Well here we go folks!
It's now Thursday morning and I didn't sleep well last night as I ran HR in my sleep 3 times! I was hoping to sleep good but my mind was racing. It's a good/bad thing to get here in Silverton so early: good because you get to see everyone else in the HR family and acclimate, bad because all I want to do is to get it on but I have to wait.
My family finally got here Tuesday night - boy was it great to see them! Talk about recharging my battery! I've been here since Tuesday night, July 1st so that makes it a week all alone. In that time away from mainstream life, I realize how important my family is to me. They mean the world to me! I am truly blessed to have a family (wife, parents, in-laws, and friends) to be so supported of such a selfish sport. It isn't the actual race but the training for such a race over the last year. The race is the celebration for me and my family- I get to celebrate successful training and my family gets to reconnect with other crews/friends. But together we get to enjoy the amazing scenery and experience.
Now about the race itself, I have no expectations but to finish. In fact, normally I carve out splits for my crew but I haven't even thought twice about that. I have provided them with time of day splits from the 2004 and 2006 splits and to gage my arrival based on those. With the snow (and just being Hard Rock), expectations or predictions are futile. Expect the unexpected here -always! Karl Meltzer put out his traditional odds and for the first time I made his list with 8-1 odds. Thanks for even mentioning my name Karl, I'm honored! If Kyle Skaggs stays safe then it's his race to lose. He's an amazing runner and for just 22 y.o. he's amazingly mature. I did trail work with Kyle last year and came to find out what a really nice guy he is as well. Stay safe Kyle!
On another note, my pacer Brian Fisher is now #3 on the wait list. He's in for sure. In fact, we spoke with the race director last night at dinner and he told Brian to pack his drop bags. I said, "hey wait a minute Dale, you mean to tell me you're gonna let Brian off the hook and not sweat it out all night like I had to last year?!?!?!" All in all I'm happy for Brian because he looks forward to this race just as much as I do. I basically did it w/o a pacer last year and can do it again. Although it woulda been nice to have the extra light going over Handies...
That's all for now until after the race. Checkout this website to get updates every 15 minutes. Oh and one more photo for dexterity - The beauty is nothing like I've ever seen!