The following is a true story, only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Arrowhead 2012


Dittmer

Doom, Smiling as he punishes us





This sign, sweet salvation

Crossing Elephant Lake


Gray, Farrow, Myself somehow smiling

Winter Camping?


The scene for the last 20 miles

Perhaps the best sign on the trail

For Dave

It's over! The months of prep have finally come to and end. I had high hopes for the race this year but ended up doing really shitty. The pace in the beginning was extreme, hitting 15-17 miles per hour for a while. Even when it calmed down to around 12 mph it was hard going. Being the idiot that I am, and not listening to my screaming legs, I stayed on the lead group until the first checkpoint at Gateway. I backed off a little after that, by then it was too late. I was in no mans land and would battle with my inner thoughts of throwing in the towel the rest of the race. I was so pissed at myself for doing this it only made it worse. Getting to Melgeorge was really tough, the trail had deteriorated to the point that there were about six different lines to follow, none of which seemed any faster than the other. My only goal was to get to Melgeorge and try to "reset" myself and continue on. At checkpoint two I gave myself 45 min to get fueled up and get underway. When I left Melgeorge about an hour after I came in, I felt really good. I was riding strong for a while, and then as the dark settled in, so the did the demons in my head. I started getting tired, the trail wasn't very fast and I began doing the math in my head figuring how long it would take to get this thing finished. At my pace I wouldn't finish until 2 am or later. Between the hours of 1and 4 am, I can't function, this is my Achilles heel. Around 9pm I found a nice spot about half way up one of the massive climbs to build a fire and bivy for the night. I hung out by the fire for about an hour, only seeing one guy pass me (Bill Shand), before going to sleep around 10pm. It was such a great night, warm and comfortable I laid on my back catching a glimpse of the moon as I was falling asleep. I now felt like I was salvaging this race and enjoying the "Great North Woods". It didn't last long about an hour later I was awoken to rain hitting me in the face. I pulled the bivy sack over my sleeping bag and myself and proceeded to turn it into a sopping wet mess from the inside out by breathing inside of the whole apparatus. This is why I hate bivy sacks they just don't breathe. I woke around 5am with my right side wet. This was the side I was laying on. This is not a good way to start your day, but at least it was still warm out. I laid there a while trying to dry myself off by dispersing the water to other parts of the bag, using the top and sides like a towel. I got rolling before 7 am, and to my horror less than a mile down the trail the groomer was hard at work making 4-8 inches of mashed potatoes. I really was not having a good time now. With no way out I had to move on down the trail. It took two and a half hours to reach the Tee Pee check point, not even ten miles of trail. The thought of quitting at the tee-pee was in the back of my mind but there was no way in hell I would go this far and drop out. The trophy would be mine and I will have earned it even if I had to walk the rest of the way. To my surprise the trail conditions improved right after the Crescent Bar. All I had to do now was gut it out on the longest, flattest, most boring section of trail of the whole race. Two hours and forty minutes later I would cross the finish line adding one more Arrowhead trophy to the five that I already posses. It's over.................................for now .....................  

15 comments:

  1. Ah...... nice man........ NICE!!
    Congrats!!!
    I'm working at North Shore mine in Silver Bay all this week. I was gonna help out at Torture Bay; but yet again life got in the way!!
    Hopefully, if things work out next year I'll toe the line with all you vets!!

    Peace

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    1. sounds like a plan. I don't know if I have it in me to do it again next year, my plan right now is to take next year off. we'll see

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  2. Way to go Death Rider for the 8th time with 5 finishes WOW vet status...Im proud to ride with ya man stay cool...

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    1. Not to brag or anything but that makes 6 finishes. Let's get together soon and have some adventures, I'm sick of training.

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  3. Way to stick with it! I seem to remember you saying that before!

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  4. good work josh. get some adventures in, cause gravel season is coming up quick...

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  5. "Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit" - Napoleon Hill

    Good job man!

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  6. Sick of straight line riding? Join us at the river for some LCR type riding in circles... Same time/ place.

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  7. Good write up and great job Josh. "and then as the dark settled in, so the did the demons in my head" strong words understood only by those that have battled such. Demons you will be drawn back to, to battle again. May we ride on...
    Dave

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  8. Way to Gut it Out and turn it into an Adventure. Maybe you should run it next year?!

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    1. There is no way I would ever run it. Congrats on your amazing finish. I guess that's why you are DBD

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  9. I'm still waiting at the Pizza Shop in I-Falls??? So sad..no one love me...
    Charlie

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    1. The place we went was not open. I waited for about 10 minutes out on 53. Ken went over to Chocolate moose and as I sat down we saw you drive by. I called the number you gave me and it was your home phone. sorry we missed you.

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  10. Great effort Josh. A little adversity shows your beastly inner self. Stroke on Dude! ....Otey

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  11. Way to stick it out Josh. Congrats on yet another finish. Now you can enjoy coast and screw off mode until the man-trip!

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