One thing that I am rapidly having to come to terms with is that detached journalistic objectivity is all but impossible unless you have the heart of a pre-xmas Grinch. Which I don't.
The majority of the racers are much more concerned with and focussed on the cameraderie between them than on the leaderboard. Surer, everyone wants to see the results, but mostly so they can go around congratulating or commiserating with each other on the past day's performances. Every evening and morning sees them gathered around the campfires exchanging stories or trading bits of advice. There are no jealously guarded secrets: almost all the racers are more than willing to help each other out with tips and tricks, especially for the rookies.
They support each other, worry about each other, and root for each other more than any other group of “competitors” I've ever encountered. The race is very much secondary, a stage or backdrop against which they share in their adventures. It's more like summer camp when you were a kid, and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to join in, even on the fringes
No sarcastic or brilliantly witty commentary here, which is my usual modus operandus: just impressed and humbled. These people – and not just the racers, I mean everyone involved in the event – has done wonders to restore some of my faith in humanity. Next year I may not want to stay on the sidelines.
Unless it's cold and rainy.
Support Peter Dobos : Thanks for scrolling down, mate. Click through to see the various subscriptions for Breathe Magazine, and support my lavish lifestyle to boot. Cheers. :)