Friday, June 19, 2009
My life inexorably changed three years when I was invited to join Bernie, Neil and Greg for the 2007 Race Across America, in support of Camp Odayin.
Here we sit, stand and lay down the night before what's been called the "world's toughest sporting event" by Outside Magazine, and I can't really overstate the immensity of what we're all about to experience.
RAAM is quite simply the most exhausting, brutally honest and punishing event that most of us will ever encounter in our lives. The miles are sometimes miserable, often times boring and occasionally inhumane. The brutality that Team Strong Heart members (crew and racers) willingly endure during the Race Across America is, though, a pittance when compared to the pain and endurance required to live with and mitigate a congenital heart defect or disease.
We race so that the children, staff and families who come to Camp Odayin year-after can continue to do so. We race because some of us are running/riding to something while some of us are always running/riding away... Look at our mission statement. We are a dedicated group of athletes and supporters who are racing for the Camp. We race so that others might live stronger.
Having been down the RAAM road twice already, once as a relay racer and once as a solo racer, I pretty much know what's about to happen to my brothers-in-arms starting at 1400 tomorrow afternoon. It's so many things to so many people and I hope that you'll come with Team Strong Heart for a journey to the center of it all.
When you go to bed tomorrow night, think about which one of us might be out on the open road, taking a pull for everyone whose influence, support and love has brought to this very moment...to the moment where we can pay back all of you, known and unknown. We are doing this race for you and you and that kid over there who came into this world with a defect or disease of the heart.
We promise 6 days of integrity, class, performance and quite simply, results.
Keep the rubber side down.
Tim and all of Team Strong Heart, 2009