What does it mean that we get to race again?? Someone asked me last week what it meant to me to know that we get to race again and it took me a minute to realize just how important racing is in our lives. Me personally – racing means I get to see my family again. I know we’re not necessarily related by blood, but we’re all kindred spirits. I love you all like you’re my family, and I have missed you terribly in this stupid pandemic.
Does it mean something to me to be able to see my family again? You bet it does. What does it mean….? It means that our training has purpose again! How many of us have trained (or not trained) over the past year with no real goal in sight? We haven’t had a goal because we haven’t had any races to work towards. Everything was cancelled. Yes, you can do the virtual race thing and that’s a great way to continue training, but in reality is a virtual race anything other than a hard training day?
In my mind, no it isn’t, as a “race” gives you several things that virtual racing doesn’t: You get the atmosphere! There is a certain atmosphere to a race. It’s the energy of getting up early, the worry of making sure you’re ready the night before, the excitement of seeing your friends and fellow competitors. It’s the music, the noise, the commotion, the controlled chaos that is the transition area. It’s a RACE and we haven’t been able to race in a year. I miss the atmosphere.
With HFP announcing a race series that’s actually going to happen, that means we get our atmosphere back. Yeah, that means something to me. What does it mean ……it means competition! Again virtual races allow us to compete against ourselves and allow us to compete with others via statistics. I know most triathletes are amateur statisticians, because we track everything. From our heart rate to our miles to our calories to our fat content to anything we can count, measure, or otherwise record… we’re going to do that. But that does not compare to sweating and working side by side with somebody in your age group who’s pushing hard to that same finish line . You don’t get that virtually, that takes a race and we get to RACE!!
What does it mean ….. probably too personal (and Shannon and Jen may or may not want this said, and I suppose I have the ability to edit it out if they don’t) but it means that one family who we have all come to know and love over the last 25 years gets to stay in business and not closed their doors due to circumstances beyond their control. It’s no secret that the owners of HFP Racing have had to take other full-time jobs in order to survive this pandemic. Their world wasn’t rocked, it was shut down. Can you imagine the sheer panic of going from controlled chaos and a schedule of 40 plus races, to getting a letter that says “no permits will be issued in the foreseeable future”? These folks have a family to feed too, and they did what they had to do during this weird time to feed that family. It’s no small miracle that HFP Racing has a season this year. Many lesser people, and lesser race organizations would have, (and did) throw in the towel when it got too hard. Not HFP. They scratched and scrambled and they found a way. If we all don’t take a second to acknowledge that painful scratch and scramble, and thank them for their heart and their faith in the sport, and in you (their racers ) we might be missing the point.
So, from a loud old fat guy – thank you Shannon and Jen for stepping up and facing this demon head on, and popping him right in the nose. I certainly admire your courage, and appreciate you more than I can say . Does it mean anything to me to be able to race again this season?
In the immortal words of Letterkenny: “figger it oot, can confirm” ! Let’s race!