Sometime last winter we were having dinner with our friends/distant cousins Cody and Andrea and their sweet, sweet children. Cody introduced the idea that Brandon join his Death Race relay team. I was skeptical, let's say. It sounds intense - right? Skip to early summer, Brandon is onboard and training but another teammate, Jabin, injures his foot. Once again we are dining with Cody and Andrea and Cody introduced the idea that maybe Brandon could trade for Jabin's leg of the race - no pressure. Nononononononono. The running-over-two-mountains one? Please don't, Brandon. But of course he did. I didn't fight it - much. I just requested that he make close friends with all the hills in Edmonton.
I ended up loving it. They were a five man team and those men had wives, some with children. We camped in a group. Shared all our meals. Hustled from one checkpoint to another, cheering our team on. My eyes were always steamy. The energy of it all, the cheering, the endurance - I'm a sap! I was preparing our group's lunch while Brandon ran leg two, characterized as the "roughest piece of trail in the Death Race", "the most dangerous part of the entire course", and with a "total elevation change ...well over 6000 feet".
Brandon made it down his last mountain before the hailing and torrential rain started. I don't think I've ever stood in such extreme rain before. It was sheer joy when he crossed his finish line. I've never been much for sports teams but when our team finished sometime nearing midnight (?), I was beaming! Just look at those smiling teammates in the last picture. Just warms my heart. They finished 24th out of 242 teams.