Dirt in your skirt blog

Death Race 2012 – Part 3 – Changing Sides

Posted on June 22, 2012 by Margaret Schlachter

After I made the choice to end my Death Race 2012 as a racer I entered the race again as a helper. A shuttle took us back to Pittsfield and I was officially out of the race. My feet were thrashed and luckily Doc was around, one of my good friends boyfriend who is a doctor that works with some extreme conditions. He and another friend got me to lay on a cot and Doc went to work. The cool water over my feet made my toes twitch as their sensitivity was high. I lay in the cot a sea of emotion friends offered kind words. My emotions started to subside as my feet dried out.

Forest and I headed home for a much needed shower and nap. We returned to the race in the early afternoon armed with beer, snacks and fresh clothing. Much of the race was happening away from the farm at this point but it offered us a chance to catch up with other dropped racers and enjoy a nice Saturday at the farm. I played with a few kids and watched the random racer filter in and out.

At some point we moved the growing party of off-duty volunteers, dropped racers, and support crew over to the other side of the barn and set up shop spectating and watching racers. As the evening was upon us the racers started to filter back and were cooled down with a dip in the duck pond.

This is when I found out about the cheaters. There was a challenge where you had to find your stake and fill it with gravel or something. People were confused and not able to find stakes so they changed numbers and it got back to HQ. For those that didn’t cheat their time in the pond was minimal for those that did they were in the duck pond in the dark standing waist deep for over an hour.

Around eleven o’clock or so we headed off to do some trail marking for Joe and Andy so the racers could get to the next challenge. As we drove around the town putting up pink ribbons we rushed to beat the racers. Around midnight or so we headed back to my house for a well deserved nights sleep.

Up early the next morning we headed back to the race. People were at the Peter’s house chopping wood, others on the mountain, origami was taking place. About 90 people were still in the race spread around. It was around this time we started the UStreams from the race. Much of Sunday was spent trying to capture bits and pieces of the race live as they unfolded.

We dodged around my car leading our way until one spin around town the ultimate betrayal happened. As we approached a stop light the check engine light started blinking as well as the cruise control light and the odometer was literally reading ILL.S. Yes, my car it seemed was in on the theme as well. We gingerly rolled it back to the farm and had one of the farmers look at it. He said it would be ok to get home that night but we were still a little unsure.

Video streaming by Ustream

So what do you do when your car is on the blinking and telling you it’s ill. Well freaked out for a few minutes at the cost it would be to fix this problem then realized it’s Sunday and Father’s Day nothing I can do about it. So we decided to stay at the race and help out. Mostly it was sitting around, I watched some hay get stacked in a barn, watched people try to get up with 60lb sandbags attached to their packs, and listened to Joe tell people to quit.

It was during the afternoon as well I was able to hang out with one of Andy’s daughters who I coach in skiing. One of the greatest parts of the Death Race is the people and the friends you meet and make through the race. I was having more fun running around the race and shooting video and catching up with friends than I had racing. It reaffirmed my decision was the right one.

Video streaming by Ustream

At one point a call came down to the farm an injured person was on the trail. Being a Wilderness EMT I was called to action. I hopped on the back of the 4 Wheeler that Farmer Liz drove and we headed out into the woods. She drove me to the bottom of the raven and I headed up the marked raven in search for the down racer. I went up and up radio in hand, ever so often checking in with HQ as I saw nothing. Eventually, I got the call he had made it (with 60lb sandbag and blown knee) back to Amee. We had just missed him on the trail. I ran back to the river making sure no one else was on trail and then hopped on the 4 wheeler and headed back to the farm. This was me in my element just over 24 hours after quitting racing I was running search and rescue. Luckily it all turned out well.

As it got closer to dark the race HQ got moved from Amee Farm over to Riverside Farm and we found our new home at the Pool House where we had checked in Friday afternoon. Most of the volunteers had gone home at this point and it was down to those that work for Spartan Race and myself and my boyfriend.

Video streaming by Ustream

We were feet away from what would prove to be the last challenge for all but the top guys in the race. The final task for most would be six revolutions around a quarter-mile course in which the racers had to log roll and along the way stir the innards of Bubba the Highland Bull recently slaughtered. I think everyone who raced puked at this part of the race. It was crazy to watch and I can’t even imagine what it was like to do. When each round was completed they had to correctly answer a question in order for the round to count.

Video streaming by Ustream

We watched, and watched people succeed, some people quit, and I think all puked at least once. The leader Olof set off just before sunset on his last task one last run up the mountain. Then around midnight Sunday night he came running through the woods back to Riverside and would claim victory in the 2012 Death Race.

Video streaming by Ustream

Olof interview right after the race:

Video streaming by Ustream

Many would continue on to finish some raced until almost 10:00am in the morning Monday morning. An amazing feat and amazing people who finished the race. To all my friends who finished or didn’t finish we all accomplished something out there. Not many would even toe the line.

To the finishers, you are all sick and twisted and I love you all!