Although the race ends at the dock, all racers must stop at a shell station to get an escort from an official. I had about 4 hours to kill between our last shift and the escort, so I checked into the hotel, showered, continued not shaving for an entire week, got some food, and went over.
My tank was seriously emptied. I half jokingly said that if the car goes over 15mph, I would get dropped! It was all small chain ring soft pedaling for the 4.2 miles to the dock.
Officially at the finish line:
Cyclists making fun of a triathlete and an aerobar water bottle holder:
Like I said - "The only thing that is less spectacular than the start is the finish." You be the judge:
Starting line crowd:
Finish line crowd - our crew:
There's no cheering fans, no stadium seating, none of that. Again, its the anti-Ironman / triathlon, and I kinda like that. There's a few race officials, your team's crew, and maybe a few random people walking around.
For us, it was a little different since Team4Mil, who dropped out of the race because one of their crew members fell asleep driving their RV and crew/riders sustained injuries, came to watch us finish. I thought this was really cool because we were neck and neck for a about the first third of the race. We all shook hands, and it was great to see them.
However, it wasn't all cool. When teams finish, they stand up on stage, say a few things, get medals, and then leave the stage. RAAM wanted Team4Mil to get up on stage with us, and their team captain had the mic, and said some things. Some of the things he said were good, things like "spirit of competition" and such, and how they look forward to racing against us next year.
But you know what, get off the stage. Give us our 10 minutes of glory on our own stage, and maybe address us from below, or when we are off stage. Don't steal our thunder. But, more on this in the next post.
We were all a little like "huh?", but got over it pretty quickly, signed the RAAM banner, and went back to the hotel to take the stickers off the trucks! Yeah, there is no glamour after finishing RAAM - back to work! We all hung out drinking beers, cleaning up the trucks (some more than others), finally got some food and drank more beers, then I passed out for a while. I got up later, got more food and drank more beers, and finally passed out for good. Let me tell you - post-RAAM sleep is hands down the best sleep anyone could get!
This cheer took lots of energy, trust me:
The next post is the final one (finally)...