ARROWHEAD REPORT BY DAVE PRAMANN
OK I hope you all read this and decide changes must be made! So many things are just wrong. This race is unfair.
First, like the start is all at different times so you don’t know where anybody really is? What is that? How can you have a sprint finish after 135 miles if it doesn’t really matter. Why do I go to the velodrome and pound the legs at the gym if this is going to happen? Make all those other people shiver at the start so we can all start together that’s the right thing to do. Plus it would be better for pictures.
Taking photos of Dave P and Charlie at the highway 53 railroad crossing.
Then the weather, oh boy the weather! First the extended forecast says like at least teens and 20’s for the race period, and then presto, chango with no warning it goes to way below zero with some wind. So I changed for that. And then the “chance for flurries” turns to like 3+” of fluffy white beautiful crap snow just before we start? You know I am B.S. Meteorology UW-Madison and this still is not fair cause you never know. Those liberal-ass Canadians are withholding weather data from our NWS I’m sure and that’s not fair. I need to know tire pressure cause Endomorph says only to make sure to pump to 30psi, and how much food and water to bring, and how can I anticipate everything with all that going on? How can we be safe and ready for such changing conditions?
And then after we start the first few bikers are making like this snake tracks all over and not going straight. Then the walkers and skiers are even messing that up. I have to go out of the track at times because they don’t get all the way off the trail when I go by, even when I smile and wave. Its not like this on my spin trainer. We must change the rules and penalize people for this unfair behavior.
The other thing on the start, after I pushed people out of the way, and finally got to the front before we turned around, then they didn’t get all the way off the trail again when I came back the other way!! How could I spot them all when the scenery was so nice and Arctic-like. And Charlie would go to the front to block the wind but then turn around and expect me to go to the front once in awhile so he could drink and stuff. That’s not right or fair. I think he only went to the front so that nice Curiak fellow could take his picture. And the other strong bikers, oh they were so smart they left later and cheated by riding in our nice tracks. What do you think I’m new to this game? So you think I didn’t know you all will cheat? All the way to 112 miles! There should be a new rule everyone needs to make their own track. And I know some of them rode on the left side of the trail sometimes cause that was where my nice track was. That’s cheating. Oops.
Dave P with Charlie Farrow following.
Oh and about the trail, come on, like the groomers left a few soft spots in places where you couldn’t tell and all of a sudden you sink. That is so unsafe. And if you fell off to the side the snow was way too deep to barely get back on the trail and there were even embedded sharp sticks that could poke you if you weren’t really careful. The hills were sometimes too steep also. You should make them have switchbacks so we could always ride them and it would be safer.
(Lance Andre in the TeePee of Despair)
And then there’s Lance. First he passes me, then he goes different speeds and makes a wiggly track and stops often to eat and makes me go in front again. That is not fair. So I had to go blaze the track again and I got mentally tired just always looking always for the firmest snow. Did I say always? Pretty soon I was seeing gremlins off to the side of the trail and always wanting badly for the TeePee of Despair. And the whiskey at Fortune.
The pesky wolves made divots on the trail and they peeed yellow in a bunch of places. We need to have a wolf hunting season I’m sure cause they are a nuisance. And we all know they are dangerous and mean anyway and very scarwwey at night when you are alone and its dark and stuff in the middle of nowhere. And who know’s what could happen. Maybe our Alaska Fish and Game friends could help us with this wolf-control. I will call my nice friend Sarah.
Also it was allowed to be much too cold for this race. If you have a decent breathable jacket, when it is this cold you get a bunch of frostyness on the outside and your jacket turns white so you aren’t so visible. That’s not safe cause even if you have like lights and reflectors on all day, once in a great while a sled comes by at like 65mph. And hey hello? Liquids freeze at about 32F, and here we are racing at –30F and lower and what happens when we need to drink? What are you thinking making us do that?
Did you know there is a reason most x-c ski races have a -5F limit? This is because they know there is no glide wax in the world that works well way-cold like for this race not even magic FastWax White. And no-wax skis are even worse cause they were mostly designed for transition conditions around 30F. So that is not fair to be so cold. No wonder they only time more than one mutant-skier finished was the warm year 2008. Plus if its too cold people who see or hear about this race think we are maximum Nuts. Even for Minnesota.
And for the walkers, the trail is way too boring flat straight at the start and finish. I mean come on, hours and hours, imagine the Horror, oh the Horror. Nothing but straight flat and by oneself. Really, most of these walkers are strange loner-types who love being alone and this is even too much alone for them. Or they are like the strongest young men America has to offer and they still freeze. It must be changed. Same as the route to Elephant Lake. Like first you come within a couple crow-flying miles of it and then you see a sign saying something like 35 miles and 11 miles and then 5 miles and two and these must be the longest ever miles in the world. You need to make the trail straight here to the lake to be fair to us. And let us ride the road more to be fair.
And next let me tell you about this “Teepee of Despair Checkpoint”. This whole idea is unfair. Those friendly but poor apparently homeless folks who had to stay there at the windiest spot in northern Minnesota and man it all night at like -20F and then -30F had it worse than any racers. No wonder their nice women-folk left for the Casino. Plus we kept opening their door to check in and then everyone could see how smoky and sad and full of despair it was. And let me tell you my expectations were not met as I at least anticipated maybe a wall tent type place with a stove heater or something that was warmer than -19F or colder if you factor in the wind chill inside the Teepee, when it was -20F outside. That is so unfair. And can play mental tricks.
And then the top finishers, first they didn’t stay long enough at the nice MelGeorges, and then they kept using my nice track to 112 miles and then had the nerve to keep strong and steady-eddie going while I shivered like the beaten, undernourished, and faulty-planning man I was, shacking up with my best night buddy Lance. And then it wasn’t fair that you didn’t have signs at the road crossings that said, “This way to downtown Cook and warm food and a place to thaw your frozen appendages”. Because people from Iowa shouldn’t need to have a map and know which way is north or south when we are tired and beaten.
I will never again do this race until either you folks change some things or next year’s race, whichever comes first, cause this race is the best!