Sunday, November 17, 2019

Trans Iowa Stories: Meeting New Friends

The header Jeff Kerkove made using a David Story image from v3
 "Trans Iowa Stories" is an every Sunday post which helps tell the stories behind the event. You can check out other posts about this subject by going back to earlier Sunday posts on this blog. Thanks and enjoy!

Trans Iowa v3 and v4 were notable from the perspective of my gaining several new friends and acquaintances. The "Lincoln Crew" from v3, the "Slender Fungus" guys from v4, and other individuals like Charlie Farrow, Tim Ek, Joe Meiser, Charles Parsons, John Gorilla, and more were folks I got to know starting back in those days. Many of these characters came back for ten Trans Iowas or more. Amazing!

One of these people I got to know was actually my co-director, David Pals. He became a great help to me immediately in putting on the next Trans Iowa. I probably could have leaned on him more initially than I did, but as the "caretaker" of the event, I felt a bit protective, I suppose, and I was still also formulating the spirit of this event as I became more comfortable in my skin as an event director.

As I've said before, David didn't seem interested in being the spokesperson for Trans Iowa. That probably also contributed to my kind of pushing myself through in the beginning. So, he never really got integrated into the event as a "co-director" in the public eye. I was not very sensitive in that way, and it became an issue at times. But still, in the beginning anyway, we got on quite well, and David had some really good input into the event which shaped it for years to come.

One of his ideas we used in v4 was multiple checkpoints. Instead of essentially splitting the distance into two and having one single checkpoint, David suggested having two checkpoints, splitting the course into thirds. This would allow us to have more control over keeping track of riders, which was a huge headache for me in v3.

This image from T.I.v4's pre-race meeting is interesting- (Image taker unknown)
So, back to meeting folks. I have an image here today from an unknown photographer showing myself pontificating as usual. To my left (the right as you look at it here)  of at the table is Steve Fuller. Steve became a good friend after this. He showed up to help keep track of results and riders. I really am not quite sure how that happened, but there he is! We had a computer with a spread sheet! Boy! Was Trans Iowa a "thing" now, or what?

Just to Steve's left there, in the green cap, is Michael Rowe, and next to him , almost out of the frame, is Ari Andonopoulous. These two characters became Trans Iowa "super-fans" and good friends of mine. This was the first time we met here in v4. Immediately to my right is David Pals, and his brother, Mark, who volunteered that year. I'm not sure who else has their back to the camera here, but I probably got to know them over the years as well. Trans Iowa v4 was the one that had a lot of return riders on the roster in later years. So, from that perspective, it was a watershed year for me.

On the other hand, this was the end of the line for a lot of original Trans Iowans. People that came for v1, v2, v3, and v4, but never showed up again. But like I said, v3 was a prototype, and a pattern which was followed till v14, and the earlier riders maybe didn't jive with the "big assed loop" idea, or multiple checkpoints, or the novelty of the event wore off. Who knows? I just know that after v4 a lot of continuity with regard to riders started happening, and for several reasons, I liked that. I'll get around to saying why in later editions of this series.

Next: Endurance Promoting


S.Fuller said...

My entire reason for showing up was to try and "pay it forward" and get a closer look at what I was going to try and sign up for the following year. Best decision I ever made, on a number of levels. :)

thejacobsons said...

What a great time we had in those days! Thanks for posting all of this! - Paul