Monday, February 20, 2012

He's no Mattew Lee and I'm no Jill Homer

Yeah, I'm more like the Chris Carmichael in this relationship. But Jill Homer is my new hero.

Ray's feeling much better now. Still needs alot of rest and he will get his stitches out of his hand next week. His cankels are gone, thank god! But his mind is still out there somewhere. Still on the top of some pass, still on the race and the other racers. The stories have not started to come out yet. So, I've been thinking about this for a couple of days. What is it about this race that makes these guys push themselves to complete this? After pushing through miles and miles of mud and cow patties, toe nails falling off, exhaustion, freezing rain and on the brink of hypothermia. Almost all the racers have come back for more because their past attempts have landed them on the scratch list. What is it that makes them think they can beat mother nature?

This is different from any other endurance race Ray has attempted. The only resemblance to a bike race is, you are on your bike pedaling, that's it. This was not just getting ready for a local endurance race. This was planning, and training and training and more training. So much had been put on the line to get to the start line. When it was time to throw in the towel, it was like telling someone they could not summit Mt. Everest that day and they would have to go back down and try another time.

What I've come to realize over the course of this race is, that there are so many factors involved in pulling this thing off. It would be a miracle for someone to step up to the line the first time and pull something like this off. This is not just about getting on your bike and pedaling. There is nothing that can prepare you for the mental part of this race. The hours and hours of solitude in the middle of no where bear country. Not to mention having the right combination of gear, and the right clothes to protect you from any kind of weather and great navigation skills. Almost everyone gets lost at one time or another. This was a learning experience and that's what I'm going to chalk it up to. I'm just sorry Ray had to get hurt to learn this stuff. So now, we take what we learn, and we make our racer better next time. Yep, that's what I said, next time.

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