Friday, June 20, 2008
I am moved by this last update from Michelle. Thanks everybody, it made a difference. What an amazing thing.
From Yellow Scene blog:
Once again, the night was so difficult. The most difficult moment came around one in the morning. He just stopped.
“I can’t do it, I have nothing left in me in,” he said. “I have just no strength.”
In reality he was riding really well. He just hit a mental wall.
“Maybe I just need to sleep.” With that, he laid down.
While he was resting, I checked the Team Strong Heart blog. Neil had called for people to send their thoughts to help Tim.
I was amazed that there were 11 comments. I read every single comment to Tim that was on that one page.
That is what gave him the motivation to keep going. I told him, you owe it to them.
This is a blessing that these 11 comments came in at this time. It is so surreal to him. He just doesn’t believe it that so many people are looking after him. He doesn’t comprehend how big of a deal it is.
He’ll get one day.
The real news is that we crossed the finish line at 7:38 local time this morning.
He is sound asleep right now. He had four slices of pizza, a shower and he passed out.
It was an amazing night, and an amazing ceremony.
He was riding really strong, we were feeling really good about the night. He was amazing in the hills, but as the night fell that was our difficult time.
Behind the messages, we motivated him with the competition. Basically one rider ahead of us, Julio Paterlini, had time penalties.
And we thought we could catch him. We used that as his incentive. We knew that was a good motivator for him even though he said that he didn’t care.
Once we realized that catching Julio was out of the question, we just wanted to give Tim an enjoyable finish to the race. The last 100 miles were the toughest of the race. We kept telling him the quicker you get through it, the quicker it will be over.
The crews kept leap frogging him through the night to keep Tim motivated. He rode the final 26 hours with only four or five 15-minute breaks.
But by early morning the sun was rising, and we needed one last push from Time Station 52, just 54 miles from the finish. Kevin, Tim’s brother and crew member, got word we had one more surprise waiting for us.
Tim’s Grandma, Nan, drove up from St. Augustine, Fla., to meet him at the finish line. She’s 85!
We had to find something else to get him to go on; that was the last piece of motivation.
Then we got a call from Annapolis. The fire department was there waiting for Tim (we didn’t set this up). They had two engines waiting for him at the finish. They gave him a huge salute as he pulled in.
When he pulled in to the finish, Tim was crying.
Everybody was cheering for him. He did tons of interviews. We felt like superstars, like NBA players showing up. The fact is, Tim is a superstar. In the history of RAAM only 200 or so of the solo riders have finished. He is one of those.
Of course, our bike seat awed the RAAM museum people, and they want it for a display. They were so impressed with our creative—that is what the RAAM is about.
Tim was so gracious, so happy as everybody talked with him. We started kidding him: You ready for your 15-minute nap? How about an energy bar?
He was so happy.
We hung around for a little bit; some people just off the streets were congratulating him. His Grandma had already booked a hotel room for us; she paid for everything. She is just so amazing.
Tim took a shower, when he got out there were two big pizza pies waiting. He is fast asleep right now. He’ll wake up in a few hours for the awards ceremony tonight.
He is a huge success. It’s going to take his body two months to heal from this. It is massive trauma to the body.
I am completely exhausted right now and trying to keep my eyes open. Tim wants to write something for everybody. We’ll get that up soon.
He says that now, but who knows if he’ll even wake up for the ceremony tonight. Thanks again for all your support!
—Michelle Pearl, Tim’s girlfriend and crew member. Dictated to Jacob Harkins.