Monday, March 5, 2012

Arrowhead, the final Post (I hope!!)

As with any event, one sometimes omits a few things that comes to mind later or just leaves out a few items and thinks better of it later, for whatever reason.
My write-up of the Arrowhead 135, The End needs a followup, as well.

The article/link above was published in a local Silent Sports magazine and I'd like to recognize a few people I left out. When writing my blog entry, it was going to be the basis of said article, so in the back of my mind I was always thinking that if it got too long, the Editor of the magazine would need to trim some of it so I figured I'd keep it as short as possible but still get as much in as I could. So, in effect, I did my own editing and tried not to put it on the shoulders of the Editor to decide what should be part of the article or not.

Following are a few things I missed due to just not thinking of them at the time I wrote the piece or I omitted for the reason of length.

- The Arrowhead 135 was very professionally ran by Dave and Mary Pramann. Their cast of volunteers were great. from the equipment Nazi Don at the start, to folks marking the trail, Anton (Tony) and Jerald (who also, with his wife Sandy owns and operates the Voyageur Motel in International Falls, MN, where a number of us racers stayed), to the folks at all 3 checkpoints and of course at the finish line. As with all races at or near this level of magnitude and attention todetail, it just wouldn't happen with superb leadership and a dedicated crew of volunteers. Thank you to you all.
- I failed to mention the 2-3 bikers I spent most of the 2nd day with. Tom, Erwin and Craig. Tom and I had met at the Church breakfast on the Sunday morning before the race.
As the 3rd and final checkpoint does not have any food available, I got concerned after I left the mid-way checkpoint that I didn't grab enough grub. I first caught Craig as he was packing up in the hill section at a lean-to where he had bivied for awhile. I stopped and asked if he had any extra food and he offered some to me, but I said I'd wait until closer to the end as I didn't want to short him if he decided he needed it. Further down the trail I ran into Tom and Erwin (who, at 69 was the oldest competitor to finish).

Erwin at the finish:

I asked and received some energy food from both Tom and Erwin. Thanks, guys. I probably had enough of my own, but the change of pace and the quick energy guu for the hill sections made things that much better.
- All 4 of us were gathered at the top of one especially long and steep hill. For some reason, I believe it was Erwin, suggested to me I take off and they'd follow. It was quite treacherous as we neared the bottom with a half dozen moguls or better closing in on me fast. I widened out my stance and dragged a pole as I normally do is it acts like a rudder to help stabilize me. I was going too fast to do any slaloming and further with the moguls that wasn't possible, so I just whizzed on through them, also knowing the bikes were behind me but not knowing for sure just how close.
As I skied through the bottom of the trough and started up the other side I could hear the bikes right on my tail. I stopped and turned around and all 3 guys were right there, bearing down on me. I was quite surprised they were able to descend at that speed and mentioned that. Erwin said I was very fortunate that I didn't spill as I'd have had 3 sets of Pugsley tracks the length of me.
From then on, if we were in the same situation, I'd let them go and I'd wait at the top until they were on the way up the other side. The bikes have much better breaking capabilities than I had, plus they can probably roll over things better than a skier!

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