Brandy here again, guest blogging while George is sleeping. We're here in Santa Clarita, on the eve of Furnace Creek 508.
Upon our arrival this afternoon, we checked in and waited what seemed like an eternity to get the van and bikes inspected. Lots of familiar faces here at the race hotel and it was nice to see so many people back for more suffering and pain this year.
Once we were done with the pre-race formalities, we made our way to our hotel, and then to dinner at Denny's. Despite George's bad experience in 2006, he hasn't sworn Denny's off and ate not one, but two meals.
After dinner we left George to nap while Jason, Ticia and I went grocery shopping. We were all stuffed and nothing at the grocery store sounded particularly appealing, so we ended up with turkey, pickles and cheese for sandwiches, mini bagels, cream cheese, carrots, crackers, Oreo cookies, Diet Coke and Pepsi. Not much of a spread for the next two days, but it was all that we could agree on at the time. We realized that we had wandered around for too long and that we only had a few minutes to get back to the hotel, pick up George and get to the pre-race meeting on time. We needed to come back and grab a few more things, including ice, but we thought we would just swing by in the morning.
The pre-race meeting hall, once again, was packed. George found a few seats for us and we enjoyed listening to Chris Kostman talk about the history of the race before he introduced both John Marino and Michael Secrest spoke about the early years of ultracycling. We set our watches to race time, wished our friends "good luck" and made our way to the van, where Jason was napping.
I decided that I needed a soda with ice, so we stopped at a gas station, where we also topped off the gas tank. While there Robyn "Athenian Rottweiler" Benincasa decided to draw some legs on the poor legless vireo on our signs on the car. Thanks Robyn! Back at the hotel, George went straight to bed while the three of us organized the back of the van. It's actually spacious enough with the seats down, for someone to take a nap back there. Now, there's no guarantee that some random objects won't fall on your head, but there is enough room!
We decided to hit the grocery store for the second time tonight and grab a few extra things and ice, to avoid to the rush in the morning. I spied the business center in the hotel lobby, so I thought I would run over here and quickly update everyone. This may be our last post until after the race, so be sure to keep up to date via the Furnace Creek 508 Webcast.
Keep George in your thoughts during this epic weekend!