Friday, December 24, 2010

Shackleton gives rare press conference in Duluth in the shadows of the Kitchee Gammi Club (DBD Headquarters in the northern colonies)

“Hail Buffington! Lord of Tuscobia!” “Hear! Hear! Capital effort! Bravo!”

Brief excerpts from Shackleton’s six hundred and eighty-nine page prepared statement regarding D.B.D. member performance (and lack thereof) pertaining to 2nd Annual Tuscobia Race. (Note: He did not take any questions from the throngs of press, curious bystanders, and well-wishers present at the news-conference just outside the famed Kitchee Gammi Club on the southern Shores of Gitcha Gumee):

…The DBD would like to wholeheartedly express its appreciation and support of Mr. Tim Roe and his charges for developing and professionally organizing the Tuscobia Ultra 150... Special kudos to Mr. Roe’s mother, who went well beyond the call of duty in dealing with our stricken and dishonored DBD member (or more likely former member; pending decision from the DBD Honor Board of Inquiry)…
…Regardless of that man’s collapse, Tuscobia was very good to the DBD, inviting grand performances from both cyclist Buffington in the 150 and man-hauler Kershaw in the 75 miler… On the subject of the third member, I will speak to his dishonor farther on in my presentation to you, but first I want to celebrate these heroic men and their outstanding efforts!...

First off a few words on the 150 event:
On a fast track with but a few tough, mired sections, Buffington was unstoppable, leading out the race from its inception and “never looking-back”... Soon there were three; two of our men and the venerable Floridian/Iowan, namely Lance Andre of Dirty Kanza & Arrowhead fame and beyond, both a worthy adversary and a man of honor and humor... For the first forty-five miles or so, as Buffington and Andre switched leads, laughed, and told jokes, our elder member (ex-member?) sat meekly in the third position (or ‘hurt-tank’) and quietly wept the tears of the forsaken, (in clear violation of DBD protocol, I might add). So it went down until that third man silently, sans dignity, fell off the pace to ride in personal squalor, self-loathing, and self-doubt leading ultimately to personal ruin and public shame.
Onward the two leaders rode; onward they propelled their encumbered snow-bikes at an impressive pace, brave man versus man of courage as it should be!!! Bravo men-of-VeloAction!!! Yet inevitably one man would break…for in nature, it is the way of such things…so it goes…some ideologues perhaps contend that it is but a tragedy; this the storied brutal reality of a good man’s propensity to compete against his fellow good man; to contest for a prize; to challenge for the top spot! These good righteous men fight not for money, nor for fame, nor for nation or king, nor even for the tender kisses of the beautiful French podium girls… these brave men wage war for TUSCOBIA!!! Can there be a better reason to FIGHT? To fight the good fight! Bravo brave Lance! Bravo brave Jason!!

Note: At that point during the press conference, Shackleton’s words were briefly drowned out by the following chant of goodwill from the gathered crowd of well wishers and club members. “Hail Buffington! Lord of Tuscobia!” “Hear! Hear! Capital effort Lance! Bravo!”

Whilst our intrepid lead man never faltered stopping at checkpoint only to hurriedly, but with great respect and empathy for both racers & race officials, swap out water bottles; our second, less-admirable one, the despondent one, went from bad to worse staying ever longer at the checkpoints consuming food & drink, sleeping space, whilst coughing on everyone, even committing frequent episode of public flatulence, and making himself a general nuisance to the fine upstanding volunteers…Upon interviewing two comely female volunteers at the sixty-mile checkpoint post-race, both used adjectives such as “shifty,” “unsteady,” “unruly,” "criminal,” “troublesome,” "lecherous," to describe their encounters with our second, aged, man, whilst words like,“dashing,” “charismatic,” “boyish-good looks,” ”handsome,” "polite," and the like were used to describe the youthful and victorious Buffington...the juxtaposition has not been lost on the DBD leadership and each member will be dealt with accordingly…

With fifty miles to go, as others stared blankly into the inky black frigid night, miserably cognizant of their imperceptibly minute roles in the overall scheme of things…., Buffington found his victory rhythm and began to chant the mantra, “Go hard; never look back! Go hard; never look back!” As our lesser member began the death cry, “I’m sick, sick, sick; me gonna die! I’m a dead man walkin’ dead man walkin’ dead man walkin.” Such is the power of positive versus negative thinking…Buffington felt great, empowered, Lord of his Domain, and thus rightly pushed the pace to the point of causing even the well-oiled Andre to question the speed and then to be ultimately forced to opt for a slower more conservative pace, a significant rest at the last checkpoint, and thus preserving his arsenal to fight an “even better fight” at the GRAND DANCE to be held in just five weeks…I am referring to, of course, The Classic Arrowhead 135! Oh! What a race that will be with such a deep and talented roster!... But I digress…

…It was clearly, from start to finish (not quite eighteen hours total!), Buffington’s Day as he rode onto and across the finish line and victory in impressive style; fast, seemingly unperturbed, and gracious in victory. It is always a good thing when a nice humble, albeit talented guy wins the big race! It would be four or even five hours later before Andre and the redoubtable Canadian stalwart Bill Shand rode into the finish line…

As Buffington rode across the finish line, our second man was confronting that both real and meta-physical barrier known to the scrawny marathon-running crowd as “hitting the wall.” Farrow is no stranger to hitting the wall for he as been bloodied many times from plowing head first into these walls, but this was different. By the fourteen hour mark he felt completely and utterly exhausted, as he had in many previous exploits of this type (for he is rarely ever adequately trained). Knowing from decades of pursuing folly, that when in doubt of aim or purpose, a man should always take a good two to three hour nap for the results are positively extraordinary!—so he stopped and prepared a bivy in the snow next to the trail. Yet things went completely wrong. Different and most unsettling for our man was that a couple hours of rest in the form of complete inactivity in the prone position did NOT invite respite, rejuvenation, and reinvigoration as it had always done before in similar situations. Instead as he lay enounced within his bivy upon the cold earth he began to cough and cough and cough, he began to sweat and then shiver and then began hacking up nearly all the evil that exists upon this place we call, Mother Earth. He coughed and hacked and shivered and sweated to the point of causing his aged heart to beat fantastically and fearfully fast. With barely ninety minutes into the “nap,” he knew it was not a recipe for restrengthening his resolve (body & soul) but instead the makings of a crypt! …Harried and confused, demoralized and thoroughly played-out, finally he sat up, unzippered the bag, put his boots on via cold unsteady hands, packed up the bike, and moved on following the enduro-plod incorporated by the walking dead of antiquity; twenty, maybe thirty minutes peddling; ten minutes walking; rewarded with five minutes of head on the saddle in self-loathing position, repeat, repeat, repeat. So it went until he finally reached the last checkpoint at ~mile 29. At this haven in the wilderness around 2:00 a.m., under the watchful and nurturing eye of Mrs. Roe, our man passed out on a bed with boots still on! Oh the shame. At the break of dawn he made a feigned effort at packing up to regain honor lost, but everyone there knew he was finished. A shell of a man, a mollusk for all practical purposes. He has been bed-ridden since, flat on his back...his abode essentially a breeding ground for viral infection and self-loathing. I have not been to visit him, but Mallory commented that it was a loathsome sight indeed!...

Whether he is done for good or not? That chapter has yet to be written…He is blaming one of his man-servants for failing to pack his revolver, he claims to have tried to throw himself in front of a train, but slipped and fell in his weakened state...His case is currently under review.... we will know more as the 150 plus converge upon International Falls on that first weekend of February to partake in that Grand Winter Gala affair; The Arrowhead 135. …He claims to be feeling a bit better now and hopes to be back on the bike in a few dayz hence…His future affiliation with the DBD is “uncertain…” …But enough about him…we are here to celebrate not reflect on what might have been…

While reports of Kershaw’s first official effort at man-hauling in the celebrated style of Captain Scott was a resounding success, few details have arrived to-date. Suffice to exclaim, BRAVO KERSHAW!!! Of note is Kershaw’s race with two other worthy foes for the right to be called the MAN’s Man of the Arrowhead. The title is awarded to the first man that has completed the race in all three categories (run, bike, and ski). The venerable Tim Roe and Lonesome Luddite Matt Maxwell are his rivals…Finally of note is the “true-grit” exhibited by Jason Novak of Rochester that was as sick or maybe even sicker than our man and yet he was ultimately a finisher in the 150…Bravo Novak, Bravo indeed! Novak's work has not gone unnoticed by the leadership of this organization. With the likely admonishment (and perhaps more as many are calling for his banishment) of the third participant, albeit "non-finisher" of this year's Tuscobia, we are certainly not unaware of a declining "active member" list. George Mallory was heard to comment when considering Novak, "I like the cut of his jib." High praise from the likes of Mallory...Yet, Novak's age certainly is a problem as is his loose affiliation to a pseudo-adventure group based out of Rochester, but these kinds of things can be dealt with...but I digress...


  1. I've been to the meetings concerning your fate within the DBD. I've done all I can. It's out of my hands.

    Bravo Big Buff! Bravo Kershaw! BRAVO, CAPITAL!!

  2. I hope you are feeling better. I have no doubt you will bounce back for the Big Show. I think my lack of fitness and overall fatigue are my problem. Exhaustion sets in, the body shuts down. A few hours in the bivy and I am feeling better. I hope to cram for the final exam in International Falls.

    I knew you were sick when we met the night before. I had not seen you in 6 months. Immediately after we greeted and shook hands you offered me a pull from your flask of Nyquil.

    Maybe it was the Shanty burger that was our demise?

    Buff and Kershaw continue to impress. I'm anxious to see how Buff handles the Alaskan.

  3. I've been reading your race reports for about a year, and I have to say they are the most entertaining thing on the interwebs. Great showings by all you crazy endurance folk. As one spam blogger on the tuscobia blog wrote "Interesting and informative post . Thanks for helpful article. Me pleasure to read your thinks. Cheers"

  4. Patrick, I like how you pass it off on 'one spam blogger'. I can tell by your enthusiasm, wordage, and iambic pentameter you are indeed that same 'blogger'. Confess now and release yourself from the guilt.

  5. it's true, please order cialis and viagra from me.

  6. Farrow, I think you should just come clean and admit that your DIY lung transplants didn't go as "slick" as you thought they had. I hope you can grow new ones in a month's time.

    Very Concerned

  7. It is not that the hand is heavy and will fall down when released; it is not that the heart and pulse are still; but that the hand WAS open, generous, and true; the heart brave, warm, and tender; and the pulse a man's. Strike, Shadow, srtike! And see his good deeds springing from the wound...