Hi Everyone -
Just wanted to get a short email off to say I survived a treacherous and bitterly cold Birkie! And I see by the results so did fellow CCC'ers Eric Lanners and Scott Andrzejczak - Congratulations guys! In fact, as I recall Eric thought he would do it in 5-6 hours and was under 4 hours! Nice job!
I got back Sunday night, and between family, a frantic day of work and starting my next round of Temodar chemo I have been quite distracted. Today I spent most of the day in bed or lounging. Temodar is supposed to be the "easy chemo" but it has socked me quite good. As I recall the first day after was the worst last time.
A few "highlights":
Around 25 patients signed my suit. I had no idea how motivating it would be for some. It hung in the chemo room for two weeks. The last day when I went in there was an elderly man I had not seen before. He was thin and had a gray pallor. When I went to talk to one of the nurses he sparked up and said "Is that Jim?" with a big smile on his face. From that moment on I knew I was going to finish the race no matter what.
The race began with the mercury in the single digits above zero, CCCCOOOLD even for us hearty northerners. Thankfully the 5-10 MPH wind was at our back
The course received a light dusting of snow overnight, which probably saved hundreds from broken limbs. The steep and winding downhills were lightning fast. I fell more times during this race than my whole racing career combined. There were lots of bloody faces at the finish, and a lot of broken gear. This was "The Death Ride" of skiing Will and Scott!
My race began uite auspiciously. In the starting gate there is probably room for 50 skiers per wave on the line. About 3/4 K ahead it bottlenecks significantly, and as I slowed someone behind me didn't, and when I stumbled a bit they skied right through my graphite pole, snapping it in two. I went back for the piece so I could get a warranty replacement, costing me eons of time. About 3K into the race I got a decent replacement and was able to ski normally again.
Attached are a few photos of the suit I wore with signatures of my fellow patients. After the articles in the paper and on skinnyski.com I had many people greet me on the course. That was wonderful and kept me going.
I finished in 3 hrs 49 minutes, slower than my glory days, but given the state of things I was well satisfied.
In about a month I will get photos they take on the course and will post one if any good.
Climbing the Power Line
Fabulous Faceplant at Snowmobilers Hill
Plenty of gas left at Hwy 00 so no dropping out!
Inching up "Bitch Hill"
Pre Race prep and Post Race controversy
Bro & Sis-in-Law top 75 and 25, respectively!