Just some short snippets from the memory and thoughts:
-The race is well put on and I hope as the organization changes it only continues or gets better
-I keep thinking about a 100mm rear rim. I have it. Next year maybe.
-I really do love my bike. I think 9:zero:7 makes a fantastic product. I plan on using this same bike for pretty much all my races this year, so look out! Also, the Cold Avenger makes my Arrowhead finishes possible. And that is amazing.
-The people of the race go a long ways to making this the race it is. I can say in 4 years of this race I have only found one person that I didn't want to continue our conversation. That one person may surprise you.
-This year I saw a ton of wolf tracks. Mainly from checkpoint #1 to #2. I also saw 5 piles of scat, I assume wolf, in that area.
-During my 10 mile stand and grunt finish the snow was falling heavy. I couldn't even make out the tracks well at all of the riders that were about 45 minutes in front of me. At one point I did notice tracks pop out of the woods, go up the line I was riding, and then back into the woods 8 feet later. Those were wolf tracks and they were fresh. Fresh as in the dumping snow had not touched them yet. It was at that time I yelled to scare him away further, but also wished I had been looking up as I am sure I would have gotten to see the tuff of fur run off.
-I have been confused about my body's lack of need for calorie replenishment. Hydration yes. Muscle soreness check. But food not much.
-There is a lot of MN vs. AK rivalry. I join in on it. That being said, everyone I have met from "up there" is super nice and I enjoyed their company.
-My asthma was a pain...again. I wonder how things would go if I could breath normally without a mask as opposed to gingerly with. The other way to look at it is the fact I should pat myself on the back to push through those times and finish at all.
-This race is getting popular. I worry too popular. I wonder if it might someday the bike portion would be run separately. That would be too bad in the sense that I have met a lot of great people that run and ski the event.
-I worried out loud at the finish during the snowstorm if people were prepared to bivy. I think a lot of people come to the race barely having looked at their equipment. I was one of those the first year. If it had been pouring snow AND -20 there would have been a lot of people in serious hurt as I think they don't prepare enough for the "what if's".
-I desperately want to take my bike to the Iditarod Trail Invitational. Only problem is I would be looking at a $4,000 or so trip ($1,000 just on the race entry). That is about $3,500 more than I could plan on. Yes, I am a landlord with properties. That essentially means I am land rich and cash poor. Well actually I will EVENTUALLY be land rich. Ben Doom has already volunteered to hide in my luggage so we can split an airfare (about $700 round trip, btw). Factor in bike transport costs (Maybe $500), lodging (???), flight back to the start (????), new gear for the adventure (?????), and I think $4,000 sounds about right.
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