Thursday, December 22, 2005

It's A Challenge, Right?

In a bit of a continuance from yesterday's post, I offer this for your approval.........

When this whole "Trans Iowa" idea took off last year, Jeff and I went up to Decorah, Iowa to have a meeting with someone that we felt would help us tremendously in defining what this event was going to be. His name is Rich Gosen, the proprieter of Oneota River Cycles, in Decorah. Rich has a loooong history of race promotion, both on gravel and on dirt. You may have heard of a little event he does called The Decorah Time Trials? Well, anyway, he's pretty well respected in the area of race promoting. So, we went to bend his ear a little.

After visiting awhile, he asked us a rather strange question. He said, "What if no one finishes? Are you prepared for that?" I think Jeff and I exchanged a glance and sat back for a second! I wasn't expecting anything like that! But we both answered that it wouldn't faze us, that we were going to not base our success, or failure upon the amount of finishers. Then he asked, "What if it rains? Snows, or hails?" We said we were running it no matter what. Rich said that was good.

Now I say all of that to make a point, one that I think Rich wanted to see if we would understand. The point being that this event wasn't so much a race as it was a challenge. A test of man and machine against time, distance, and nature. If everyone failed, then the challenge was too great, the test too hard. If only a few made it through, then that was allright. It meant that the test was hard, the challenge, great. Not everyone would or should finish in order for the event to be considered a success.

Now, that brings us to Trans Iowa V.2. This year the course is different, the format changed slightly, and the distance is greater, along with the time alotted to complete the event. One thing hasn't changed. The challenge. Many of the entrants will not finish the course. The test will be difficult. Only the people able to overcome the difficulties that face them will cross that line on the north east side of Decorah, Iowa on April 31st. Perhaps no one will. I'm okay with that. It really couldn't be considered a challenge if everyone could do it, right? Well, at least not one I'd want to be associated with.

If anyone pays close attention, ( which I'm sure not many do) you might notice that I go to great lengths to avoid calling T.I. a race. That term conjures up alot of references that I'm not wanting to portray in Trans Iowa. It's an event that happens to be challenging. You accept the challenge, you are responsible for yourself. You try the best that you can to test yourself. To stretch yourself beyond boundaries that you may have not considered possible before. Just trying your honest best is winning. If you leave everything out there, but it's not enough to finish, you haven't lost. You've gained something. What that is, only you will know. It will be invaluable, whatever it is. If you do finish, you will have all of this and the victory of overcoming. If you go into this half-heartedly, or with ignorance, you will get spanked! Only you will know what that means for you. My suggestion: don't leave anything on the table. Do not hold back. Give your all, and you will be rewarded. Even if you do not make the cut off at Algona. You met the challenge, and you gave it all you had. That's more than most people will ever do.

So, I hope to meet you in Hawarden, Iowa next April. ( If your not in T.I.V2, then meet whatever challenge that faces you and give it your all!) If you take part in T.I.V2, then give it your all. Meet the challenge. Feel alive.

See you then!

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