The Canadian Death Race was this past weekend in Grande Cache, Alberta. What can I say, “AMAZING”. It was an experience that I will never forget, and I am definitely signing up for next year.
The citizens of Grande Cache were incredible hosts, friendly, and they were in some of the most unexpected places sitting on chairs along route cheering everyone on. Cars would honk and people would shout out loud: “Go Death Racers!” I think my favourite cheer was at the start when a gentleman shouted, “GO DEATH RACERS, You crazy bastards.” I am not capable of explaining what the energy was like throughout the event, because the words simply fail.
I loved the experience, but the hardest thing was fighting the disappointment. Around 8km into the race I took a digger and torqued my left knee causing an old injury to flare up. Just after 10km I was at the EMS station getting taped up, a couple of motrin, and analgesic stick to try to get rid of the pain. I pushed along slowly, but surely. Thanks to Pam, who ran along side me, and when I had to stop because my knee couldn’t take the pounding she walked with me. At the 19km, end of leg 1, we swapped out our camelbacks and I spoke to Ben our support crew. He advised that there was a first aid station part way into leg two where I could could opt out of the run, if I couldn’t continue. However, my pain tolerance is fairly high and at every opportunity to opt out, I opted to continue. After summiting the mountain, we had to go down, and down, and down, and well you guessed it.... DOWN some more! Since I couldn’t go forward, I had to descend the mountain backwards or sideways. The sideways was actually fun, my left leg was straight as a board and my right leg would support the slide. That was only during slugfest, the remainder of the downhill was backwards. I told Pammie to go ahead, she was going to aim for leg 3 and I didn’t want to mess up her time. She stuck with me and I felt supported and blessed.
Blessed to have such an amazing individual as my best friend, she just kept saying she wanted to do this with me and would stick with me until I couldn’t go further. It was a beautiful day, and because of her positive attitude I was able to brush off my disappointment. At the point that the athletic tape wasn’t supporting my knee sufficiently, and there was the odd tear in my eye, Pammie was there offering me her tensor bandage, which helped me limp along. I also believe that her attitude help me persevere. I knew that if I made it to the 46km mark I would have to quit the race and save myself from any potential of permanent damage. That way we could start training for next year.
It turned out that Pammie wiped out around the 40km mark and torqued her knee, so it became the gimpfest. The pain was so sharp her lip quivered and there were tears from pain in her eyes. When I asked how she was doing, her reply, “I just need a moment.” Meanwhile, she fought the pain, and then persevered. Totally inspiring. She even refused to take back her tensor, granted it was dirty and disgusting, but since she is so generous in spirit she decided that I needed it more. We finished Leg two, and hobbled to our ride.
1. Me, Pammie, and Allie
2. Me going backwards
3. Pammie with uber dirty legs
4. My uber dirty legs