Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Race Across America: The Follow-Up

As you know, we've been following the progress of Mike McClintock, a solo rider in the Race Across America (RAAM) from Wooster that Century Cycles was proud to sponsor. Mike dropped out of the race last Friday in Bloomington, Indiana -- his experience cut short on Day 9 by an excruciating case of Shermer's Neck that plagued him for most of the race and that got the better of the neck brace built by Tom Wiseman, the CC mechanic on his crew.

Here is Mike's statement on the McClintock Race Team's Facebook wall:

To all of my friends, family and supporters I regretfully announce that I am calling an official end to my race. 2263 miles and nine days after I started I had to concede that it would physically be impossible for me to complete in the remaining allotted time. Too many injuries that consumed precious hours ultimately proved to be my ...undoing. By far the most crippling was a condition known as “Shermers Neck”. This is a condition that afflicts the muscles that support your head and is very prevalent in the ultra-cycling community. There are various neck braces that can be used but none are designed for the rigors of a race such as RAAM. Ultimately, crew chief Bob Haugh and crew member Tom Wiseman devised a system that allowed me to hold my head up for the last 1500 miles of my attempt!

Alaskan adventurer and explorer Norm Vaughn once said “Dream big and dare to fail”. Did I fail? In one respect: yes. My dream was to race the entire 3000 mile course within 12 days and have an official finish. I did not realize that dream. However, the hours spent in preparation for the race, the relationships built with my crew members and the heightened awareness of Central American Medical Outreach (CAMO) have yielded so many positives that to call it a failure would be an injustice.

And yes, on a personal and spiritual level I have grown as well. I re-learned that I am a blessed person with a truly exceptional wife. I also re-learned that no matter what or where there is NEVER a time that you are truly alone. Evidence of God’s presence was manifested many times over as I raced across the country. When I really needed Him, He was there.

To everyone who has been with me through your support and prayers I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
And we thank YOU, Mike -- for allowing us to be a part of your dream and to be so deeply inspired by your herculean effort, your iron will, your wonderful crew, and your amazing commitment to bicycling.

We also congratulate Katie Spotz (who competed with a broken pelvis and was featured on the front page of The Plain Dealer on Saturday) and Team Hope for their team successes at RAAM!

Now how to celebrate these cycling heroes? How 'bout with a nice long bike ride....

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