Manchester Veterinary Clinic

156 Spencer Street
Manchester, CT 06040

(860)646-5170

manchestervetclinic.com

The 3rd Annual Vet Challenge!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

 

The team name you voted for

Pirates of the Cure-A-Being!!!

 

By Jordyn Bryant

Ahh, sweet fall. A season best known for cozy clothing, hot beverages, pumpkin-flavored dog biscuits, and for those of us here at MVC, the much anticipated VetChallenge put on by the Animal Cancer Foundation.

Having won the Challenge for the last two years, the end of October is indeed starting to be known around here as “that time of year again,” and there was no trouble assembling our team for this year’s third annual ACF Veterinary Challenge. This year Emily, Kayla, Chris, Shannon, Jessie and Jeff competed, with Erika and I along to take pictures. Once logistics were all sorted out, all we needed was a team name. Faithful followers of our Facebook page cast their votes for the pun that made them cringe the least (or the most), with the favorite wiping out its competition (much like we hoped to do).

"The Pirates of the Cure-A-Being" - AFC Veterinary Challenge 2015 – Manchester Vet Clinic - CT

Thus, the “Pirates of the Cure-A-Being” rallied its troops and headed south to Chelsea Piers, CT, equipped with all the brains, brawn and pirate garb we believed necessary to secure a third victory for MVC. The challenge saw a great turnout with ten teams (up from six last year!) signed up to compete in a series of events that would put us all to the test. Following a two year tradition, the nature of these events was kept secret until game day.

First up was the batting cage and ten swings each for five from our team. Once tricornes and swords were swapped for helmets and bats, the pirates were briefed on the scoring system and ready to go. One point would be awarded for tapping the ball past the foul line and two for sending it into the “home run” net. Chris wasted no time setting a high bar hitting ten for ten, with a handful of balls making it to the home run mark. Shannon, Jesse, Jeff and Kayla followed close behind, earning themselves a respectable number of hits as well. We were off to a great start, and loaded with confidence we headed down the hall to our next challenge.

AFC Technician Chris in the Batting Cages - Veterinary Challenge 2015 – Manchester Vet Clinic - CT

MVC's favorite event - Trampoline Dodgeball - AFC Veterinary Challenge 2015 – Manchester Vet Clinic - CT Trampoline Dodgeball - AFC Veterinary Challenge 2015 – Manchester Vet Clinic - CT Shannon getting in position - Trampoline Dodgeball - AFC Veterinary Challenge 2015 – Manchester Vet Clinic - CT Way to go Kayla - Trampoline Dodgeball - AFC Veterinary Challenge 2015 – Manchester Vet Clinic - CT Jeff carefully calculating the ball's trajectory  - Trampoline Dodgeball - AFC Veterinary Challenge 2015 – Manchester Vet Clinic - CT

Trampoline Dodgeball, introduced last year, made its return as the second event, with our pirates recounting memories of last year’s game that left our players out of breath and tending to injuries. Upon arriving, we were told our team had been selected to play an extra round so that games would line up properly. None of this would serve to discourage our ever-ready swashbucklers as they removed their boots and stepped onto the trampoline floor. Shannon struck fear into the hearts of her opponents with her battle-ready stances while the rest of the crew swept the floor, dodgeballs flying from our hands and bodies soaring through the air to avoid their trajectories. The team had known what they were in for and came out victorious (and very out of breath) for two of our three rounds.

Kayla took on the most difficult climb with ease - AFC Veterinary Challenge 2015 – Manchester Vet Clinic - CT
Emily making it look easy - AFC Veterinary Challenge 2015 – Manchester Vet Clinic - CT Jessie making her way up the wall - AFC Veterinary Challenge 2015 – Manchester Vet Clinic - CT

Now the team made its way to the other side of the room where we had seen others being strapped into harnesses and making their way up climbingwalls. Such an event was no problem for Kayla, who to our luck enjoys rock-climbing when she isn’t manning our ship’s crow’s nest in her free time. Emily surprised us all when she zipped right up the wall despite having sore wrists, and once Jesse, Jeff and Shannon had scaled the masts, Kayla took on the most difficult wall without breaking a sweat. Times were added together and our total tied that of the team currently in the lead.

Next we made our way upstairs to the courts and learned that fourth up would be a basketball shooting contest. One person would stand at a distance that could earn them either one or three points per basket, with the remainder of the team strategically placed to return the ball to the shooter as quickly as possible. We put our best mates up for the five one-minute rounds and tried to score as many points as we could. As it turns out, basketball does not very well employ the skillset of a seven seas sailing pirate. Overhearing scores of our opponents, we gathered that the competition had clobbered us this time. We looked across the court at what would be our final challenge and tried to piece together what it was, how it worked and if it would serve as our saving grace.

Jessie's turn up for the Basketball round - Veterinary Challenge 2015 – Manchester Vet Clinic - CT

This could best be described at Beer Pong on steriods - AFC Veterinary Challenge 2015 – Manchester Vet Clinic - CT

That fifth and final event took all of our focus. Put simply, there were three different colored buckets inside of a taped-off area, around which were 15 tennis balls of each color. Six teams were participating in the event at once and were paired together to create two groups of 3. In each of the three rounds, we had one minute to get the balls into their corresponding buckets and then 45 seconds to tally and report our score. If not tallied in time, our score would be discounted 10%. Copies of the rules were dispersed and the basics we gathered were that:

  1. Throwers could only throw from behind the taped-off perimeter, and runners navigated balls into the most helpful direction from within it
  2. Our number one priority was to get the balls into the correct buckets as quickly as possible
  3. This was going to require some organization and fast (albeit remedial) math
The 3 teams starting to get a strategy and rythm down - AFC Veterinary Challenge 2015 – Manchester Vet Clinic - CT

Shannon and Emily in action with the group of 15 - AFC Veterinary Challenge 2015 – Manchester Vet Clinic - CT

Our first round was full of hesitation as the coalition still had not gotten the rules quite down. Erika, Kayla and I watched from the sidelines, hoping the others understood what they were doing better than we did. The minute was up, and everyone scurried to add up points. We had exceeded our 45 second limit and fell second best to our opponents. This all changed over the course of the next two rounds as runners figured out how to be backboards for the throwers and a failsafe system for tallying was conjured. We ended up being most-improved, going from around 70 points the first round to over 200 the third. Unfortunately, it took us two of the three rounds to figure out how to beat the competition.

Once the final event was over, we were directed downstairs to the bar and dining room where the teams enjoyed dinner, drinks, dessert and camaraderie. Minutes went by slowly, as we knew that once everyone had their fill, winners would be announced. Finally, that time came. Despite our most valiant efforts, the trophy for first place did not make its return to MVC, but we did manage to secure third place! First place went to the "Big Reds" group and second to "Meadow with Attitude”. Prizes for other categories were handed out as well, with Best Team Name going to “The Castrators” (whose black and red jerseys left Chris and Jeff feeling uncomfortable), Team Spirit to “The Bedazzled Bunnies” and Best Costumes to team "Invictus”.

MVC's "Pirates of the Cure-A-Being come in at a respectable 3rd place - AFC Veterinary Challenge 2015 – Manchester Vet Clinic - CT

Competitors group photo at the AFC Veterinary Challenge 2015 – Manchester Vet Clinic - CT

This year’s Challenge brought a new level of competition, and although we no longer reign as champions, the team had a ton of fun and took home a prize pack that included tickets to the Beardsley Zoo, a PetSmart gift card, dog grooming vouchers and a half case of wine from Stew Leonard’s. Money raised this year goes towards funding a canine genome project which will serve as an invaluable tool for oncology researchers working to find cures for canine and human cancers alike. We are delighted to see how much the ACF’s Vet Challenge has grown in popularity in only three short years and can’t wait until next October to see what’s in store for “that time of year again!”

Having a little fun before the games begin! - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Having a little fun before the games begin! - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Having a little fun before the games begin! - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Barbara's opening speech - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015
Just one quick team picture - take 1 - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Just one quick team picture - take 4 - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Just one quick team picture - take 7 - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Just one quick team picture - the twelth times a charm right? - WRONG! - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015
Jeff keeping up with the bar Chris set - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Good showing from Jessie at the Batting Cages - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 MVC's "Pirates of the Cure-A-Being" - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 MVC's Pirates just foolin' around - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015
"Jasper's Juggernauts" vs "Meadow with Attitude" - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 "Jasper's Juggernauts" vs "Meadow with Attitude" - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 "Jasper's Juggernauts" vs "Meadow with Attitude" - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015
Getting a good look at our competition - Team "Invictus" - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Getting a good look at our competition - Team "Big Red" - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Getting a good look at our competition - Team "Big Red" - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Getting a good look at our competition - Team "Big Red" - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015
Getting a good look at our competition - Team "Jasper's Juggernauts" - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Emily - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Shannon - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Jeff - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015
Basketball speed rounds - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Basketball speed rounds - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Basketball speed rounds - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Basketball speed rounds - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015
Bedazzled Bunnies having so much fun - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Such speed and agility, as expected from bunnies - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Meadow with Attitude - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Meadow with Attitude showing everyone how it's done - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015
Three rounds in & we're finally getting it! - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 MVC taking a quick breather between events at the ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Times Up! Count quick! - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015
First Place Winners - "Big Reds" - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Everyone is a winner at the ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Second Place Winners - "Meadow with Attitude" - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015
Third Place Winners - "Pirates of the Cure-A-Being" - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Best Costumes - "Invictus" - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Best Team Name - "Castrators" - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015 Best Team Spirit- "The Bedazzled Bunnies" - ACF Veterinary Challenge 2015

A shout-out to the four other competing teams:

The Bull's Heads Terriers

Jasper's Juggernauts

The TumorNators

The Mighty VEGies

Manchester Veterinary Clinic, Inc - Veterinarians - Manchester - CT - Trusted Vets For Your Pets