University With a Little Help From Friends
If anyone has ever done ultra distance events. Not saying that I do anything compared to the average Jill Homer. My ultras are short. But nonetheless I still get that “why did I leave the comfort of an aid station so quickly” feeling. When I reach another aid station (pit in 24 solo racing speak) I do everything possible to get in and out quickly. Then 5 minutes later wish I had stuck around.
The 2013 RMVQ for me was doing it unsupported. So then maybe I am disqualified now. I received 3 rear window baked pickles and three packets of 5-year-old honey in the parking lot.
As I left Pattee Canyon I felt like I did not stop long enough. I should have savored the rest and the company. The hardened honey blob from a packet rattled around in my water bottle as I pedaled up the University Climb.
The last conversation I had with that unsupported racer helper person was how long this was going to take. It was suggested three hours. But in a fit of optimism I put one hour out there. It was ludicrous just to hear myself say it.
I was posting the last Marcy photo within an hour after leaving the parking lot. I do not know what got into me. Sometimes Marcy visits me and I get this surge of energy from somewhere. Her spirit lifting me from a broken human. I paused a little longer at the photo being held down by a couple rocks. My eyes fell upon the earth to see remnants … still …of her ashes.
“Thanks … for everything”, I said touching the rock with my hand. I covered the remaining ashes with a rock and jumped on my bike to ride into town. I have been here before. Finishing the RMVQ. This one was one of the hardest.
My phone rang and I for some reason I answered it.
“Hello … um I am like riding down University headwall now”, I explained in a frantic voice; now on the most dangerous part of the entire loop.
“Bill … its Julie, where are you”, came a voice.
By the time I crossed the finish line I had been joined by Julie Huck, Mo, and Ed Stalling. Good friends. I greeted each one with a hung and some sort of explanation on how hard I had tried to get to the finish. I heard stories of Julie and others frantically calling back and forth to get a status. Ed wishing he could join me in Turah.
Reaching the end should have never been so dramatic. And on the surface it wasn’t. Inside … I couldn’t believe I had done it. Even though everyone surrounding me had total faith. I must have looked totally together and coherent. But I wasn’t. For the last 20 hours I couldn’t envision how I could finish. I almost froze to death. I had no water. I became disheveled. Quitting was always a consideration.
Now I was surrounded by friends .. congratulating me actually. So good to see my friends. I suppose I was never really alone out there.