Thursday, June 28, 2012

Death Race crewing

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!

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