EM Checkout Ride
EM1240 Checkout: the Not So Endless Version.
The weekend before the official EM1240k, riding buddy Lane Giardina and I attempted it as an unsupported checkout ride. The short story is we made it to Mifflintown (561 miles) before the 10 hours of torrential rain and thick fog that slowed our pace to less than a crawl finally ground us to a halt. The forecast was for more heavy rain all night and we were going to have to ride straight through to have any hope of making the next controle cutoffs.
Sleep deprivation had taken its toll and we decided it was unsafe to continue under the conditions. Additionally, starting the ride uttering the words "No really, I sound a lot worse than I feel;" is not a good sign. As the ride went on, I was pretty much feeling as bad as I sounded. At the time the price we would pay by continuing seemed too high. Without anyone else out on the course, it was difficult to gauge that we were actually doing well. We were far behind our expectations but only after seeing the official ride unfold did we realize how unrealistic those expectations were. From the vantage point of a warm house where memories of just how bad it really was have faded, we both regret the decision to stop.
The curse is always wondering if we could have made it if we had just continued plodding along. But, I am thankful we only have DNF wounds to lick rather than real wounds from a sleep deprivation crash.
We extend our great appreciation to Tom Rosenbauer for the opportunity to make an early run at this beautiful and challenging route.