"WHY I SHOULD BE IN DA ARROWHEAD"

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Dear Arrowhead: Perhaps the compelling reason to allow me to participate in this year's Arrowhead 135 has to do with my rather ascetic beginnings.....I am the love child product of a passionate romantic tryst, somewhere on the steep slopes of an alp located within the Karakoram Range, betwixt two of the greatest explorers of the Golden Age--namely Amelia Earhardt and Ernest Shackleton.

My mother never told Shackleton for fear the news would cause him indigestion.  She also knew she could never raise me properly as she was allergic to children.  She courageously sold me to a tribe of Sherpa mountain folk.  This loving clan of simple people could not provide for me as they had collective distaste for all things which were smallish, cried, and occasionally stinky.  Thus my second parents with great regret traded me to an English mountaineering troupe for a few liters of "flavored" Chai.

Luckily for me, their leader, the Great Mallory, had a predilection for infants, feeling they brought good luck, so he agreed to the trade with the stipulation that no one would object to him carrying me along in his rucksack as he made his historic summit attempt on the flanks of Mount Everest.  Given that his demise is well-recorded within the annuls of mountaineering lore, suffice to say that I was tossed off the mountain in a futile effort to save weight as the air thinned and Mallory became obsessed with gaining a foothold upon the top of the world.

Picked up by a pride of Yetis, I was raised to manhood by these uncomplicated and exceedingly shy beasts.  In a tear-wrenching encounter with the great alpinist Reinhold Messner, my adoptive parents reluctantly gave me up to the Italian Superstar in trade for a broken, yet shiny Rubik's Cube.

Messner regaled me with stories of great adventure during our brief time together, but alas he too found it too difficult to offer me sanctuary as he complained I smelled of old musky socks and displayed poor table manners.

Messner traded me to the Mayo brothers, who were traveling near the base of Annapurna, in exchange for a few doses of Diamox and that is how I found my way to Rochester, Minnesota as a young man.

Dear Mr. _ _ _ _ _ _: We are sorry but the roster is full.  Plus, just having a robust, adventurous childhood does not, in itself, qualify you for this "God-Forsaken" race.  Signed, AH 135