Sunday, June 17, 2012

10 Years of UAR: Paul and Grace

The Urban Assault Ride is about to celebrate its tenth year in Austin. As we've said, we've made some great memories over the years. A select group of people have been there with us all along the way. This story comes from Grace, who, with her husband Paul, has participated in every Austin UAR since its inception, and will be there with us on Sunday!

Committed to Some Crazy Race
Ten years ago I approached my husband with the idea of being my partner in a crazy bicycle race around Austin.  It appeared to be an awesome adventure to me, but he didn’t quite see eye-to-eye with me on this one.  He just looked at me as if I’d had one too many glasses of wine and said “Let me get back to you on that”.  On the morning of the race, as I moped around, he reluctantly agreed to join me in the 1st ever Urban Assault Race.   
This is the day “Team Resistance” was born.  We had no plan and no strategy; just the two of us and our bikes. We joined about 60 other teams as we made our way to several check points, but unfortunately we were more like the turtles than the hares.  The winning team finished in a couple of hours, while we sweated our butts off to cross the line after about 4 hours. 
The next year came and we had to try this challenge again; maybe we could improve our time.  We trained for the race this time and when the checkpoints were announced we devised a strategy.  We improved our time immensely but still…not good enough.   
We continued to train and work on our strategy for each and every Urban Assault Race…this year will be the 10th.  The race has grown in numbers each year, and we continue to improve.  Being super athletic doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to kick butt in the competition.  Strategy plays a large part in your results here.  As we continued to improve our finish time with each race, we felt particularly confident one year.  But our podium dreams were shot down after we misinterpreted a clue to a checkpoint.  Our time was dismal. That’s why it’s called and adventure race! 
Now with 850 teams in the Austin race, we are among some of the most “seasoned” racers (translation: oldest racers).  For the last few years we have been placing in the top 3-4 coed teams (out of ~350 coed teams) and we claim this as some of our fondest accomplishments.  We see teams half our age dashing for that finish line long after we have put our bikes away and are enjoying the post-race beers.  Not only has this race given us the challenge we needed to improve and train hard, but the confidence to compete in other races.  My husband now bikes in 100 mile rides and runs marathons.  You can’t tell me that this race didn’t make an impact on “Mr. Resistance”. 
This will be our tenth attempt at winning this race.  Okay, maybe we won’t win, but we’ll be out there alongside 1700 other nuts who really enjoy the wackiest race Austin has ever seen.  Thanks Josh for this wacky idea that has evolved into an Austin tradition. 
Paul & Grace 
Austin, TX


  1. You to are amazing!! Looks like you have too much fun in your adventures together. Good luck!

  2. Wow, this is too's to a speedy race!

  3. You both are awesome in everything you do.
    Love you both

  4. This is a great story glad to hear about it and keep up the good work!

    Paul Hardin in tights! Who would of thought!!

    I'm doing yoga, biking and swimming here too!

    Stay cool!

    Paul McHale

  5. Good Luck on the race!I love your story....I can't hold back the laughter of PaulH. in tights & PaulM. taking yoga...twenty years ago would have been unheard of..... Nora

  6. you two are the greatest. you are an inspiration to keep me going. good luck!!!