Day Nine: 2014 McPherson Great Race Season Finale Part II

Day Nine: 2014 McPherson Great Race Season Finale Part II

As wonderful as the race was, the awards banquet deserved a post all to itself. After all the festivities at the ceremonial finish line we headed to the hotel to fancy up for the evening gala.  Once we looked presentable, it was time to enjoy everyone’s hard work. On the way there we ran into General Lee and cruised on into the Banquet. Everybody was milling about and talking, and seemed just as excited as we were.  We were eventually ushered into the dining area where we had a table really close to the podium. John Hollansworth, one of our sponsors who covered our entry fee (which we are very grateful for), as well as a  few of his friends were at our table, along with Tony’s parents.  Before the awards started there was a brief video recapping the race from the beginning to merely a few hours ago. I have to hand it to these guys that put this together. The media crew had taken tons of video and pictures throughout the whole race, and had to go through all of it as well as make the video, and even work on it a few hours up until the banquet. It really cap-stoned how much we traveled during this trip. It was also nice to see how the other racers handled parts of the course, such as taking some off those corners. The awards  proceeded for the various categories; we were called up for being the X-Cup Champions and received our trophy bird as well as having our picture with Mr. Coker.

Aside from the awards for each class , there were a few others that were thrown in as well. Some were kind of silly, such as best dressed, while one was for perseverance called the Never Say Die Award. That one was given to the owner of a 1916 Hudson Speedster that had been entered for the past three years, but this was the first year that it actually crossed the finish line.

For me one of the most interesting and touching sections was when one of the Fredette teams was given their award. Mr. Coker said that he probably should penalize the Fredettes for having more than two riders with them. He proceeded to explain how  the Fredette’s grandfather had passed away in December and had a final request of being able to come along for the ride on the 2014 Great Race. So his ashes rode the whole trip in the toolbox. After the  ceremony Jeff Stumb, director of the Great Race, announced the location for next year’s race. Next year’s race was going to be on Route 66 from Illinois to California!

After that the dinner was over and everyone slowly dispersed. We said goodbye to Tony who went home with his parents, since he is from Florida, and we all headed to our hotel. It was bittersweet to think that it was all over. What an adventure we had ,getting up everyday, piling in the Fairlane, having fun, meeting all these people, seeing the country, and driving like a maniac. Especially driving, that is something that the four of us will never look at the same. Along the way we would always make jokes about ,  “can you hold 40 through the corner”? Or yelling at the driver if he is a little over. I hope that I don’t see Tony & Jake braking the way they did at the race while driving in McPherson, or maybe I do.

Thank you to all of our sponsors, who supported the McPherson College Team during the Great Race. Without the support of our sponsors, we would not have been able to participate in the race and share our college race experience.

To all of the blog readers, we hope you enjoyed sharing our race adventures and mishaps. The McPherson Race Team hopes you enjoyed the blog postings as much as we enjoyed participating in the race.

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If you enjoyed reading this blog I invite you to read my personal blog, where I have documented my first year at McPherson and will continue to do so. http://cainks.wordpress.com/, if you like Instagram you can also follow me through there at http://instagram.com/ca_in_ks .

With that I bid you adieu!

P.S. Here is the video screened at the banquet.

Day Nine: 2014 McPherson Great Race Season Finale Part I

Day Nine: 2014 McPherson Great Race Season Finale Part I

Yesterday the grand season finale, the day we had all been waiting for. It seemed like a long time ago that we were up in Ogunquit getting the getting the gang together.

DSCN1790 (2)Our day started out with yet another early set of directions. We had a starting position of 27th and the start time was 7:00, geeze.  We got our direction one last time, and headed to the starting line. Conveniently this start was right next to a gas station.  The reason that it was convenient was that everybody could park in the parking lot, fill up and get drinks at a more relaxed and comfortable pace. Most of our starts were on the sides of roads, next to highways, and the like, which was a mess, not to mention confused many passersby’s who would invariably mess up our starts. Speaking of passersby’s we were asked by many, where the car show was. This was a common question throughout the length of our journey. In a sense we were a portable car show, constantly moving from place to place.

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Soon enough it was our turn to go. Our main concern was just to not mess anything up too
much, like missing a turn. We really just wanted to play it safe and enjoy our last day. We were ahead by almost two minutes and as long as we didn’t do anything drastically wrong we would win the X-Cup, defending our title from last year. This was very important to us, especially since three of us were rookies we did not want to let McPherson down. Ok,  and maybe another small part was to kick Ponca City’s tail.

Soon enough we were off. Today’s route was going to be a mere half day, in the driving sense. After lunch all we had to do was parade to The Villages. This would be the end of the Great Race.
DSCN1834 (2)Our midway stop before lunch,which was the start the next section, was in the middle of nowhere.  Therre was however some shade and a post office which is all that was needed. During the break we were shooting the breeze with the other competitors as we had always done this far. Most were excited that the trip was coming to an end.

Nothing much happened on our way to lunch, just smooth riding. One thing different about today was that the media crew put a GoPro camera on the inside of our back glass. We had to tighten our grip a little making sure we weren’t acting too crazy… that didn’t last long though. We even made an apology to the camera for anything that has or will happen during the recording of us. Let us know if you see us on YouTube someplace. After completing the final section of being on the clock, there was a raucous celebratory shouting from inside our car. We were very certain that we had won, because we had not messed anything up.

Lunch was at The National Parts Depot in Ocala, Florida. NPD reproduces a lot of parts for DSCN1881 (2)old vehicles, mainly Fords & Chevy’s. This was a great lunch, because of a few things. The first being that we had a lunch where we could leisurely talk to people, and enjoy ourselves. The second was that to get to the eating area we had to walk through a very nice collection of classics. In the collection we saw Eliza’s sister, another 57 Fairlane. This one however was a hardtop, and was a little more dressed up.  Bumper guards, dual mirrors, fender skirts, upgrade interior package, the fancy stuff. We were joking how we wanted to do some parts shopping of our own, such as taking a hubcap off that Fairlane to replace the one we lost, as well as taking the supercharger on the 57 Thunderbird next to it. The collection was really nice, and so was lunch. On our way out Jake went by the counter to see if they had a hubcap that we could buy. Unfortunately they had the hubcaps for 57 Trucks & Thunder birds, but not for our Fair lady, oh well.

DSCN1852The plan for this afternoons departure, was to leave at a certain time within 30 second increments, in theory that would allow us to get to the finish line a little spaced out. That didn’t happen exactly as planned, but it appeared as though most people actually stayed in the order they were in. Onward we went. Earlier in the day we were told that we could be surrounded by golf carts once we got to The Villages, because it is primarily a retirement community. As we DSCN1931got closer and closer rows and rows of golf carts started appearing by the road sides. It was an amazingly funny sight. The golf carts outnumbered the amount of regular cars traveling in the area by far. As we neared the finish line they became more and more prevalent.

DSCN1944Soon enough the finish line was in sight. The town was packed, and the line of racers was fairly long. The primary concern was that we would not experience any more vapor lock, as we had earlier. Luckily we did not, and Tony & I decided to have some fun and lean out the windows, (after all this was a parade). We didn’t quite get the Rose Princess wave down, but we had fun. Amanda was there as well with her daughter. They had made some shirts that said, “McPherson Support Crew  There is no FEAR is McPherson”.  Frankly I think we need to have a similar shirt.

10518974_10204415998585858_2349929701936781972_nIt was wonderful that as we got closer to the finish line the crowd increased and people were cheering for us. As we crossed the finish line Corky & Motormouth announced  us the winners of the X-Cup once again. We also earned another ACE, making a grand total of two awards! It was the icing on the cake and we were ecstatic! After parking we were swarmed by folks asking about us, and the college. If there is one thing that is gained from our entry in The Great Race it is positive publicity for the school we all love!

Not too long after we were parked we heard that the grand champions were the Jason’s. They were driving a 1966 Mustang. We were rooting for them for a few reasons. First off, DSCN1972this is now their third year in a row winning the race. The next reason was that we wanted a post war car to win. A post 1945 car had never won before, which was significant. On the first day of the race they had a perfect day with 4 Aces, which had never happened before either. Obviously this couple knew their stuff. In previous years they drove a 1933 Ford, but it was getting harder for them to drive it as they got older. The significance also is that they don’t have much of a handicap. At the end of each day of the race your time would be multiplied by a factor. The newer the car the less of a handicap. At the end of each day our score (the 57 Fairlane) would get our score multiplied by .95. Better than nothing but it means you have less room for error. So the Mustang had even less of a handicap than us.

Taken from the official Great Race Blog. If you want to see the other pictures or read the post from that day, follow the link.   http://www.greatrace.com/news/day-9-the-calm-before-the-storm.html#more-6336

Taken from the official Great Race Blog. If you want to see the other pictures or read the post from that day, follow the link. http://www.greatrace.com/news/day-9-the-calm-before-the-storm.html#more-6336

The Villages was very interesting indeed. It is a place almost entirely of retired folks. They even have a drum line and cheerleading team there to greet us, (yes they were retired residents). Most of these folks were in better shape than some people I know. The place was roaring and we were discussing the race with other racers and folks who came up to us. The neat thing about driving a 1957 Ford is that a lot of people relate to it. Though a lot of the cars are really neat, 1952 Bentley, 1941 Packard, Model A speedsters, Auburns, and such, many people didn’t grow up with these cars. When people would see Eliza they would come up and say how their dad or brother had one, or how this was their first car, or a number of memories. That and she looks darn good when in motion.

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After all of the festivities we pulled out and prepared for the banquet, which I will cover in a Part II post. We won!! Hooray for us!!

Eight Days Endured & Almost Done

Eight Days Endured & Almost Done

Today’s start was an early one for us. The official start time was at 7:00 and we were placed 47 meaning out start time was at 7:47. We were used to sleeping in a little bit. We made it in time though, strolling along to the start line, and surprised to see so many other cars this early there as well.

The crowded start was a little bit more crowded than usual. It seems as though everyone wanted to get the early jump as well, because the start was packed. We chatted for a while, because we had over half an hour till we needed to be anywhere, again I am reminded of how friendly everyone is. At the start of the race Corky Coker, (who is the founder of Coker Tires as well as the guy in charge of the race, who is a huge fan of McPherson), said that all of us in the Great Race are a family, and it is evident. He is a wonderful spokesperson for classic cars and is a person worth meeting if given the opportunity,

DSCN1680Today’s race was another pretty smooth day, with no missing turns or huge mistakes. Everything went as it should have with the exception of a series of emergency vehicles, fire department, paramedics, & ambulances coming through at different times. As the last ambulance turned the corner, we could see our mark just past the turn. There was no way we could make up the time needed from the emergency vehicles, luckily if we were to write a discrepancy the mark could verify it, because we were right there pulled over.

DSCN1709Lunch today was in Savannah. Savannah itself, or at least the area we were in, was extremely beautiful. The section we were in was next to the Savannah River, surrounded by brick buildings, and cobblestone streets, with some trolley rails going through them. Aside from the beauty of the surrounding area we had a chance to meet up with yet another current McPherson student, Nick Foglietta. He has an internship outside of Atlanta, and drove a decent amount of time, to see us and hear what was happening thus far. Unfortunately we had to bounce pretty fast only having about half an hour there. It was good to see him though, and I hope the trip was worth it for him. It is so encouraging to see all of these students heading up and down the coast, to see how we are doing. That’s one of the things I personally love about my school. The support of past and current students is phenomenal! Thanks for stopping by Nick. Soon enough we departed and made out way towards our destination of Jacksonville.

DSCN1750The sights and sounds as we entered Jacksonville were quite memorable. Jacksonville is a pretty big town, so we began to experience a bunch of traffic, thinking to ourselves , “what a surprise”. Shortly thereafter we were engulfed for at least a mile long of droves and droves of people. For a whole mile, if not more, there were people and their cars lining the streets, as well as folks cruising the streets along with us. It was amazing to see all the car clubs come out as well as the excitement of the crowd. There was still a large amount of traffic though, so we were sitting still for a while. Eliza didn’t like that too much. We had some heating up and some vapor lock occurring. So we pulled over and cooled down for a little bit. Jake took a cold wet cloth, which we had all been given a few minutes before, and applied it to the fuel lines around the fuel filter. After a few minutes she cooled off enough and was working fine. Guess she didn’t like not getting her own damp towel. We were able to make it to the finish line after that with no issues.

DSCN1760At the end of the day, we were all exhausted. With the late nights, early morning, humidity,& heat we were all feeling pretty tuckered as everything wound down. During one transition point we were all starting to doze out a little, except Tony, (whom was driving at the time), though he was starting to feel it as well. After parking the Fairlane we headed off and had a relaxing dinner, and then went to our fancy hotel. The place has 19 floors! The pool is on the 19th floor, how weird is that? We are relaxed and waiting to get some rest. Tomorrow is an early morning as well. Start time is once again 7:00, this time we are number 27. Meaning that we are leaving at 7:27, getting our directions at 6:57, but it is the last day.

We got our results for the day and are feeling pretty good going into tomorrow. Our grand total for the day was 00:35:53. The legs were going well, except for one 15 second leg, which is somewhat of a mystery, the discrepancy we turned in brought one leg down to two seconds, which was great. We are currently in 40th place overall and have a grand total time of 4:43.31. Our main competitor in the X-Cup class, Ponca City, didn’t have too hot of a day, achieving a stage result of 2:12.06, bringing them down to 49th place, with a grand total time of 6:21.30. We are feeling pretty good right now, but will be very cautious, because anything can still happen. The end of the race is finally here though. We will end up in the Villages tomorrow and will be flying out Monday. It’s been an amazing road trip so far, and I think we will finish strong.

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Day Seven; Ships, Showers, & Seconds

Day Seven; Ships, Showers, & Seconds

Today tops all for the destination thus far but first I need to start off at the beginning.

DSCN1468Jake & Tony woke up early this morning to go get some Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, because there are only three locations in Kansas, none of which are close. After that we munched on them (ok devoured), got directions and headed to the starting line. We got a couple of fashionable Krispy Kreme hats. One was attached to our radio antenna, which flew off within four seconds, as Austin predicted, and Austin donned the other making for an entertaining ride.

We stated off the day fine, though it was still very humid, and nat infested. Once we DSCN1446started we immediately hit scenic area going right along the coast, it was also extremely bumpy. To our left was the ocean; to our right was a green algae covered river. I was joking about seeing gators in there, but as we turned a corner, sure enough, we spotted a little guy just sitting in the water not 30 feet from the road. Different type of wildlife than I am used to. The only gators I saw in California were at the zoo.

Everything was smooth sailing until we hit lunch. We had lunch in Myrtle Beach; unfortunately we didn’t really see any of it. There was horrendous traffic heading to the lunch stop, delaying us by quite a bit. We were advised to make our lunch stop as quickly as possible, and leave twenty minutes earlier. Because the heavy traffic we had coming in would be what could expect going out. We pulled up, met the friendly people, grabbed our box lunch, scarfed it down, and were on the road in roughly ten minutes. It was probably the shortest lunch break we had yet. We were very disappointed that we couldn’t stay longer. We always appreciate the hard work everyone puts in to provide good food for us.

DSCN1502After our quick getaway to the starting line we had a good twenty minutes of just sitting around. So did everyone else though. Everyone got out of their cars, and began chatting in the shade. It was really nice because even though this is a competition ,at the end of the day we are all here to get these classics on the road, travel the country ,& meet other people just like us.

Our only issue we had for the day was that we had one racer that really creeped on us. Close enough in fact that we were slightly worried that if we would stab the breaks to slow down that he might hit us if we were not careful. Luckily nothing like that happened. Before that though we took a corner real hard and heard something strange. We looked back to see what it was, a hubcap. We saw it just spin and take a right hand turn into the bushes. We were doing very well, so as we saw it travel far into the brush, we made a quick decision to continue on. Tony later spotted another vintage hubcap to another racer’s car in a field, obviously it was a hard day on hubcaps.

DSCN1538We pulled into Charleston for our stop for the night. These were some of the most polite people I have met so far. There was a car show going on, and we were incorporated into it as well. We met up with Mrs. Gutierrez and her kids again, and all headed to the USS Yorktown, which was right behind the car show. We pretty much had the aircraft carrier to ourselves. Dinner was in the hangar bay, where they gave a presentation to one of the members of the DSCN1578 (2)great race. He has been with the great race for over twenty years, and actually served on the USS Yorktown for 4 years. After dinner and the presentation we were allowed to freely tour the ship, which was pretty nifty. To put it short and simple a tall guy such as myself, 6’6”, could not have served on the ship. Everything was so crammed that I almost hit my head on everything.
As we were leaving the ship a storm blew in and a tremendous amount if rain began to fall. We ran from the ship and piled into Eliza and took off. As soon as we got to our hotel for the night we had to scurry like drowning rats to grab our stuff out of the trunk and get into a dry area.

As a whole today went well. Nothing bad really happened, no turns missed and the like. Our times were pretty good, except for a mysterious 24 seconds on one of the legs, which we are still trying to figure out. We are currently in 39th place and 1st in the division still. Ponca City is in 40th place and only two seconds behind us. Yikes! With only two more days of racing we hope we can keep the spot, but it looks like it will be a close race.

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Day 6, Swerving to success in the South

Day 6, Swerving to success in the South

Today was another good day for us; maybe we’ve finally got the hang of this Great Race thing.

Today the Great Race decided to throw us for a loop again, quite literally. After leaving the starting line we proceeded to go in a circle. They had to figure a way to keep us busy, because it is only 100 miles from New Bern to Wilmington, if one was to take the highways.

DSCN1309The first thing we noticed about today was how humid it was. It was evident that we are definitely going south.  It was  also much warmer than previous days. I have to say that the Fairlane is well ventilated, when driving. The wind wings fairly useless, but with the windows down and the floor vents open it isn’t too bad. Today’s course did involve repeating the same roads a couple of times and seeing racers from all starting positions intertwine and go past each other in different directions was pretty amusing . It seemed as though we were set to intentionally mess each other up, almost as if someone was off course this carefully orchestrated dance could be jammed up. I don’t know about the other racers, but we didn’t have any traffic jams or proximity issues, luckily we were able to get past the tractors today.

DSCN1296Lunch today was in Clinton, North Carolina. The first thing we observed, aside from all of the resident’s cars, was a giant shopping cart in front of us. I literally mean a giant shopping cart. In the under section of the cart, there appeared to be a complete chassis. It was agreed that it would be fun to drive if possible. It was probably the best lunch stop we have had so far. Barbeque Pork & Chicken, some good Mac & Cheese, Blueberry Cobbler, and some Sweet Tea! After enjoying our wonderful lunch we headed back onto the course. I think Eliza actually sat a litle lower when we all got in.

We also saw the media crew a few times today, where they were able to get some good pictures of us. They were positioned at the corners, which you need to traverse one of two ways. The first way is going slowly and calculating how much time you need to make up. The other is to take the corner at what speed they tell you. We prefer the latter, not only do you have to calculate less, but it is a lot more fun to be in , especially with the large amount of body roll in our land yacht. Anyway, we tend to have a lot of these corners taken at anywhere from 15 to 40 mph. I am glad that we don’t have a hardtop. Whoever is sitting in the back seat tends to grab the post and hold on tight, because there is not much else to grab a hold of. The media crew got a shot of this in action, because we have all wanted to see this from an outside perspective.

Eventually we were off the clock for the day and made our way to the finish line. As soon as DSCN1318we entered the city of Wilmington the rain started to come down. The rain was fairly heavy but we were glad to see Motormouth standing in the rain still announcing us as we came in. We parked the car and then happened to meet a McPherson Alumni from the class of 85, Mr. Kevin Long, by pure chance. Mr. Long attended McPherson College for the automotive program, back when it was still a two year program. It was interesting that we just happened to meet a McPherson graduate in Wilmington; the best part is that he was on vacation and just happened to be here. He and his wife live in Wisconsin. After discussing how the program has changed, the race thus far, and the car, we parted company.

The results for today were very good. No we did not get any aces, but we had a grand total for the day of 36 seconds. As a team we were thoroughly impressed, because this was stretched across eight sections.  We have been bumped up to 41st place and are still holding first place in the X-Cup. Ponca City is in 44th place and a total of 21 seconds behind us.  It looks like we’ve gotten the idea down so far. We can only hope that we can hold steady.

This picture is taken from the official Great Race Blog. If you want to see some other neat pictures from the day take this link. http://www.greatrace.com/news/day-6-hot-heat-a-little-bit-of-rain-and-a-tricky-route.html#more-6174

This picture is taken from the official Great Race Blog. If you want to see some other neat pictures from the day take this link. http://www.greatrace.com/news/day-6-hot-heat-a-little-bit-of-rain-and-a-tricky-route.html#more-6174

 

Day 5: An ACE in the hole!

Day 5: An ACE in the hole!

Today was a good day for us. There’s a reason the title is ACE in the hole.

DSCN1176We began the morning with the usual drill of getting directions and heading off to the starting line. Today’s starting line was in a residential neighborhood, and everyone was fairly close together. We were somewhat worried about our leave time, because a crane was supposed to show up at any minute and scare us all away. Another funny part was we thought that we had 6 minutes till start, so we casually got in the car and as we were about ready to go, all of a sudden Austin says , “GO GO!” We were at first puzzled what he meant, turns out we had a little more than thirty seconds until we had to start. We made it with a couple seconds to spare, and then we were off and running.

Within a few turns a large tractor was blocking the road, taking up almost the entire DSCN1192highway , which caused not only us, but many other racers to lose time. Luckily, we were able to make up most of the time. I say most because all of a sudden with little warning we were upon a mark. Oh well. So we continued onward. The course was set up in a funny way, because we looped back twice. One of which was going the opposite direction we had just been. On our third leg we got stuck behind a load of traffic, a combine, and some construction work.  Boy it was farmer’s day, because we saw all sorts of large farm equipment on the road. We DSCN1221were not able to make up all the time again, so it was decided that we needed to use a discrepancy sheet. What a discrepancy sheet does is if there is something out of your control, such as a train being in front of you or something that you can’t make up the time for, you note it as a “discrepancy”.  We had originally said, in the beginning of the race, that we should not use discrepancy sheets. The reason being, because last years team was stuck and had tried to make up time. They did not have a clear idea of how much time they needed to make up, so they decided to use a discrepancy sheet. As they pulled up to the finish line to get there times, they saw that the person had an ACE sticker in their hand. They were all very excited as they turned in their sheet, and sure enough the guy at the station said that they had an ACE ,which is awarded for completing a leg with under one second of error…until they handed him the sheet.

WP_20140625_007The rest of the day was smooth sailing. Today’s lunch break was in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Again we had the wonderful community welcome, with the city police letting us in, and a crowd of people clapping as we paraded through the throngs of spectators. It was a nice town that was right next to the water, on the Pasquotank River. It was nice to talk to the other racers at lunch, because that is where we found out that we were not the only ones affected by all the obstacles of the day.

Soon enough we saddled up and went back to racing. We did not miss a single turn or DSCN1208direction the whole day, which is an accomplishment on its own. After enjoying the scenery we eventually made it into our finish town of New Bern, North Carolina. As we turned the corner to the finish line we saw Amanda Gutierrez, Vice President for the Automotive Restoration Program waving to us.

After we crossed the finish line we were handed our results. We had been anxiously awaiting this moment. Aside from the earlier mishap, we felt very good about what happened today. After turning in our discrepancy the staff person had to write on our sheet, to adjust the time. We saw the ACE sticker, and hoped that it would not be a repeat of last year. Luckily for us it was not. We received our first ACE sticker ever! Soon after we pulled into parking and proudly put that sticker on Eliza. We had been discussing that when we got an ACE sticker that we would have a celebratory steak dinner to celebrate. It just so happened that Mrs. Gutierrez already had a reservation at such a restaurant, before any of us knew about the ACE. The rest of the scores were great, aside from one leg, but everybody had issues on that one so we weren’t alone.

Here were our scores for the day.

First Leg 0:13

Second Leg 0:01

Third Leg 0:42

Fourth Leg 0:00 ACE!

Fifth Leg 0:02

Sixth Leg 0:05

Seventh Leg 0:06

It looks like we did pretty good. Our overall position has been bumped up to 44th place and we are currently leading in our division! Our closest competitor in our division, Ponca City, is in a close 46th place overall. The balance can still easily sway, so let’s hope we can hold our lead! It was a great day, and should only refine what we are doing right as the week progresses. Hopefully this will be the first of many more to come.

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Fourth Day and very much afloat

 Fourth Day and very much afloat

Today’s adventure was very much of an improvement from the other times, if you adjust one leg.

After awaking from our grandiose night at the casino we headed out for our fourth day of the race. For today we would once again start from Valley Forge and make our way to the starting line. Boy, I know I said it yesterday, but it is really nice to get your directions from the hotel you are staying at.

DSCN1059After receiving our route for the day we made our way to the start line. It took about an hour to get to our starting point today, across most of which was freeway. At first we were a little concerned about making the deadline, because there was some construction occurring, but we somehow managed to get through at just the right times, making it not too shabby. As we left, we found it odd that the Mustang in front of us had not left yet. They were supposed to leave a minute before us. We figured they may have missed their time and we should just go, which is not uncommon. Sure enough the Mustang left, about 10 seconds before we needed to leave. Fairly soon after we left we were neck and neck with the Mustang, and trying to pass it. It was stressful; because we were trying to pass where there was room for about 1 ½ cars, forcing us to be slightly on the side of the road as we passed. After enough games of tag, we were able to get a comfortable amount of space.

The directions were followed to the letter, (as we are always sure they are), but something was still off. Sure enough,DSCN1090 during our transition period we found out that we actually had left a minute too early. The clock was not synchronized correctly. The seconds were perfect with the race time, but one minute too fast. At that point we had to put it behind us and continue on. The miscalibration messed up our first leg, but wouldn’t affect us further until after lunch, where we would recalibrate.

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Lunch today was definitely more welcoming. As we approached the host city there were police officers to guide us and stopping traffic so we could go through stop signs, traffic lights, and the such. We definitely had a first class entrance. As we turned the final corner there was a line of classics on either side of us. We were paraded and cheered as we came into our parking area. Today’s lunch was hosted in Millsboro, Delaware, more specifically in their community center. We were warmly welcomed, and glad to have the community feeling back again.

WP_20140624_009Shortly thereafter we were back on the road again and properly calculated this time. From here on out we were doing very well. There was only one almost hiccup, which was towards the end of the last leg. We slowly crept up, though not our fault, on a pack of four racers all within 30 seconds or less of each other. Remember, everyone should be exactly one minute from each other and if ever seen should be in the distance, not bumper to bumper together at a traffic stop. Our worries increased as we neared, but somehow everything managed to flow perfectly for us. When we got close enough to the pack they were able to proceed past the stop sign, giving us more time. We got awfully close to one car but never got close enough to pass. Phew!

DSCN1116Perhaps the niftiest part of today was when we finished the race and were heading to our final destination of Portsmouth, Virginia. We took the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, which spans across the nearly 5 miles of the Chesapeake Bay, who’d a thunk. As we began to traverse this massive bridge we were astounded by two things. The first, being the sheer length of it. We couldn’t see land on the other side! Second, was marveling at the pure engineering feat of building this. It only increased as we proceeded. After sauntering along the endless bridge, we suddenly went under the bay. Literally under the bay. As we were driving along the road slowly curved into a tunnel. This was done to allow ships to travel above. To think that this was completed in 1952 is amazing.

Eventually we made it all the way to the final area, and snagged a quick dinner. Considering our first leg, this is actually pretty good. Our times for the day were

First Leg 0:56 Early

Second Leg 0:03 Early

Third Leg 0:08 Late

Fourth Leg 0:08 Late

With our factor and penalty, for having more than two people in the vehicle, we ended up with a grand total of 1:14.80. If you subtracted 1 minute from our first time, where we should have been, we would have been  four seconds late, which would have been great for our score. Where does this put us? We are 54th overall and third place in the X-Cup. The second place X-Cup Team is in 53rd overall, and the 1st place X-Cup team is 50th overall. We are still neck and neck! Any one day can change the placement. Hopefully for us that day is tomorrow.WP_20140624_015 (3)