We were honored to have the opportunity to crew for our friends Steve and Murph at the 2012 Death Race in Pittsfield, VT this year. This race is off-the-charts when it comes to "crazy" and I have no idea how they managed to keep going day and night through all of the tough challenges - mental, physical, psychological... They carried 60-pound bags of Quikrete cement up a mountain. They spent hours lugging a heavy kayak through singletrack trails. They built a driveway. They sat in a cold pond for 45 minutes. They split countless logs. They did mental puzzles and origami (!).
I certainly can't answer the "why" question. And at the race, I couldn't answer much about the "what" "where" or "when" either - the race organizers did a stellar job of keeping the crews completely in the dark and running in all directions chasing rumors. The racers performed a few quick tasks around TA on Friday afternoon and then took off, disappearing for over 24 hours before we finally caught back up with them on top of the mountain. I did have fun riding my bike around the dirt roads trying to figure things out.
They eventually started coming into TA a couple times, but mostly they had to be self-sufficient somewhere else on the course and we didn't get to help too much. But we managed to document a couple of the tasks at least.
Jumping in mud at the direction of a young girl (the kid had fun with this one):
Lugging dirt to fill in some wet spots on the bike trails:
The elusive stakes... that's another story I can't begin to explain:
Cutting up and splitting a log so they could carry 12 pieces down the mountain:
The din and flying bits of wood were impressive:
John liked to capture photos of logs in mid-split:
Moving bales of hay into a barn (I believe the guy on the right in the green glasses is Olaf, the eventual winner):
Barn Boss overseeing the operation:
The "frog" that Steve stopped to stare at:
Heading back to TA to pick up the concrete bag:
At least they had good weather all weekend (although it was rather hot):
John taking a break from watching all that effort (and this packraft will make an appearance - and disappearance - in a subsequent post):
In the end, both Steve and Murph FINISHED the entire event, never quitting, never giving up, sticking together and finding a way to persevere. Only about 10% of the starters managed this feat, and it took until late Sunday night to get there. Truly amazing and inspirational!! Congratulations to them!