1. It’s an outrageous, unearned privilege to be able to do a race like the Arrowhead. I can’t think about this fact too much or I’ll start dehydrating through my tear ducts.
2. When the winner of the race says, “It was the hardest conditions I have ridden in with such an intense pace,” it must have been a damn hard race.
3. There must be a time and a place for margarita-flavored Shot Bloks, but the Arrowhead is neither. #yuck
4. On the other hand, sliced salami is a delicious and nutritious race snack at any time!
5. Next year I’m not sharing my Red Bulls with anyone! I need that crap. It’s magical.
6. I’m sure some egghead can explain the fancy science behind ibuprofen, but that crap, too, is magical.
7. I love the “racer against the trail” feeling I get leaving Melgeorges (checkpoint two, at mile 72) to tackle the hardest section of the course.
8. I’m almost happier to reach the last checkpoint – Skipulk at mile 111 – than the finish, because if you can get there, you only have 24 miles to go. The finish is more a relief than anything.
9. I think that with more and better training, I have a real shot at a top-ten finish next year.
10.Some carbon rims would help, cough cough.
11. I also need to cut my time at the checkpoints down to under an hour, total. That’s what fast racers do. (Wearing a wristwatch and starting the timer each time I hit a checkpoint was a good reminder to keep my stays short.)
12. Riding bikes often humbles me, but watching Tracey Petervary and Jill Martindale ride away from me in the last leg of the race was humbling, awe-inspiring, and motivating. I couldn’t hold either of their wheels, but my weak attempts to chase first T-Race (who won) and then Jill (who finished second) did speed up those endless straightaways after Skipulk.
13. It’s a question as to which racer was tougher this year: Mike Brumbaugh, who skied twenty miles after breaking a ski pole and then finished the race after using PVC pipe and strapping tape to fix the pole; Jim Wilson, who was the last biker to finish, in 55:28; or Sveta Vold, who was the third-place female biker and who stopped during the race to nurse her new baby and pump milk!