Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Run-up to 2009 Furnace Creek 508

I’ve raced or crewed the Furnace Creek 508 each year since 1997, except for 2008 when I was laid-up due to a torn thumb ligament ("gamekeeper's thumb"). The race has gotten in my blood, and I look forward to it each year.

At the parade start for RAAM two years ago, I visited with Isabelle Drake as we returned from Bonsall to Oceanside on our bikes. “Dan”, she says, “in 2009, I’ll be 56 and you’ll be 64. How about doing the 508 as a 60+ mixed 2-person relay team?” I jumped at the chance, and here we are in the run-up to the race.

Jim Cook, a distance rider from San Clemente and my daughter, Danielle, will be crewing for us. Dani just graduated from UC Santa Cruz (I started in parenting late in life) and is staying with me while she looks for work and applies to grad school. I’m excited about the prospect of having her crew for me. It will give her the opportunity to see her dad doing the crazy stuff that distance riders do.

Isabelle and I had a short crew-training session with Dani on Saturday. We drove up Antonio in southern Orange County, practicing handoffs and support-car following. Isabelle was practising being cranky, whining and complaining to give us all a preview of what was to come. Should be be loads of fun!

I recently looked over some narrations of earlier 508’s. Here’s a link to my story from the 2006 race, which should provide a pretty good window into this epic event:
2006 Furnace Creek 508

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