2013 RMVQ part VI

The finish
The finish

Grave Range | Snow Bowl | Sheep | Mit Tower | Alp Turah | University

University With a Little Help From Friends

If anyone has ever done ultra distance events. Not saying that I do anything compared to the average Jill Homer. My ultras are short. But nonetheless I still get that “why did I leave the comfort of an aid station so quickly” feeling. When I reach another aid station (pit in 24 solo racing speak) I do everything possible to get in and out quickly. Then 5 minutes later wish I had stuck around.

The 2013 RMVQ for me was doing it unsupported. So then maybe I am disqualified now. I received 3 rear window baked pickles and three packets of 5-year-old honey in the parking lot.


As I left Pattee Canyon I felt like I did not stop long enough. I should have savored the rest and the company. The hardened honey blob from a packet rattled around in my water bottle as I pedaled up the University Climb.

The last conversation I had with that unsupported racer helper person was how long this was going to take. It was suggested three hours. But in a fit of optimism I put one hour out there.  It was ludicrous just to hear myself say it.

Last Marcy posting on University Mountain
Last Marcy posting on University Mountain

I was posting the last Marcy photo within an hour after leaving the parking lot. I do not know what got into me. Sometimes Marcy visits me and I get this surge of energy from somewhere. Her spirit lifting me from a broken human. I paused a little longer at the photo being held down by a couple rocks. My eyes fell upon the earth to see remnants … still …of her ashes.

“Thanks … for everything”, I said touching the rock with my hand. I covered the remaining ashes with a rock and jumped on my bike to ride into town. I have been here before. Finishing the RMVQ. This one was one of the hardest.

My phone rang and I for some reason I answered it.

“Hello … um I am like riding down University headwall now”, I explained in a frantic voice; now on the most dangerous part of the entire loop.

“Bill … its Julie, where are you”, came a voice.

By the time I crossed the finish line I had been joined by Julie Huck, Mo, and Ed Stalling. Good friends. I greeted each one with a hung and some sort of explanation on how hard I had tried to get to the finish. I heard stories of Julie and others frantically calling back and forth to get a status. Ed wishing he could join me in Turah.

Reaching the end should have never been so dramatic. And on the surface it wasn’t. Inside … I couldn’t believe I had done it. Even though everyone surrounding me had total faith.  I must have looked totally together and coherent. But I wasn’t. For the last 20 hours I couldn’t envision how I could finish. I almost froze to death. I had no water. I became disheveled. Quitting was always a consideration.

Now I was surrounded by friends .. congratulating me actually. So good to see my friends. I suppose I was never really alone out there.

2 thoughts on “2013 RMVQ part VI

  1. Great report Bill. It was fun to read about your RMVQ experience. SOMEDAY I will visit Missoula and ride this loop. Although I remember now that it often falls on the same weekend that I hike the Grand Canyon with my dad, but perhaps someday all the stars will align. However, if there is a bunch of snow on Sheep, I am bringing snowshoes. Sounds harrowing. 😉

    Can’t wait for Frog Hollow!

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