massive game of tag between you and 800 of your closest friends – it’s a hell of a lot of fun, and as awesome as it sounds.
A few things I’ll throw out right now: don’t worry about the running. Yes, there is running, but it’s not like a marathon. If you play the game correctly, you shouldn’t be running all the time. If you’re running nonstop, you’re doing something wrong.
The game is for people at all sorts of fitness levels. At the starting point last year, I saw people smoking and know of folks who met up beforehand for drinks.
Here’s how the game works. There’s no need to pre-register – just show up a bit before the start time. When you register, you’ll be given two ribbons: one blue, one red. During the game, there are two types of participants: runners and chasers.
Runners are what you and I will be, when we start. Most of the people playing the game are runners. You’ll slide on the blue arm band, which designates you as a runner. Your job will be to find your way to all the checkpoints on the map given to you, hitting them in order. As you’re doing this, you’ll be trying to keep away from…
Chasers. You’ll know a chaser by the red arm band they’re wearing. And the fact that they’re most likely running after you. If a chaser touches you, you need to stop and give that person your blue arm band (kind of like a trophy). Then, you’ll put on your red arm band, because… guess what? You’re now officially a chaser.
As the night progresses, the ratio of runners to chasers shifts. So as more people are “tagged” and converted into chasers, the harder it will get to make it to each checkpoint.
For runners, CTA and public transportation is allowed (no cars or bikes or skateboards allowed). Any bus or CTA train is considered a “safe zone,” so you can’t be tagged even if you’re riding with a chaser right next to you. The moment you step off though… fair game.
Last year, there were over 800 participants… and I’m guessing there will be at least that many, this time around. I had an absolute blast at the last event, and highly encourage you to come play if you can.
Last year I asked Evan, one of the event organizers, a series of questions. Since I was a noob, I wanted a hint of what I was in for.
I didn’t bring my camera last year, but snapped a few cellphone shots along the way. Here’s what JTTEOTN 2011 looked like to me.
And here’s a pretty fun video recap of last year’s event:
Date: May 12th, 2012
Time: 6:30 PM
Meet at the Humboldt Park Formal Gardens (3000 W. Division).
I am a terrible runner with no stamina. So I guarantee you that if you run next to me, there’s a strong chance a chaser will get to me first, before they get to you. This, in fact, is Jake’s strategy: to be faster than me.
I am a terrible runner, and I had a blast last year. I only made it to two checkpoints, and I had a blast last year. I wandered around as a chaser for a while, then bowed out… and had a blast last year.
I can’t say it enough: the game is a lot of fun. You should come play.