So I’ve told you the story of how my race went but there was a lot going on behind the scenes. With 1200 racers in Grande Cache it was more chaotic than normal. We were camped at tent city with our trailer this year. Since it was supposed to rain we decided the travel trailer would be more comfortable. We drove the pickup truck and hauled the trailer.
Sometime during the evening while I was out running (I think it was at the 3/4). Mike was at the transition area and had to put the truck in 4×4 to get around in the muddy field that was the transition parking area and that’s when things went to crap. The truck was no longer able to engage in gear and was limped back to camp. Mike continued to crew me using a friend’s vehicle until after the race was over. He was also thoughtful enough not to mention the car trouble until after I had completed my race.
After I had showered and slept for a couple hours Mike broke the bad news to me. He wasn’t quite sure how bad the truck was yet and he thought he could limp it down to the kids race to watch our daughter become a death racer in the 5km kid’s death race.
We had only made it about 300 M from camp and the truck was done. It wouldn’t go into gear and Mike was having trouble getting even it into park. So now after finishing my 125km race only a few hours prior I was walking as fast as I could across town to the start of the kids race.
I thought with all the friends in town we’d surely see someone I knew and get a ride. Cars kept passing but NO familiar faces. Finally I jokingly put out my thumb and yelled “CDR soloist doesn’t want to walk anymore, need a ride to kids race!” A gentleman in his 60’s pulled up in a very large pickup and asked if I was joking or not. I explained our car troubles and my daughter needing to get to the race. He told us hop in, I was very grateful for this kind human but at that moment I wasn’t sure I could get in a truck that tall 😳 it was jacked!! we managed to get me in and Wayne (the kind stranger) got us there in time. I’m not say hitchhiking with your 12 year old is a good idea but it was an adventure that’s for sure.
The kids race started and they all took off. She started off doing a great job in her run maybe a little too quick to start and then she was tired and wanted to quit. I walked with her on all the pavement but she had to do the hills by herself and she did great. Not an easy course for kids Death race. I’m so proud of her for not giving up. I told her that there are many times in these ultras when I have felt all those negative things. I can’t do it, it’s too hard, I want to quit. Don’t let the self doubt win. believe in yourself, don’t give up. You will be stronger now and in life in general. She agreed to finish the race but made me promise to get her some ice cream. After her race we went back to camp until the dinner & awards. After seeing some friends, eating and cheering for others at the awards as promised I took my daughter down to the fairway grounds. She’d been excited all weekend to try out Area 51 aka the gravitron and it was finally time for rides. She ran down the hill excited only to come back sad. I think it’s closed she said, her hope slowly fading. I walked down with her to ask at the office. She ran up and asked the lady in charge only to be told they were closed and the rides were shutting down. Heartbroken she ran over to me and buried her head in my shoulder. The lady said “see you next year” but I told her “we won’t be back” (not 💯 sure on that but it’s what I said). I mention she only wanted to ride one ride all weekend and I was busy racing and hadn’t been able to get there earlier. She tells us to hang tight. She asks the operator if it’s still operational, as many of the rides are already being torn down and being made ready to travel. Just our luck it is still ready to go but then she tells me she can’t run the ride for just one person it must be at least two people and says I should go on with her. Well as I have aged spinning rides and I are not as good of friends as we used to be. And I tell her I may lose my cookies if I get on that ride, but I could have another kid there within 60 seconds. She agrees and I immediately call Lori Parchem and tell her to get Amanda down there ASAP. Amanda appears only seconds later. the two girls plus another boy get on Area 51 and my heart swells. Thank you for taking a few extra minutes out of your day you made my little girls day.
Sunday evening at camp we just relaxed around the fire with Tim, Derek, Chris, Wayne, Lori, Taryn and Jesse. Even Tania, Janelle and Denise showed up with cupcakes to celebrate Tania’s 40th birthday and her strong CDR finish. Monday morning rolls around and everyone is packing up and going home. Not us we wait. Wait for a tow truck for the pickup truck and a ride from Mike’s friend Dave who would drive all day to save our stranded family. By 10 am the tent city was looking quite empty.
Tim gave me a ride down to make one last attempt at locating my missing Ambler loop bag (No luck) and to see if anyone turned in a pair of 110cm black diamond Z foldable poles. I somehow ended up trading poles with someone who’s a bit taller than me. If you are reading this and you ran death race and own these type of poles in 120 CM please check and see if you have the right size.
We spent the rest of the day walking for ice cream and feeding birds that were hanging out after everyone left.
at 4:30pm Dave arrived from Edmonton in the boss’s truck ready to tow our trailer and take us home. The three of us piled into the back seat for the long ride home from Grande Cache. made even longer by the fact that we couldn’t haul the trailer faster than 90km most of the way home. Finally arriving back home at around 10:45pm. We quickly unloaded clothes, coolers and any other perishables from the trailer and then went straight to bed wishing we’d booked another day off work to recover from our weekend. So when I say the only thing that went right was the race you now know what I mean. At least we’d made it home safe and sound. Our truck on the other hand was towed to Hinton via AMA and then towed home the following weekend. The transmission is shot. We will now get it rebuild and Mike will put it back together and hope that everything is fixed. Fingers crossed folks. Only 8 more days until Blackspur ultra in Kimberly, BC. Hope to see you there