Continuing the Tradition

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Continuing the Tradition

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Traditions easily become a way of life for most people. I continually thought of attending the 2019 GNCC AMSOIL Ironman Race for the Cure for almost a year. Last year I wrote a story about my experience at the race in Crawfordsville, and I expected the same result. On the contrary, my cousins and I stood in a much different environment this go around. To prepare for the day, I started buying things about four months ago. I purchased a new coat, gloves, but unfortunately I forgot about a poncho. My cousin, Neil, told me about the possibility of rain, and I dismissed it. Coincidentally, our e-learning day fell on the same day I chose to drive to their house. The drive felt much longer than normal, but I spent quality time with all three of my cousins. 

Early in the morning on Saturday, my little cousin, Owen, jumped on my chest. This woke me up right away. We brushed our teeth, gathered the essentials, and drove towards Crawfordsville. To top it all off, it began pouring outside. The ponchos we bought were everything but useful. In order to fit inside them, we ripped the neck. This proved to be a horrible decision later in the day. I realized it would be different than the first race I attended, but I thought of better weather conditions. It rained the entire time and my younger cousin became cold much quicker than us. He expressed his “cold-shakes” very often. 

The extremely muddy area next to the kids portion of the race became tiresome. The mud and the massive amounts of rain made it hard to navigate the huge plot of land. I found myself getting stuck in the most awkward situations. At one point on a hill, my left foot got stuck and I tripped into a puddle of muddy water. Because I fell in the puddle, I was much more susceptible to the cold weather. I’m not sure how many of the racers stayed warm throughout the day. Most of them had a sweatshirt or a long sleeve t-shirt on which was covered in mud within an hour of the start time. 

The race entailed many jumps, curves, and steep hills. Sadly, they removed the hill climb due to an accident that occurred earlier in the month. My cousin looked forward to this because it became a tradition almost 10 years ago. He takes the day off work almost every year in order to see the thousands of people race up the hill. The course tests many riders’ ability to change pace. We experienced this first hand when a group of ATV’s turned and hurled mud towards us. To test our patience, my younger cousin constantly punched us in the legs saying, “When are we leaving, I’m cold.” After a few hours in the rain, we finally gave in to his desires. 

At the end of the day, my cousins and I felt extraordinarily tired. On the contrary, my youngest cousin left for a wedding with his mom when we made it back home. Every piece of clothing I wore needed to be washed. The combination of rain and mud ruined them. After changing out of the most uncomfortable clothes, we sat down and watched The Ranch on Netflix. I expected something much more exciting from that weekend, but I enjoyed how it turned out. The race is always fun no matter the conditions, and I’m overjoyed that my cousins and I turned it into a tradition.

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