Hello people. I thought I would take a stab at one of these race reports. I figure I’m gonna be doing this for a while and also I need to improve on my writing skills, win, win. I was invited to Pac Crest by Shawn Hughes...twice. I signed up for the race feeling a little outclassed and inadequate, similar to the first time I showed up at Chico State for a CTC track workout. I rode up to the race with Jason Berry my friend and mentor, and his wife Marisa, an awesome woman. We got in to Oregon late Friday night. I was tired. I remember asking myself how was I supposed to race on Sunday. On Saturday I went on a short bike ride with Jason and Shawn, admiring their skill and thinking to myself, these dudes are trying to run me ragged. I had to rest and chill.
I had the chance later that day to watch Joanne Gilchrist and Eric Ayars come in from their half Iron Man race a little beat up, in my heart these are people that I look up to with much love and respect. I should have realized that this race was gonna be a little more challenging than I thought. I was with a group of couples and their children the Ayers whose children were racing also. Stephen, Eric’s son beat me in a three mile race several months ago....just saying. I was inspired to be in the company of doctors, nurses, private investigators, engineers, and the likes. I realized that the weekend I was experiencing, is common for this crew. Earlier that morning while at breakfast I ran into JP, and Linda Bergman my rock and roller friend here in Chico, except for being single this weekend couldn’t get any better. They were there to watch Christine, JP’s mom race. I also ran into Preben, one of the men who taught me to swim at Chico sports club. Wally Marshall was the other man that taught me to swim open water.
Sunday we started the swim portion of the race I swam next to Shawn for..oh about 3 seconds. I remember the first time I read about him swimming 2.4 miles and thinking damn. I don’t know if it was the lack of training or the altitude or the week I had put in. Initially I had an almost impossible time putting my head in the water and swimming at the same time. I couldn’t get it together. I remember talking to Joanne the night before the race and her saying to me if I got in trouble like this to just chill it would pass...before that happened I remember Meagan Yates saying to me at the Black Butte Tri don’t be afraid to grab a canoe if you have to. My head was screwing with me and at some point I remember saying you’re gonna be in the water for a while so you might as well enjoy the scenery which I actually did. I stopped did a 360 took in the mountains the race the scene and said ok...lets go buoy to buoy which I did 40 minutes later and ready to ride I was on dry land.
Easy transition. I gave 100% on the ride nobody passed me...lol(maybe it’s because everyone was already in front of me being 400 something out of the water). I actually just thought of that a minute ago. A little slow on the uptake sometimes...either way it felt good to catch and pass all the racers in front of me. I realized during the race that I could actually ride in the drops on a bike at 35-40mph comfortably and not with a terrified death grip...me and Greg Watkins discussed this at Black Butte practice Tri last year. I got to T2 and remember running around for what seemed like forever trying to find my running gear. I was freaking out yelling I didn’t ride that hard to lose it all here. I also was saying to the volunteer that I have to find 559, 559. I remember thinking why doesn’t she care as much as I do...although she did point me to the 559 section. I recall thinking I would run the damn run bare foot if I only had a race belt with my number on it....and then it hit me I was not 559, but 569...in which the volunteer once again pointed me in the right direction.
It happened, The run went well and again I passed most people in front of me I finished at 3:08 and some change. Pleased with my results. The biggest regret I have is not realizing that Jason was suffering from dehydration. I usually have to walk around after a race for about 20-30 minutes I can’t breathe my words slur and so on. Thank you Shawn for catching Jason’s condition even after Marisa told me he was having hard time. I remember standing in front of the medical tent which was crowded, while Jason got fluids and watching a woman cross the finish line crying. That’s when I started to cry(but only for a little while, lol). Thinking how privileged we are to be able to do this and to respect and appreciated this life we get to live. I realized that, that was one of the most special races that I had ran. I will keep this finishers medal. Thank you to everyone who made this possible. Came Far, Far to Go.