Q: When was the last time you stayed awake for 24 hours?
A: A few years ago, I stayed awake through the night to participate in “Midnight Madness,” a citywide scavenger hunt, inspired by the 1980s Michael J. Fox movie of the same name.
The game began precisely at midnight in Riverside Park and ended (for my team) at 3PM in East River Park in the Lower East Side. I was a member of the veteran “Midnight Madness” team, Team Red, which eventually finished fourth in a field of more than 25 teams.
I remember a few things about the hours that unfolded between midnight and 3PM — Alex Farlow falling slow-motion from a stationary bicycle, Ptolemy Slocum headbutting a piece of styrofoam in Union Square, Chris Grace mentioning that he had played in a rugby tournament earlier in the day before joining the crusade (and finishing the game with us), Pete LePage staring at me zombie-like, unable to respond to direct questions, and learning for the first time the meaning of the word “dongle.” (See Brian Fountain’s photos | my photos).
But most of all, I remember hitting the proverbial wall really, really early. In fact, I know I didn’t stay awake a full 24 hours, either. I crashed pretty hard by 6PM Saturday. I’m so screwed.