Monday, August 7, 2017

Grand Rapids Race to the Bar Crawl 2017

Here's a terrible idea: run 3-4 miles, stopping at five bars along the way to drink a beer at each. So of course I did it.
The Race to the Bar Crawl event is the last in the Grand Rapids Beer Flight Running Series that Trivium Racing started this year. I'd already run in the Growler Gallop Atwater 5k at the end of April, HopCat Extra Time 5k in May (no blog post on that one), and New Holland Pub on 8th 8k in June. Those first three were regular races, mostly about the running, though you did get to drink a beer at the end.

This time the event was much more about the beer. We went to five different bars around downtown Grand Rapids, and had a beer ticket for each. You didn't have to drink them all, or do it while running...some people went back afterward, some just walked between the bars, others didn't drink at all. But you did have to go to each bar, where a volunteer would give you a sticker to show that you'd made it to that checkpoint.

There was no official course, just the start/finish location and five bars. There was a suggested route, but you were welcome to find your own path, as long as you obeyed the traffic laws. There were no streets closed, so we all had to watch out for cars! According to my GPS tracker, I ended up going a total of 5.9 km. I never really got lost, although I did nearly run past one of the bars since I ended up approaching it from the back instead of the front - fortunately they had a sign! I ended up jogging along the river for quite a bit of the run, which was nice.

Being a moron, I both ran and drank at all five bars along the way. That's four and a half pints (City Built Brewing had a smaller size glass) in 50 minutes, which is a lot by itself. Add in the running and I was certainly feeling a bit rough around the edges! I enjoyed it, though. They had plenty of water and snack food at the finish - both pretzels and similar bar food, and granola and bananas and other post-run food. I stayed there for more than an hour, talking with other participants and cheering the award winners, and by the time that was all done I felt fine.

All four of the Beer Flight Series races were a good time. I'll be keeping an eye out to see if they're doing again next year.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Terror in Resonance

Terror in Resonance is set in an alternate modern-day Japan where a series of terrorist attacks are being carried out in Tokyo. It follows the young terrorists and the detective hunting them, through the attacks and the discovery of the reasons behind them.
Terror in Resonance Poster.jpg
It's clear very early on in this series that the heroes of the story are the two young men who are carrying out the terrorist bombings. You don't learn their reasons until nearly the end, but even in the first couple of episodes it's clear that they're not out to do major harm. They're careful to avoid deaths and minimize injuries, and even help to stop one of the bombings when things go wrong. I don't think the writers intended to condone the use of terrorism, but it's certainly not painted as the ultimate evil that we tend to think of in the modern world.

The evil in this series comes largely from governments. The main detective character is an outcast with the police force, having previously been demoted for pursuing the wrong powerful government official. Secret government programs played a large role in our young terrorists' background. The United States sends an armed contingent to "cooperate" with the police, effectively taking over and making things quite a bit worse. The corruption of authority is overwhelming, leading to those terrorist tactics.

Considering how short the series is (only 11 episodes, about 4 hours), I thought the characters were fairly well developed. There's time to get a good feel for the two young men, a girl that they befriend along the way, and their detective pursuer. Most of the other characters have little depth, but that's not really an issue since they don't get a lot of screen time anyhow. The limited length of the series means that it stays focused on the main characters and key story elements without much in the way of tangents, which I appreciated.

The production quality of Terror in Resonance is solid, if not particularly eye-catching. This isn't a series with a lot of flashy action sequences, but what action there was worked well. The voice actors did a solid job, the visuals were well done, and the music was great. (No surprise there, music by Yoko Kanno.)

I was very impressed with Terror in Resonance. It may be short, but that's not a drawback in a series that has a well-crafted story to tell. Definitely worth the watch.