Saturday, 30 May 2009

The Race is Almost Over

"The race is almost over" is a comment someone made yesterday. It might sound a bit odd considering we only line up at the start in 16 days time.

Having though about it I must agree that the race is almost over. Packing the race boxes and shipping them off is the last real activity before the race starts.

The first part of the race begins with the desire/dream of doing it. That progresses through actually entering, coercing your friends into joining you, getting on the forum, having countless dreams about the race, getting your first glimpse of the route, attending a race briefing, getting the updated maps and narrative and planning your boxes etc.. In between all of this is the countless hours and kilometres on the bike.

By the time you have shipped your race boxes you have lived the race for the better part of 6 months. All things going to plan you will be home with the race behind you in little over 5 weeks.

There is little you can do to be better prepared physically so it is now hurry up and wait for the start.

Packing the boxes is a little stressful, even the second time around. You are allowed to forward 2 litre icecream containers, filled with stuff to ease your race, to each of the 26 designated support stations. 2 litres is not that much once you start loading necessities and comfort food. Riders have opted for everything from loo paper to Jack Daniels. The last minute rush to stuff everythng possible into 2 litres is both expensive and exhausting. Now that it is behind me I can relax as there is now nothing I can do about it - what has been sent is done, we must live with the consequences of any oversights or mistakes. One rider in a previous year loaded his maps in corresponding support station (SS) boxes. Day 1 maps in SS box 1, Day 2 maps in SS2 and so on. The problem being that you need the day 1 maps to get to support station 1. Fortunately for this rider other events resulted in him not starting the ride....which is probably fortunate.

Carl, one of my guys at work yesterday admitted to having a dream where he had entered the race and was all excited. Most people I have spoken to who are doing the race have had at least one dream about the race - mostly negative ones at that. Carl is the first person I have heard of who is not doing the race and had a dream about it. Perhaps my excitement and anxiety is rubbing off on him.

So with boxes packed and shipped I can turn my attention to getting my bike in good shape and plannng and packing my backpack. A couple of fun rides chucked in and then it is all systems go.....

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