It Takes a Village to Try the Arrowhead

One of the best things about my attempt to race the Arrowhead 135 this week is the way so many people have helped me out. It’s really amazing and heart-warming. And, I hope, hand- and foot-warming.

First of course is Shannon, who’s letting me try my body and mind in this crazy race (and spend some hard-earned money in the effort) . Thanks foremost to her!

After her is a long list of people who have offered gear and advice. Thanks, all!

  • Scott K., who offered to let me use his car to get to and from the race.
  • Michael L., who loaned me his neat Spot GPS tracker so that Shannon (and others!) can “watch” me ride via this cool live-updating map. (The updating will start when the race kicks off at 7 a.m. on Monday, January 27.)
  • Derek C., half of the team behind the fantastic Inspiration 100 every September, who’s offered encouragement and sent me a “good luck” present to help haul all the gear you have to carry in the race and a ton of music to make the drive up north speed by.
  • Jerry B., the head ape at Monkey See Monkey Read, who has provided all kinds of advice based on his attempt at the AH last winter. I’ll see him on the trails this year as he goes after the race again.
  • Tom B. at Fit to Be Tri’d, who tuned up my bike, offered some good advice for keeping it working in the cold, and gave me a tin of Dermatone to protect my lips and skin.
  • Marty L. and the staff at Tandem Bagels, who cut me a deal on their excellent “energy bombs” to eat during the race.
  • Nicole S. at the Gear ReSource here in Northfield, who helped me find some cheap, light gear and loaned me some other stuff.

In addition to all those people, I need to thank the gravel-grinder group here in town, who have been great riding companions for several years now. And I also need to thank all the friends and acquaintances who have wished me good luck in this nutty endeavor. I’ll need it all, I think! The race starts at 7 a.m. on Monday morning. I have until 7 p.m. on Wednesday to finish.

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