Saturday was a great ride for me and I was probably looking at a personal best as far as 500-milers go.Felt good going into the night but by early Sun a.m. it became apparent something was wrong.Despite dressing for the cooler temps,I developed a case of hypothermia and had a hard time bringing my body temp up.My night crew valiantly worked on it and was able to get me back on the bike and I kept riding.By changeover to the day crew I didn’t feel right and by 1 p.m. I was vomitting undigested food from the early a.m. (sorry for the graphics).thought momentarily about DNF’ing but got back on bike and actually rode better.Started the long climb up Cedar but my crew couldn’t feed me because of the GI issues.Half way up and luckily right outside the only restrooms on the climb the other end of my GI tract joined in the fun.No problem-we’ll just clean up and keep going.
After the descent into Cedar City I felt better,but by the next changeover I had lost more stomach contents but what the hell,I cleaned up and kept going.We missed New Castle turn-off by 6 miles and had to go back and I can’t remember much of the ride from Enterprise to Snow Canyon but apparently I climbed well but listed to the right on the flats.Fell over a few times including once over a guardrail which elicited a few chuckles out of my mouth.
At Snow canyon ,realizing I was so close and was able to ride down with Dave,my crew was fairly confident that would be the end of the adventure-but alas it was not to be.
It gets a little sketchy from here but I think I fell asleep on the Parkway as I remember first dreaming about crashing and then crashing.I guess I was dazed as I couldn’t bring myself to get back on the bike and stood there for the longest time not quite sure what to do and the Race was becoming a dim memory.One nice woman did stop and ask me if I was ok but I simply replied that yeah my back just hurt.Eventually I decided to move from that spot but don’t remember getting back on the bike but ended up at a Tuweap Rd where I once again got off and stood around not sure what to do.Another fellow in a van stopped to ask if I was ok and once again I deferred to the back.He asked if he could take me anywhere and I simply replied no,my wife was coming to get me!
Eventually I decided to get back on the bike and finish my “Sunday morning ride” but found myself in a different neighbourhood so pulled a u-turn and found what I thought was a road going in the direction of the Hilton.Soon after I saw my truck go by and gave them a friendly wave as obviously they were out for groceries or something,saw it pull-over and was greeted by a very concerned Son and eventually police.Jer asked me if I wanted to finish,I kinda thought I had and was just out for a leisurely ride.He convinced me otherwise and I got back on the bike and ,well you know the rest.
I appreciated the reception at the end but was a little embarassed as afterall I wasn’t finishing on time and was really last.That kind of reception should be reserved for those who come in first not slackers who were obviously resting up.
Anyway,I know its long-winded and my lovely wife tells it better than I do but I thought you may be interested.I know that you can’t help the lack of crew at the end because of permit issues but if I’d had my crew this ending would never have transpired.I also know they could have taken me out at that point but I’m not sure I would have let them and its kinda sad that they would even have to be in that position.
In any case that is the nature of the ultra-distance race and we never know what fate awaits us.I arrived safe and am almost ready to get back on the bike and in the end that’s all I can ask for-except maybe an unofficial finisher’s jersey-ha,ha!