Monday, July 28, 2008

The Vegan Vagabond, reporting for duty

I had to miss the Mock GP yesterday (did y'all miss me?) because I was in Canmore this weekend at the World Solo 24 Hour Championships supporting my good friend Monilee. Her husband Fraser was also doing the race and he had Vince supporting him.

Monilee was hoping to do very well at this event (she came 4th last year) as long as her stomach held up. She has a very sensitive digestive system and has had lots of trouble in past races.

For the first few hours, everything was going to plan. Mon was pacing herself well so that she was able to digest the food she was taking in. Each lap I was supposed to ask how her stomach was on a scale 1 - 10, 1 being great, 10 being a show stopper. At 6 she was supposed to stop racing and digest.

After a few laps a crazy thunderstorm blew in. And when I say blew, I really mean it. Vince and I were trying to prevent the pit tent from flying away while frantically hiding everything under tarps. It was chaotic.

However, whatever troubles we were having was nothing compared to those on the race course. The race quickly turned into a mud fest and it became very difficult to ride. When they came in from the lap, we changed Mon & Fraser's clothes completely and put them in full rain gear. They gulped down some hot food and finally were able to get back out there. Racers were going by the pit covered in mud.

It was a bit hard at the beginning, watching but not participating in the race. I really wanted to race...that is, until the storm came. After that I was pretty happy under the tent comfy and warm.

The rain continued off and on for much of the evening and at least one more wild monsoon blew through. Conditions were terrible. And unfortunately Mon's stomach got a little worse each lap. Finally at about 11:00pm she said her stomach was a mess, at least a 7 or 8. She could not go back out there until it was dealt with.

We hummed and hawed about what to do. Monilee was bonking while on course but couldn't eat because the stuff already in there was not digesting. She rested in the pit for a good hour or so until she finally decided she had to go back to the trailer to sleep it off. It was a hard decision for her and she was really disappointed.

It was the right thing to do though because her stomach was messed up until about 5am the next morning. We all got up at that time and Monilee got back to racing. Very impressive considering how cold and miserable it was at that hour.

Mon cranked out 3 laps for the morning and managed a 12th place finish despite the 6 hour break. I was really proud of her!

There were a lot of interesting characters at this race. Santa, Superman & Tinker were racing solo. Lots of people were in costume. Big Ring would have felt at home.

Later on in the race, probably 10 hours in we witnessed a solo girl who appeared to have ridden herself crazy. She rode by our pit singing Alice the Camel. But she didn't sing it in a happy sing-song way like you might think...she sang it in a freaky dead zombie way. It was disturbing. She kept repeating the same line over and over again, "Alice the Camel has one hump. Alice the camel has one hump. Alice the camel has one hump"...t'was creepy.

Here are some photos of the event. Take a peek while I go catch up on my sleep...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


Peter M said...

Wow, that sounds like an ordeal. I don't see how Monilee can keep at these things being cursed with a stomach like that.

Love that picture of you at the top of the post! Penatrating eyes, stylin' cap, ripped arm, sly smile -- definitely use that one if you ever sign up on one of those internet dating sites!

Monilee said...

Fun report Tanya - thanks for all of your outstanding support!