|This is my 4th year going to the Arrowhead 135. This is the race I dream about all year long. This is THE most important race for me each year both in racing and sheer fun. |
But this year is weird.
My drive up with J-No will be replaced by J-Palm. He is an Arrowhead virgin and is coming just to see the sights and sounds, not to race. There will be no Farrow with his huge smile. There will be no Deathrider and our constant questioning of each other's preference in "partners".
There will be a stacked field. The last 3 years of been won by 2 different Americans who can see Russia from their house. I would love nothing more than to end their streak. I feel like my fitness is the best of the 4 Arrowheads, and my breathing (my biggest handicap) has been handled really well this year. If that goal is possible has yet to be seen. Beyond those 2 though, there are a bunch of other strong riders, both returning and new. I can give a list of around 7-8 names that I think are all in the running depending on how things shake out.
That said, I am sure I will have fun. The racers are a tight knit group and I find myself more immersed in that group each year. I look forward to seeing all those faces again. I look forward to riding in the area again. I look forward to seeing how I stack up. I look forward to battling my asthma and the other racers. I look forward to the prerace meeting. I look forward to meeting in the building right before the start. I look forward to the start, with frozen breath everywhere, blinky lights blinding you, people bundled up, skiers and runners pulling their sleds, and all before the sun comes up. I look forward to the first 10 miles of straight flat as we get going, and then around Gateway where it heats up, crossing Elephant Lake to the halfway point, pushing my bike up miles of steep hills after, the last flat 25 miles, and then crossing the finish line.
I look forward to every moment and can't wait until next year.