LIMO vs. Walking


Photo by Helen Dudley

Mackane Vogel (left) and Nathan DeSutter (right), prepare for the LIMO vs. Walking race.

The rules were simple enough: Mackane Vogel, an assistant A&E editor,  would walk (not run) to and from three destinations on campus while Nathan DeSutter, an assistant A&E editor,  would take a LIMO to and from the same destinations. Vogel would be permitted to start walking as soon as campus safety confirmed via the phone that the LIMO was on its way. The race would be a best two out of three format. Disclaimer: This is not meant to be an exact study done by the Marquette Wire. This is supposed to be fun. 

Race 1: From end to end  


I called a LIMO and Vogel took off, and soon after, the LIMO came bounding around the corner. When I walked in and saw how crowded the LIMO was (loaded to the brim with seven people), I thought there was no chance I’d make it on time. However, almost everyone needed to be dropped off at Schroeder Hall, perfect for my route. Even better, the driver got a call for a Straz Hall pickup on his drive there. After only two turns and two stoplights, we cruised to Straz Hall three whole minutes before Vogel crossed over the bridge. Score one for the LIMOs.


The race began with both DeSutter and I standing outside of Mashuda Hall, with the finish line at Straz Tower. I felt pretty confident as I strolled down Wisconsin Avenue. Halfway to Straz Hall, still feeling like I had the lead, I saw something horrifying about a block and a half in front of me: Those neon yellow flashing lights that line the roof of every LIMO. I expected DeSutter to have to pass  me on Wisconsin in order to get to Straz Hall. Still hanging on to some optimism, I increased my pace by a miraculous step or two a minute. As Straz Hall began to enter into my field of vision, it was DeSutter’s tacky bright blue shirt that caught my eye. He was waving at me mockingly, a humiliating start to the race. As I got closer to him, he informed me that he had been waiting for three minutes, only further rubbing in my loss. But if I was going to win this thing, I was going to have to have a short memory. So I shifted my focus to the next race. “Let’s get over to the Al, we’re burning daylight,” I said confidently as I turned around and headed toward the next starting point.   

Race 2: The Al McGuire Center to 18th Street and Kilbourn Avenue


I should’ve been confident going into race two, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d gotten incredibly lucky on my first trip. Hardly any stoplights, almost no wait and only one other drop-off? I also figured this route would be harder because there were multiple turns involved, and the Al isn’t a hot pickup spot. Usually, LIMOs hang around Mashuda Hall and The Marq because students in that area are more likely to need the service.

I waited for the Limo so long that I lost sight of Vogel, and I’m almost entirely convinced he made it there before I even boarded. When the LIMO finally pulled up, it was in a bit of heavy traffic, so I sprinted frogger style, trying to dodge traffic and rush in. I was greeted, funnily enough, by the same LIMO driver, who headed toward Johnston Hall, down 11th Street and took the most backward route of all time. I knew I had no chance long before I waited for a girl carrying four Papa John’s pizzas to board near McCormick Hall.


DeSutter continued to mock me as we approached the front entrance of the Al McGuire Center. I hoped his arrogance would come back to bite him. As I heard campus safety say, “Sure thing, have your ID ready and waiting,” through DeSutter’s far-too-loud phone, I began my walk. I was determined to get on the score board and even the race up at one a piece. I traveled on Wells all the way to 18th before cutting over right to Kilbourn. As I approached the intersection that had been deemed the finish line, I felt excited. DeSutter was nowhere in sight. Suddenly, a LIMO whipped around the corner, sinking my heart for an instant, only to tease me and drive right past the corner of 18th and Kilbourn. Thank God that wasn’t DeSutter’s LIMO. I finally arrived at the corner and claimed my victory. It was nearly seven minutes later that a disgruntled DeSutter arrived.

Race 3: McCormick to Valley Fields


Going into the third day of races, this was the one I was the most confident I could win. I figured there was no way someone could walk that far before a car could find a way to get me over there. One advantage I had in this race was that I got the inside scoop from my LIMO driver that when trying to get down to Valley Fields, tell the dispatcher that you intend to go to there. The tip proved to be the deciding factor. Instead of sending me a normal LIMO, they sent me a private Public Safety van that comfortably jetted me toward my destination while only hitting two stoplights. Later, I learned that if I hadn’t warned them I was going to Valley, they would’ve kicked me out of the normal LIMO, and I would’ve had to wait longer.

The best and most satisfying part of this race, besides winning of course, was passing by Vogel casually strolling down the bridge. That’s when I knew he had no chance. Also, seeing him throw his hands up in pure agony when he officially lost was incredibly gratifying.

Surprisingly, LIMOs won the day. But I’ll be honest, I’m still going to walk everywhere I go. I’m pretty sure I got lucky.


Admittedly, I had never been to Valley Fields, but I had passed it many times, and DeSutter assured me that if I walked straight down 16th, I couldn’t miss the gate that leads to the field. This was an important detail, because we agreed that the official finish line for this race would be the actual field. DeSutter made his dramatic final call, this time specifying that he needed a LIMO from McCormick and that he wanted to go to Valley Fields. This proved to be my downfall. I left feeling just as confident as I had before the first race. I saw no LIMOs on my journey, but a blue campus safety van passed me just as I approached the gate. I shrugged it off, thinking there was no way that van contained DeSutter. As I stepped onto the field, I claimed my apparent victory, as DeSutter was nowhere in sight once again. Then I saw him. He was at the far end of the field, waving sarcastically in his horrible blue shirt again, as he crushed my dreams and completed his victory. It was over. My feet had failed me, and the race that seemed like a sure win had proved me wrong.