Saturday, June 22, 2013
0630 hours, 16 hours into the race
Fourth Circle of Hell – GREED
After a short hike, we stop. We are told to empty our backpacks, and fill it up with gravel. Greed is punished. Those more attached to material goods (read: those who are carrying larger packs) are suffering. I regret not showing up with a clutch.
I am mildly anxious about the task, as I have no idea how long this particular adventure will last. It’s the Death Race. We could be carrying pounds upon pounds of gravel for an hour or for ten hours. Part of me does not expect to see any of my gear until the end of the race. I dump everything on the ground, and stuff my pockets with gels. Just in case.
Joe, Andy and Peter are spearheading the fun. We carry gravel few hundred meters up the trail, and dump it on the ground in a seemingly random location. Talk about anti-climactic. This is doing nothing for my peaking boredom. I start entertaining thoughts of quitting. I heard there are really nice breweries in the area. It’s only Saturday – a whole weekend ahead.
“How are you doing?”, a fellow racer asks, coming down the trail, as I drag myself up.
“Bored”, I respond, staring at the ground. I’m a real delight to talk to.
I want my damn coffee.
The pile of gravel at the bottom is disappearing, as the corresponding pile is growing at the top. It’s now spilling over onto the trail.
“Wouldn’t it be grand, if we had to bring it all back down next?”, I think to myself gloomily. I would kill for an audio book. Or an intelligent conversation.
Next to the shrinking pile of gravel, I notice a sharp drop into the creek with barbed wire stretched across. Something tells me we will be back. Just a hunch…
Someone mentions that we will have to do a mile barbed wire crawl. Five times. Again, I filter the information. A mile crawl. Ten mile crawl. Whatever. Take it as it comes.
“Justice of God! Who has amassed as many
strange tortures and travails as I have seen?
And he to me: “O unenlightened creatures,
how deep-the ignorance that hampers you!”
In this case, deep ignorance helps, rather than hampers. Ignorance for the win.