We got to watch elite athletes, a large group of friends, fellow competitors, and lots of new faces try to win/finish 36 or 12 hours of paddling,trekking, and mountain biking. There were also several mystery events that needed to be completed . Our first CP was at a climbing wall in the middle of the YMCA Trout Lodge. There was also a zip line not far from us. Half of the team had to complete the task. Many people were not excited about the idea. Me in particular. After all the teams were through, I gave it a go. I was successful and in tears by the end. I hope to do it again sometime without the tears.
Around 2 pm we were at our final CP, which was the best CP we could have had. We were the last CP, on the water, less than 5 miles from the finish. We got to see almost everyone in the 12 and all in the 36. WOW. To be able to tell people they are almost there and see sheer joy and smiles is priceless. Just so you know, Cowbells on the river was awesome. Every team that passed expressed thanks. Some teams wanted to stop and hang out with us. We had a great set up. Team Seagal Kona tent was in place, along with our tent and a good sized fire. We sent the last12 hr team down river about 715. I told them to haul ass because rain was headed our way. We did not have cell service, so Jim took our phones for a mile drive to achieve some bars and check on things at home. Wouldnt you know it, several minutes later came the first 36 hr team. It was only 915 and they were not expected for at least another 1-2 hrs. Another 15 minutes passed and another team showed up. It was 1.5 hrs later when the next team was seen. Then about 3 hrs later. This was going to be a long night. We decided to get some sleep, so we built up the fire and hung up the control so the teams could punch their passports. We would hear them coming and would wake up anyway so it worked out well.
What made these people think they could do anything for 12 or 36 hrs? Several racers had chosen this as their first race. They were simply asked to do it and thought why not. I will tell you, you cannot judge a book by its cover at these events. If you do you will be wrong every time. Just because someone looks fit does not mean they are and vice versa. I noticed that those who lacked the fitness made up for it with a great attitude and some mental toughness.
At the end of the day, about 4pm, we headed back to headquarters and got to see the last 36 hr team finish. That was amazing to see. Its hard to stand on the sidelines and watch people do what you really want to be doing. You do get rewarded though. We met a lot of incredible people and had a great time. Remember how I said Jason takes care of its volunteers? Well, when you give your time you get a discount to your race of choice. Knowledge and a discount are hard to top. We also got to pick a prize from the schwag table. Jim picked gaiters and I picked some fleece gloves. They will be perfect for fall/winter riding.
Jake the Snake is in route to the Hub. Timing is kinda bad though. Right now all I can focus on is the Burnin'. Connor received a tune up and is dialed in to attempt and complete 7 laps. Who cares if I cant walk afterwards...