Monday, May 22, 2006

Race From Hell

This past weekend I headed to Sunapee, NH for the Relative hilly road race. I was heading to the race with my buddy, Tom Gosslin. He was picking me up at 5am for the 3 hr journey. I had set my alarm for 4 am and headed to bed all packed and pretty much ready to go. The next morning is where the day started off bad and I should have figured it would end worse, but I was hopeful. I awoke that morning, not to my alarm but to the sound of Tom's truck in my parking lot. Not good. My alarm never went off and it was already 5 am. I ran around my apartment, getting dressed and filling my bottles with water. Luckily I was mostly ready to go. We were able to get on the road 10 min later which wasn't bad at all. After a few pit stops we made our way to Sunapee. The weather looked good. It was partly cloudy but windy with a few nasty looking clouds in the area. It never did rain, which was sweet. I was doing another Cat4 race with 100 registered racers. My race started off fairly easy. There was a group of 4-5 racers that broke away right at the start but we never let them out of site. I moved around the pack for awhile. On the hills I would move to the front and stay there for a while then I would end up at the back again where I would hang out and eat. We caught the break on the back side of the lake on the hilly section of the course. After one lap the pace was steady, not ballistic but fast enough to keep the group together and to drop a few who couldn't stay on on the hills. The second lap was a bit faster and we went a little harder up the hills. On one of the large hills I made my way to the front third of the group and wanted to stay there as we made our way back to the finish. Somewhere on 103A is were the race ended for me. We had just fished a climb and was heading down a hill at over 30mph when there was a crash right in front of me which at least 15-20 racers went down. I don't know what happened but I had no time to slow down. I did have a choice of either running straight into the crashed racers or veer left and try and avoid the carnage. I went left but ended up leaving the road and hitting a very soft gravel shoulder. I ended up going straight over my handle bars and hitting my shoulder first then my head. I was able to get right up and I got my bike and tried to continue the race but realized my front wheel was all messed up and wouldn't turn. I then tried to pick up the front of my bike to get a new wheel but couldn't pick it up or move my right arm at all. At that point I started to realize something was wrong and I started to get really dizzy and feel really sick. Then the pain started. A spectator helped me over to the follow vehicle and they called an ambulance. I didn't really want one but they insisted. Once the EMT's got there they checked me out, put me on a stretcher, and brought me to the hospital. They said that my right shoulder was out by at least 3-4 inches and might be broken. The ambulance ride was short but I got some good pain killers on the way. They didn't last long though. At the hospital the doc pulled on my arm and I felt a big pop. They did some x-rays and found nothing broken but I’m unable to move my arm at all. They told me that I probably tore all the tendons and ligaments in my shoulder. By now it had been a few hours and I was starving plus I figured Tom was wondering where I was. The hospital got me a lunch tray which was disgusting and Tom finally found out where I was and made his way to the hospital. Well after I ate the sherbet and a piece of chicken they finally said I could go home. They gave me some pain killers, which was a big hassle to obtain. Tom was very helpful. He got all my gear and bike which was just sitting in the hospital lobby and we made our way back to Maine. After a stop at subway to get some food so I could take some pain killers and forget about my shoulder for a while. We finally got home around 4:30pm. I was all drugged up and exhausted. After a very painful shower I passed out on my couch just wishing it was all a dream but as a awoke the next morning I realized that it did in fact happen and my arm is all messed up. Even today I am unable to move my right arm and I’m in more pain than I have ever been in my life. I'm really frustrated and I hope I will be back on the bike soon but think its going to a long hard struggle.

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