In my last post I gave a brief rundown of the days and events leading up to the race. In my next post I will give you an insider’s perspective on the race. But today I would like to share a great post from the Death Race Facebook page written by fellow Death Racer Josh Zitomer. I think he captures the spirit of the Death Race and what it means to be in it and WHY we do it.
THERE IS NO FINISH LINE
This is my take on what attempting the Death Race really means…I’d like to think I’m right, but I guess only Joe [Desena] and Andy [Weinberg] will know for sure.
I’ve been rereading many of the posts from the entire week and on a few occasions I’ve bumped into a theme that I find slightly disheartening. Who finished? Who didn’t? Who quit? Who won? Who did more than me? Excuses. Etc. The most disheartening though is hearing about racers coming down hard on themselves for quitting.
Are we missing the point?
In my book THERE IS NO FINISH LINE and there is no first place, second place, third place, fourth place, etc. Every single person out there won. Being a Death Racer isn’t about making it 45 hours or 60 hours or 67 hours. It’s about figuring out how to accomplish tasks when your entire being is telling you to quit. The Death Race isn’t looking for the best athletes…they’re a dime a dozen. The Death Race is looking for the type of person that gives and gives and gives. Everything they’ve got. 100%. No excuses. Until they just happen to cross a “finish line” or they drop with the biggest smile of accomplishment on their faces. This race (in my humble opinion) has nothing to do with placing. It has nothing to do with being at the front of the pack. It has nothing to do with competing against the guy/girl next to you. It has everything to do with finding out who you are. Digging deep into the recesses of your soul to attempt to grab ahold of the true you. The you that comes out when you’re suffering. The you that emerges when you’re doing your best to simply take just one more step with that swollen blister filled foot…and then another one…and then another one…give give give.
THERE IS NO FINISH LINE. If you start it, whether you make it 20 hours or 67 hours, the Death Race is now engrained in your psyche. It is a part of you. You will never forget the feeling of bonking on Bloodroot Mountain. You will never forget the feeling of crawling through a dark culvert. You will never forget the feeling of toeing the line between dropping and taking one more step. You will never forget the feeling of a fellow racer giving you half of their last power bar. These experiences are what will make you a stonger person mentally and physically. Every day. Whether you “finished” the race or not. So you crossed an imaginary line that the Race Organizers said was where the Death Race ended*. So what. The question is: what did you learn? How many other athletes did you meet? Did you smile at all? Did you share your last Powerbar? Did you figure out the real reason you’re involved in such craziness?
The racers that quit with a big ‘ol fat smile on their faces are the ones I look up to. You guys got beat up on, kicked around, and took every single thump with a smile. THAT is harder than finishing.
The Death Race has no finish line because it has changed you FOREVER and allowed you to see the world and yourself in a different light. Every. Single Day.
Congratulations to everyone and it was an honor to share the course and suffer with you
*I’m pretty certain the only reason they have a “finish line” is so that us moronic Death Racers know when to go home…otherwise we’d be out there for weeks. If not months.
~ Josh Zitomer
Ruck On. Stay Muddy.