Five Weeks, Five Days, Five Hours, Five Minutes, Five Seconds
FIVE wins, 2000 miles, reigning champion Dusty VanMeter (Scott Davis has 7 but 3 are 1000 miles)
….Living the Dream….. Well months have turned into weeks now and it is getting real. There are racers that have put a couple sleds together, there are racers that have only hopped on and taken off. There are racers that have been planning in meticulous pattern and precision to have all those plans move from Plan A to Plan Z! And then, there are racers that have been FIVE STEPS ahead at every single turn. Chalk that up to blessings, good Karma……good use of energy …. they have learned from experience “Don’t sweat the small stuff”.
So the typical racing team at FIVE WEEKS out has been training in the garage, in a gym, working the day job, meeting personal commitments and running like a mad man/woman on the trails in the “off hours”.
Some racers have the luxury of 100 miles every night, just outside their garage door. Some have to haul sleds a hundred miles before they unpin the trailer and hit the throttle. Some will have been riding 100 miles before breakfast. Some will do 500 miles before 5 PM tonight……it’s a mixed bag and always has been. The one thing they have in common is their view of the last FIVE SECONDS of ice riding in Fairbanks on the Chena River……they have dreamed “First place”, they have dreamed “ just get me there in one piece and a finisher”, or they have dreamed “FIVE DAY TRAIL RIDE- Let me see the heart of Alaska”!!!
Whatever their dream……FIVE HOURS is approximately what it takes to do the last morning of race week. They have been sitting in Tanana for a part of Friday, being fed by Cynthia Erickson and her crew of INCREDIBLE VOLUNTEERS and swapping stories for hours, time to prepare mentally for the last 285 miles. They have laughed and relaxed and now the race is on……it is early, the temperature is typically well below -25, the machines have been sitting idle for about 16 hours and it is time to rock…..69 miles to Manley where they see Sabrenia Jervsjo’s crew and hop back on the Tanana river to fly over the sand bars to Nenana for a pit stop and fill with Eric Macchione and head onto the Nenana for the final run through North Pole and to the finish line……5 MINUTES, 5 SECONDS doesn’t seem like much, but it can make or break the difference between a win or second place, in the money or out, the chance to bring home the Rookie award, or to carry home a trophy v/s a certificate of completion … FIVE MINUTES, FIVE SECONDS does make a huge difference after all!!!!
I know, I know,,,,,,,,most people say that racers don’t do it for the money, it is hardly a way to make a living that is for sure, but the fact that they get to live their dream in the last five seconds of any year they sign up is priceless for sure. And our payout…..we get to be a part of it…..the adoring fans!!!!
Just over FIVE DAYS of riding 2,000 miles makes me hurt just thinking of it, but here we are again, roster filled to capacity, a lot of chatter about the smooth buzzing bumblebees, higher technology, better engineering in all brands allows modifications to make for a better more durable and dependable ride, we might see a huge increase in the percentage of completions this year…that is good for us, we get to live more dreams too, playing our part as the adoring fans……who will we see on Saturday morning living their dream in the last FIVE SECONDS? 34 days folks……VAROOM, VAROOM, Iron Dog Maiden (aka Harriett Fenerty).