Gwen Reider and "The Situation"
This month's Race Profile provides a look at the Ski to Sea Race Team: The Situation (aka Team 254). Immediately after the race, Gwen Reider sent out this "news release" to fellow team members. Do you think they enjoyed the race?
"A Legendary Northwest Race Meets Eight Legendary Competitors"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE---Bellingham, May 31, 2010 8pm
In a quintessential celebration of Memorial Day in the Pacific Northwest, eight intrepid adventurers embarked on a grueling, 90 mile journey, the Ski to Sea. This article chronicles The Situation, eight superfriends and their ride to top 405th status.
It all started some months ago, one winter night in Seattle when the ubiquitous red wine flowed. Canoe team member Erika "Blisters" Nohavec hatched a daring plan to take fellow local semi-celebrities and drop them into a Situation. Call it: Jersey Shores meets the Amazing Race. "Blisters" proudly unveiled the team's key to success, saying, "We were all definitely non-experts in our chosen fields." Preston "Mudpuddles" Tideman added, "We had a bold plan to avoid DQ'ing and to stick with one chip through the entire race."
After 4ish months of rigorous non-training, no-team-meetings, and zero preparation, these elitish eight traveled to Bellingham on a soggy Saturday afternoon. They may or may not have had hotel reservations for the correct dates.
The first and only team meeting ended with a definitive plan to get potato burritos and cadillac margaritas at Casa Que Pasa. It was a great plan. "I really think the potato burrito was the secret ingredient for our excellent 405th place finish," said runner Nicki "The Flash" Northcott.
The race day began with a leisurely 3:30am wake-up call for the Mountain Ladies and Malcolm "I just bought a bike last Saturday" Reider. With day light breaking, and "I just bought a bike last Saturday" dropped off at his anointed location, the Mountain Ladies arrived a Mt. Baker and put the truck firmly in park (this time). Cross country skier, Gwen "The Ringer" Reider, managed to stay mostly-upright long enough (despite the horrible strategy of starting behind people who had never skied before) to pass the chip off to Nicole "Uphill Slogger" Seaver with a respectable 200 somethingish place. Their transition awed other more "experienced" skiers who played human-dominoes with one another.
After a dry-heave, and surviving an uphill battle where others had to be given oxygen, "Uphill Slogger" cruised down the mountain for another sweet transition to "The Flash" who sped down 8 miles at record pace. "The Flash" handed off the chip to "I just bought a bike last Saturday," who enjoyed a pleasant ride through northwest forests and pastureland. He boldly passed nearly a dozen other competitors, most who had stopped to repair flat tires.
"Blisters" enthusiastically accepted the timing chip from "I just bought a bike last Saturday." She and Brian "Splash-Down" Northcott proceeded on a journey of self-discovery, the magic of downstream currents, and how to keep a canoe upright. This dynamic canoe duo successfully avoided underwater snags, whirlpools, and other river hazards to complete their downstream adventure without a dunking. This brother-sister team was greeted with love and Doritos by their teammates, but one: lonely Clint "The Anchor Man" Nohavec, who had at this point in time exhibited tremendous stamina, patiently parked in his kayak for five hours. They handed off the chip to "Mudpuddles" who got off to a clean start, launching himself headlong across rail road tracks and ankle deep mud. Mudpuddles comfortably cruised in to his transition to "The Anchor Man" three minutes ahead of the "early release" cut off.
"The Anchor Man" plunged head on into a sea that could best be described as angry. Not even Posidon himself could stop The Anchorman, full of the sheer grit and determination that encapsulated Team 254's resolve.
10 hours and 15 or so minutes later, the finish line bell was rung and Team 254 celebrated their PR with donuts and hugs and donuts. Truly, a legendary northwest race had met eight legendary competitors.