The time has come and this will be my final post until I return. It is hard to relax and the stresses continue to mount. Did I pack everything? Do I have the required papers? The required kit? Will my family have what they need while I’m gone? Then there are the things beyond my control such as; If my bag is lost or if my plane is delayed, I would miss the event before it even starts. Even while these thoughts cloud my thinking, the one thing that hits the hardest is that I will board a plane early Saturday morning and leave my wife and my son behind for two weeks.
I will have limited to no contact with them. This means that the foundation upon which I have built my endurance will be far behind me and out of my reach. My wife has been my emotional safety net for my whole life and this strikes me in the gut hard as I now realize just how vital that has meant to that journey. I would not be here today if not for her. Then there is my son. I will be divided from him. I cannot protect him, support him, or comfort him. I cannot be his Dad for two weeks. Just thinking of crossing through security and looking back at my family standing anonymously among the airport crowd, making their way back to the car, produces a lump in my throat.
I will do my best to send the allotted one email per day via satellite at the bivouac. I will send this email to my wife, who will try to post bits of it to the Remove the Limits Facebook page. You can follow me there as well as via the race website (below), where — I believe — they will have a “tracker” for people to see where I have last checked in. I will probably be unable to send an email during the 50-mile stage as I will likely be sleeping/running/walking/migrating through the night. I do not yet know when this stage will fall.
Likewise, if you would like to communicate with me, you can…and I would love it! If you follow the instructions below, and your email gets through, then I am told a print out of it will be waiting for me at bivouac each night.
When the race begins on April 5th until it ends on April 12th, you can go to the website and follow these instructions.
Click on section “write to competitors”
The subject MUST contain my info as follows:
Valenti, Christopher 458
Only messages with surname, first name and race ID number will be transferred.
Do not send attachments (e.g. photos). This will cancel the message. Messages will be given to competitors on the bivouac every day. Note: AOI cannot transfer messages posted on Facebook, Twitter.
If I had anything more to say or articulate beyond my gratitude, it would be better said in the song posted below.
Thank you all so much for your support. I hope I don’t let you down.
All of my love,