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I love trying new experiences, and over the years have strayed far from being a creature of habit as I once was. But there are some things in my life that I am more than thrilled to repeat. This weekend will be one of them.
Last year, I randomly stumbled into the position of volunteer coordinator for the Death Race. Stumbled is even a bit of an understatement: I emailed the race director asking if I could come take pictures for a blog post, and next thing I know I’m spending about 64 almost sleepless hours in Pittsfield, Vermont, glued to a walky talky, helping to delegate a bunch of volunteers, calling ambulances, standing in dark woods at 2 am confronting race cheaters, and having one hell of an exhausting, amazing, experience.
I wish there was a way for me to explain the insanity and awesomeness of what this race entails, but I simply can’t. (You can, however, read last years recap for a peek into what I saw) Seeing it with your own eyes gives you half of an idea, and I can only imagine participating is the only true way to know what the Death Race is all about. The race is physical, absolutely, but it is far more of a mental challenge than anything most athletes have ever attempted. There is no concrete start, as there is no concrete finish (do not believe for a second the “48 hour” claim on the website. It is much longer than that.) Certainly no rest for the weary, and no bigger enemy to overcome than one’s own self. A lot of people start, but only a handful, if that, will finish.
And while I will not be a race participant, I, and some of the other volunteers, experience a Death Race of our own. Mine started a few days ago, when the final volunteer emails went out, and my inbox was absolutely flooded with questions and replies. And the 47 emails back and forth between a handful of people deciding on exactly how many meals these volunteers will need. Now I sit here surrounded by items strewn across my apartment as I attempt to pack. Will it rain? (probably). Will it be hot during the day? (likely.) Will it be freezing overnight (this is Vermont, dare I even doubt the possibility of snow?) I have enough energy drinks and 5 hour energy shots to feed a dorm full of college students cramming for finals, as it is likely that my body will only see 2-4 hours of sleep between tomorrow morning and, who knows, Wednesday? Sunscreen, bug spray, headlamps, shoes for hiking, shoes for running, snacks, cameras, sleeping bags, backpacks, first aid kits, the list goes on.
And this morning? My biggest Death Race challenge of 2013 so far: buying this thing.
A request from a friend flying in. I haven’t purchased, let alone eaten, any sort of animal carcass since September. Setting aside my moral and ethical objections just this once shows true friendship…or that my mind has already been Death Race warped for the weekend. I’m pretty certain the 10 minute drive home with the chicken in my passengers seat almost made me yak out the window. Mental strength. I survived. Challenge completed.
All jokes aside, I’m as excited as a little kid with a brand new Lego set to head up to Pittsfield tonight, and spend the weekend with some amazing friends and inspiring athletes. These are some of the most amazing people I have EVER met, and I am HONORED to have the opportunity to be a part of their experience.
My social media presence over the weekend will be questionable, as I’m still in the non-smart phone category, and the Wi-Fi status is still to be determined (though I do have some guest posts lined up for you to enjoy, so check in over the weekend.) If you want to keep up to date with the goings on in Pittsfield this weekend, be sure to follow Obstacle Racing Media on their web page, facebook page, and twitter feed.
Or come join us in Pittsfield to experience the Death Race for yourself…
…just be sure to bring your own chicken.