I am currently working my way through The Cordillera, Volume 7. The Cordillera is a collection of stories by racers who took part in the 2015 Tour Divide Race. The book is pulled together by Christopher Bennett and while started as a collection of rambling stories in the early versions, now serves as the go-to resource for prospective racers. Importantly, all profits from the sale of The Cordillera since 2010 go toward the college fund of Linnaea Blumenthal, daughter of Dave Blumenthal, who was tragically killed during the 2010 race.
Anyway, I have been enjoying reading about other racers perspectives on the race and nodding (to myself) knowingly as other racer's days intertwine with mine on various days. I have been able to put some names to faces and events that occurred. I also find myself looking for what the faster finishers did to speed themselves along and am finding it blindingly obvious what those who finished slower did wrong.
Then I came to Mick Eyb's account.
I met Mick at "The Y" in Banff, in fact he was in the next room and him being a country lad from New South Wales (my home state) we got along really well. Mick is a funny guy and as I said in my Day 1 race post I would have been very happy to ride with Mick throughout the race. Unfortunately, as we exited the Spray River Trail at the Goat Creek trailhead we were suddenly on a smooth gravel road. Mick was on a single speed and was soon spun out while I simply clicked up through the gears and put the power down. I figured I would be seeing him later in the day as the racers ebbed and flowed but it didn't happen. I beat the worst of the rain into Elkford and chased a storm over to Sparwood while most of the field was stuck in the mud and stayed in Elkford, 30 miles back.
The last time I saw Mick during the race.
Anyway, it was great to finally read Mick's account of his race and I think he very kindly credits me with too much in it.(insert blush here). I near pissed myself laughing as he laid out his race mantras, this mantra in particular.
But he has hit the nail on the head with "Don't die wondering". Being just an ordinary, garden variety working dad myself, I understand how we can let all sorts of excuses stop us from getting out there and having a crack at the world. I was determined (and I guess lucky) enough to make the 2015 Tour Divide happen.
But what next?
There are plenty of handy excuses not to do anything else but I find I have a desire to challenge myself again. I don't need the challenge to be perilously life threatening but it needs to be gruelling enough that just anybody isn't going to be able to complete it. Start it yes. Complete it, no.
I am finding that this race keeps popping up as pretty insane, but quite possibly do-able....yeah, it sounds like a challenge....
2014 Arizona Trail Race from Aaron Johnson on Vimeo.