Friday, November 22, 2013
The Starting Line, Baja Blog 2
I knew I was going to be by myself at the starting line. It was going to be cutting it close for the guys to get to the first rider change and also be able to stay and watch me take off, so we didn't want to take that chance. After Kelly and I went to the mandatory riders meeting; the chase crew, Clint, and Kelly made their way out of town. The other guys on our team had left hours before to start heading down south.
I got dressed in all the layers of protective gear and preceded to get the bike to the line. I got to the line and found the spot assigned for 337x. As soon as I took my helmet off, a gentlemen walk up to me out of the blue and congratulated me on my weight loss. I was kinda taken a back. I said thank you and asked him how he knew. He had read an article in some online San Diego adventure magazine. His wife took a few pictures of us and I got to tell some more of my story.... pretty cool.
That chat helped calm my nerves a bit.
Back home, a few months ago a friend hooked me up with one of his friends named Aaron from Georgia who had done the Baja a few times before. He had given me some great advice and it was just good to talk to someone who had been here and done this race. Aaron was an Ironman; he was going to do this race by himself!!!!
Holy crap, I couldn't even fathom what it would taketo even attempt that. We had never met face to face and as I stood there by my bike; he walked up and introduced himself. The only other guy I knew doing this race and he was in his spot…lined up right behind me. We talked as some of the first bikes left the line.
That also helped calm my nerves a bit.
A few minutes later a couple of friends of some of my teammates showed up and asked how I was doing and if I needed anything. I looked down and noticed I had forgotten to bring a small towel to wipe my goggles off. They jumped in and helped by going and buying small kids t-shirt for me. I jammed the pink tee in my jacket pocket.
That helped calm my nerves a bit.
Now I was up on the podium, the bike underneath me and a microphone jammed in my helmet. All those things I had planned on saying at that moment left me, as I stumbled over my words forgetting to mention some of my teammates, sponsors and causes. All I remember saying is "this is a dream come true." I rolled down the podium to the start line..."One minute," the official told me.
That did not help calm my nerves one bit.