Hurdle GTA Rally, 2018
by Jon Lamkins, photos by the author.
On Saturday morning August 4th, the skies over Southington, CT were dark and ominous. As we unloaded the event paperwork at the historic Southington Drive In, the heavens opened up. “Yep this is perfect Rally weather”, I quipped to Kelli.
Undeterred by the weather, 11 teams showed to start Hurdle 2018 GTA. This year’s event started and ended in Southington, CT and ran throughout Fairfield County Connecticut. For the unfamiliar, Hurdle is a shortest distance event where teams are given a map of Connecticut and a sheet of 19 questions. The question wording reference locations on the map where teams must go to obtain or complete the answer to the questions. Luckily, the rain subsided by the time teams headed out.
Highlighted locations/questions from this year’s event:
- Bethany, CT: Where teams visited Bethany Airport, the oldest licensed airport in Connecticut
- Weirs Farm Historical Site in Wilton CT. It was at this farm the J. Alden Weir painted many of his significant paintings
- Putnam Memorial State Park in Redding, CT. Site of the winter quarters of General Putnam’s division of the Continental Army during the winter for 1778/1779
- Rocky Glen State Park in Sandy Hook, CT: Difficult to find because it’s not readily marked from the road. You have to cross an abandoned bridge or drive down a dead end road to get to it. There teams learned about the short lived Costello Opera House.
- French Memorial Park in Seymour, CT: Here teams looked out of over the town at Jachimowski Overlook
For the first time ever in Hurdle history, there were questions that stumped most of the teams (only two answered it). At Collis P Huntington State Park in Redding, CT, teams needed to answer “What is that Purple Thing Hanging in the Tree?” After finding which of three entrances to the park was the correct one, teams would have to find the main information billboard. Then they needed to look on one of the billboard support columns, perpendicular to the actual board, to find a small laminated card indicating that the purple things were sticky traps. Unfortunately a few teams decided to hike through the park looking for actual trees with purple things.
The event finished in Plantsville (a suburb of Southington) at the town green where teams first had to answer the L V Walkly manufactures paper bags before handing in their answer sheet and adjourning to the finish a Zingarella’s Pizzeria.
When the rain had subsided and the dust had settled, only one team had answered all the questions correctly. And while they did not have the lowest mileage, their mileage was well within the 30 mile (point) penalty incurred by other teams with lower mileage but one or more missing/wrong answers.
Congratulations to Scott and Kathy Beliveau, winning with a final score of 171.18. Second place went to perennial National Competitors Judy and Steve Gaddy with a score of 182.78. David and Carol Mulligan took third with a score of 188.72 (adding to their Hurdle Hardware collection as they have competed in every Hurdle Shortest Distance and scored top fives more the 50% of the time). Fourth went to the father/son team or Stuart and Ted Alexander while fifth went to the father/daughter team of Ron and Bethany Bonofiglio (it was Bethany's first ever rally)