Tahoe’s coming up, and some tough questions…

Big Blue is coming up in two weeks, and lots is happening.

Dave was able to spend a fair amount of time on the phone and on line with FART-Emeritus Thomas Brestis, getting some nav pointers and general knowledge about Tahoe, and about AR in general. Thomas is a font of knowledge, and his experience and willingness to help us novices is greatly appreciated! As I’ve mentioned, becoming a “smart” racer is probably even more important than becoming a “fit” racer, and becoming smart AND fit is the best of all!

From reading how everyone’s doing, I think the fitness part is well taken care of, and the “smart” factor will improve with every race.

As some of you might know, we have been working with Don Mann of Primal Quest in trying to host the “Big Event” here in North Idaho/Eastern Washington either next year or the year after. It looks like 2009 is too close, and so we will aim for 2010, though we hope to host a shorter race next summer, possibly a PQ Sprint series, and/or a Big Blue series race. I’ll let you know when I found out more. We really hope to get Don out here soon to do some scouting, and possibly we can get together and pick Don’s brain! This is a guy who has completed the Raid, a TRIPLE Ironman, and virtually every other event in the endurance/AR world, not to mention that he’s a decorated SEAL hero… our kind of guy!

Now, I have to share a sadness and a concern… with the race less than 2 weeks away, our numbers are down again; in all, over our 2 official races this year, we are at only 50%, when you consider the number of folks who give committments to race, versus the number of folks who actually show up for the races. Now, no accusations, as there are ALWAYS things that come up, but we need to try to find the balance here, and I am looking for your input and advice.

Part of the equation is that, as part of a team, we have obligations to each other, and when we lose folks, it leaves the numbers off, (not to mention, it leaves Dave having to go back to race organizers and change our numbers, which affects them too, and they often, rudely, want info, registrations, money etc, before the race)… and the other factors are things like housing, kayak rentals, etc, and the fact that the remaining folks end up having to shoulder more of the financial burden. Perhaps even more important, the morale and cameraderie that has made this so rewarding and such a life changing thing for many takes a real hit.

The other side, is, of course, life shows up. No one is “blowing it off” for poor reasons, and the things that have come up are real, significant events. it simply becomes a question of priorities, I suppose. I guess the one sad thing about this one is that Big Blue is the ONE event that has been on our schedule since our inception… it has been our goal, our rallying cry, not a last minute thing.

With that said, what do we do? I want your help on how we can balance these out, and still look to the future and improve.

Am I placing too much importance on what it means to be part of a team, no matter how informal? Is it just me? If so, please let me know. Of course, I do understand that there is a slight possiblity that it is more important to me than is healthy, or than is realistic… I guess I just want/need to know where everyone is in this, so I can better gauge what we do in future. Do we start to enter events based on our commitment level? Do we send out an email with all of the upcoming events, and everyone just replies with what they are able and willing to do? Do we have “Training FARTS” (kind of like associate members), Competing FARTS, FART Groupies…

Do we set a “deadline” for dropping out/canceling etc, and if you pull out after that, you’re still responsible for your share of the financial burden of the trip? Do we not do teams, and only register as individuals, and leave everyone responsible for themselves? Do we just can the whole thing, and go our own way? Again, there are no accusations; I am simply looking for your input and suggestions on how we can move forward and make this a fulfilling experience for all, at whatever level of commitment we each have to give, if any.

Thanks to all of you, as you are dear friends, and I have enjoyed every minute of the journey (except these ones). It has changed my life (as I hope it has yours!), and will continue to do so. I just hope that we can find a way to keep moving forward together as a team and as friends. (BTW, I can quite happily be “voted out” as Chief FART Evangelist at the next election, so get your nominations in soon!)

Thanks for hearing my vent.

Best to all,

C.F.E. Dave.


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