And so the bubble has burst. Back we trudge to real life. My 4 year old asked me if I missed all my RAB friends yesterday……I paused for a moment and told him that despite the haze of exhaustion I did really miss them.
Much like a gap year, how do you explain to people that weren’t there? After 4 sentences they’re giving you the polite nod of interest but only a fellow RABer understands.
Class of 2013 were a vintage. 600 chaperones to coin Tups’s phrase. You were resilient, determind, thoughtful to each other and the crew, tough as old boots on defining day seven and courteous despite endless, what must have been annoying, requests from us.
The weather was not kind to you….so unkind in fact it would be hard to go North to South again. I know many will say ‘but that’s the challenge’ but you have to stand in my shoes on the finish line of day 7 and look at how battered our riders were. No fun but my God what grit. Lewis Moody whispered (too tired to talk properly) to me that day 7 was the hardest thing he’d ever done. But, I protested, what about training with Woodward, Johnners etc for Rugby World Cup 2003? Yes mate, but that wasn’t (beeping) 10 hours a day!
Then there was the finish line. Ah…..the glow of self-esteem emanating off the riders weather beaten faces. Priceless. Ordinary to extraordinary in 982 miles. Makes it all worthwhile.
So many laudable causes and reasons for riders to put themselves through it. Some recovering from depression, others raising money for hospitals who made their children healthy again, some to mourn the passing of a loved one, some just for the sheer hell of it. Several times I turned from the medal podium (where we had amarriage proposal…it was a yes) to wipe my eyes pretending it was the wind. It wasn’t the wind it was the warmth of the family greeting their exhausted loved ones.
And then there’s the fund raising. It’s hard to know at this stage the total. As the toughness of this years ride is revealed to friends, colleagues, bosses, family you tend to see a spike of generosity. In the 12 or so conversations I had, I totalled up £140,000, mind you £85,000 was achieved by one amazing fella. Rob, I salute you. I suspect we’ll smash it up to £800,000 by close of July.
Finally a favour or two. Threshold is a company that creates and delivers outdoor challenges for companies or charities for 100 to 5,000 people. If you are someone or know someone who needs a physical element to a company well being plan or a fund raising platform, please pass on our details (my email is below). Equally please encouarge friends, colleagues, family to sign up for Deloitte RAB 2014 (September). This time the right bloody way round. We can’t be complacent about filling the ride in a difficult economy so any help pushing the ride is very welcome. If you want a taster (or RAB reunion) we have the 2 day London Revolution next May and if you want a gentle warm down from RAB do join us on www.racetothestones.com in July this year. No bikes just trainers and the stunning Ridgeway. We also welcome corporate teams to RAB – this has been used as a dynamic form of client engagement, as well as employee well being, by our title sponsor Deloitte (the wonderful people who’ve backed us from the beginning on the ride) and other partners with great success.
Thank you to everyone in the bubble. Farewell Class of 2013. You were a pleasure to serve. United we conquered.
With great respect
Mack & the crew
More was in you