Mother Good Luck makes yummy cookies
My feet were light and it seemed that I could effortlessly trot up any trail. I felt like a runner, which I am not, but last night I felt like one. My route took me up Mount Jumbo on the East side. The side hills were so steep I could barely keep my balance. Once on the Jumbo Saddle Trail I bounded up and over to descend on the Helgate side of things. Then just for good measure I did the “L” trail. Still I did not have enough so I sprinted along the side hill on the Rattlesnake side until the sun disappeared. The sun gave up and set on me. I averaged over 5 mph for the run and I am happy with that. Specially since none of the terrain was exactly built for speed. I had to REALLY slow down on the descents. I just will never feel comfortable going down.
But I had run out of daylight. When I started I was like, “Oh, how am I going to motivate and run for two hours”. And then by the time I finished I was wondering where the time went. I wanted to keep going. It was like the Grizzly Man Adventure Race when Dave and I really wanted to get a couple more checkpoints but we had ran out of time.
It seems that in 12 hours of racing you can either do things right and celebrate the win or mess some stuff up and then maybe HOPE for a decent result. Rarely can you fudge things up really bad in 12 hours. I mean, you get your leg caught in a trap. Then have to chew it off. Right? What does that take? like 25-45 minutes tops. Then you have like 10 or 11 hours to catch back up and get back into the game.
So what. We missed check point “G” and spent gobs of time locating some checkpoints. Yea, carrying snow shoes was not the best decision. Getting a flat tire or having to take a emergency break behind a tree certainly will not make or break a good race. Once we were looking for check point “C3” and found “W. That was unsettling but a check point is a check point. Right? Specially when you have 15 minutes to get back or be disqualified. Specially since that one last checkpoint would later make or break your chances at the podium.
Sometimes if your diligent and just do your best it is good enough. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Diligence is the mother of good luck”. I didn’t feel lucky, instead I felt unprepared and in a team situation that meant I was letting someone down. But then my team mate was Dave and it is against his nature to get all anal about a competitive event. I guess my luck was that I had teamed up with the perfect partner. In 12 hours we did enough stuff right and mother of good luck made us cookies. And those were some good cookies indeed.
“Dave, we have like 25 minutes before the time cut off. What if we just take one more run up there”, I pointed up the hillside.
“And try to find C3?”
“Exactly … just one more look. You never know. If it doesn’t work out there is the tunnel and after that is the finish line.”, I pointed towards a culvert under route 200.
“Let’s do it”
Later on after we finished, chatted with other finishers, and picked up all our gear at the transition station we were sitting at the Lubriecht Experimental Forest woofing down some pasta and salad. So let us take inventory. 12 hours preparing, plotting, and planning. 12 hours of racing. And now around 4 hours of cleaning up ourselves and picking up our equipment; the boat had to be loaded, stuff like that. All that equals some tired adventure racers.
I couldn’t do the math in my head and I was trying to guess-ta-mate how many check points we found. Surely 20 I thought. Josh started calling up the winners and 3rd place was not team Bill and Dave. Then second … no, not Bill and Dave and they had 25 check points. I was bummed because I felt we had done well enough for second. No way we got first because there was this team way ahead and they were fast runners.
“Dave, how many did we do”, I looked over to him and noticed he was already looking at me about to ask the same.
“I don’t know, twenty … um … ”
He looked like he was trying to spell a long word in the county spelling bee when Josh announced, “And the winners of the 2011 Grizzly Man Adventure Race”.
I just wanted to tune out, gosh had we only obtained 24 check points?
“… with a total of 26 check points”, Josh continued. I looked back at Dave as he suggested we had somewhere in the vicinity of a upper twenty count. My heart started to pound. Could it be? Did we?
“Team Bill and Dave”
We hugged and celebrated. Then I saw it. I looked into my friends eyes, that glaze of accomplishment and joy. It is my favorite part of these things.