Hard as rock
The drive out to Grouse Gulch is unfun, as I really dislike piloting a vehicle on narrow roads with dropoffs, ruts, and rocks. I decided that if Beat ever races Hardock again, I will bring a mountain bike and make it my personal challenge to reach the aid stations before him — although I wouldn't be able to carry a cooler on my bike. The temperature was in the mid-30s and there was a strong breeze, so I put on puffy pants and made all of the other crewpeople jealous. Beat came in around 4 a.m. looking pale, and I tried to coax him to eat soup and quesadillas. This photo is my friend Steve arriving with his pacer, Harry, around 7 a.m. He was having breathing problems, so I loaned him my inhaler. After the breathless episode while sleeping, I felt nervous about parting with it, but I really hoped it would save his race. Unfortunately, his breathing problems became worse and he decided it would be unsafe to go beyond the next aid station. This was a smart decision.