WOW!! As always, an intense week with a lot of stories and a lot of unexpected parts to it. Here are a few of those…

First, the absolutely incredible work done by the volunteers. This is no different than at any other event, right? Not exactly. The number of LastMinuteMiracles (LMM) was at an all-time maximum.

Archie and Carol Archuleta are Freedom In Motion, the Therapeutic Equestrian Center that sits in the Hammill Valley 24 miles North of Bishop. They have been going to the Everest Challenge longer than I have, and they ALWAYS bring a crew, and they ALWAYS get it all done as if it was easy. It never is, they just make it look like a day in the park somehow.

First two and last two Aid Stations on Stage 1…that would be Archie you saw wearing two musette bags. Very efficient, better every time he does something, always moving. And Carol with the giant 3+3 doolie packed with folks and stuff. Making first time helpers – lots of them the kids that she teaches – feel like they know what they are doing. Then Glacier Lodge, 6000′ Spring, and 8000′ side of the road Sunday. Yeah, that would be half of the race, right?

Thanks Archie and Carol and all of the cool folks you brought with you!!!

Then there were the LMM folks. I am doing this away from home and all the lists and things…so if I leave you out of this list, let me know and I will fix it! It is no exaggeration to say that we COULD NOT HAVE DONE IT without these folks, and I tried to make sure that each and every one knew that this weekend.

In no particular order…

Brad House…my buddy from SoCal, a long time racer and a fellow event promoter. We have been helping each other for a while now, but this was the most yet by far! That was Brad cooking up a storm at both Finish Lines, and inventing soup from the highly random, poor selection of ingredients I presented him with Saturday. Better stuff on Sunday, and the food came out of that tiny field kitchen like clockwork. Good food. Thanks, Brad!!

Trisha Moyer, who I owe my life to several times over by now and love dearly. She cooked, she brought results, she was ten places at once, she rode with me on Monday even though I could barely move. All day Sunday, she did several miracles at once, making it look easy every time. Danke, danke, danke!

Julie Stokes, who has been here before helping out when her hubby, Colin, rode.

== and ==

Dave Bruski, who planned to ride but could not, so he came out to support his wife Amy.

Except they were recruited to run the second summit Aid Station each day. Running us the key word when it comes to operating an AS. There is the race to get there before the racers…before THAT, the race to get all of the stuff away from the Race Director, then schlep it up to the AS site. Then you have to decide where to put the AS if the marks are not clear (my mistake, but she got it done anyway), get everything out of the cars and set up, and THEN the work can begin.

Right. All that, and then the work begins.

Thank you, Dave!!
Thank you, Julie!!
Oh…and THANKS to Amy Bruski, too. She pushed me over Friday when the Registration line got long, and took over half of the job for a couple of hours. THANK YOU!!

Kathy Day, who showed up to help support Doug Virtue a few years ago, and absolutely took over at the STOP sign in Big Pine. This year, she agreed to SOLO the remote Swall Meadows Rd side street on Stage 1 and the turn at 168 onto 395, then back the other way on Sunday, along with heading to the Finish each day to help out wherever it was needed. Thanks, Kathy!

Lindsay Shadle, out here with her hubby, eric. He rode Stage 1 and had to pull out Sunday for medical reasons. She was the girl with the huge signs at the turn onto 395 on Saturday, and one of the STOP sign queens in Big Pine. Then she moved up to help Archie at the 8000′ AS Sunday. Truly deserving of the unofficial “Force Of Nature” award. And yes, all of those folks above are also FofN recipients at least once.

Carl Switzky, out here to help Judy Brusslan. Quiet but busy all the time, reducing the workload and keeping people in line. Carl was a dozen different places at different times. Thanks, Carl!!

Kristi Douglas, out here (yes, on her birthday!) to support the very fast Athena Countouriotis. Back for more after she performed near miracles two weeks ago at the MWSR. A little more to do this time, Kristi was at RVS and Paradise and the Finish line, running off to save my butt when there was not enough of something or it was in the wrong place or… Thanks, Kristi!! Again!!

Wayne Linse, a Bishop local, who has ridden a bunch of our events over the last few years. Wayne helped out at Registration Friday and rode a little with us Saturday. Thanks, Wayne!!

Michele Slaton’s hubby, who helped Saturday. I did not get his name…again! Thanks!!

Lloyd Chambers III, who came out to help his son, who is Lloyd Chambers IV (naturally). Lloyd was all over the place both days, including Finish Line Asst. Judge both days. Thanks, Lloyd!!

Sarah Patrick, who offered to help and then could not due to her rather advanced pregnancy…it was the right decision. Thanks for thinking of us, and offering to help!