Thunder Rolls last month, I was spared my normal post-race depression by the knowledge that the Berryman Adventure was fast approaching. Berryman, of course, was my first official adventure race, and it lived up to its reputation as "a real ass kicker" as my brother and I spent nearly 15 hours on the 12 hour course, missing the time cutoff by 45 minutes. While our subsequent disqualification was disappointing, it didn't take away from the main fact for me, which was that finally, after a year of excitement and preparation, I was adventure racing.
This year I'm returning to the 12-hour course with my teammate from last year, my brother Jim, but so much else is different. Rather than toeing the line at my first "official" AR, this year I'm a veteran of two non-races and four adventure races, two on 24-hour courses. I lobbied for the 24-hour course for Berryman, as well, before being shot down by my brother on the dual grounds that a) "we should officially finish the 12-hour course first" and b) his claims that he's in no shape for a 24-hour course. This, from the guy who raced circles around me with two bulging discs in his back. I'm quite sure I'll end the weekend embarassed by my failure to live up to his badassery once again.
Jim and I won't be going down there alone. Nathan, my 18 year old, is volunteering at the race...and by "volunteering" I mean was conscripted. I'm excited for him to be there, and think he'll have a good time and enjoy being a part of the race...but even if he doesn't I'll certainly enjoy using the race coupon I'll get as a result of his labor. :)
Another change is the locale. The race starts and finishes at Council Bluff, a trail which strikes fear in my heart every time one of my bike friends reminds me that "Council Bluff is no joke". Of course, I've never ridden there, and regular readers know how much I don't love riding new singletrack in a race. It's as if the race director looked into my brain (or blog, which is nearly the same thing, though better edited) and picked out what would worry me the most. It's quite possible: I firmly believe that all race directors are sadists at heart.
Even so, if you know me, it probably won't suprise you that right now I'm struggling to give the race the respect it's due; the phrase, "It's only 12 hours...." may have passed my lips a few times despite the fact that I know I always underestimate things and fully expect to get my butt kicked once again by this race. And that's ok. Easy is no adventure.
Scary new trail or not, I can't wait to get there, meet up with all my friends, and get started. Pretty much my every waking thought for the past two weeks has included Berryman. We leave this afternoon, and the race starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning. I'm not even going to suggest you check facebook or twitter for updates because I won't have my poor, broken-down phone with me during the race, and the cell signal in Southern Missouri pretty much sucks anyway. I'll just have to let you know how it went after the fact. And don't worry...I'm bringing a waterproof camera so that if we have a repeat of last year's canoeing follies, this year we'll at least have video evidence. :)
Catch you on the flip side! While you wait, do me a favor and check out my first VIP Blogger post for 2Toms. And if you don't mind, I'd love for you to leave a comment there and show them they made a great choice. :)