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CLIF Blog

Jun. 22, 2006
Following Kenny Souza on RAAM--Finish
bike hand off!Kenny finished Race Across America today in 4th place, Enduro division. Since Tinker Juarez had already finished ahead of Kenny, and Bryce Walsh had been left far behind, Kenny had no reason to kill himself in the final miles. The crew was having fun with Kenny, yelling good-natured insults and ribbing comments over the P.A. of the follow vehicle.

I called the crew and asked them to pass the phone to Kenny. "I can't wait to get off this &$^#&* bike," he offered. "This has been a life-growing experience." I asked Kenny if RAAM is what he expected. "It's been way different than what I expected. The crew is really important," he said.

Kenny's rookie crew put in a solid performance under the direction of Crew Chief Gretchen. Along with Kenny, they also deserve accolades for getting themselves, and Kenny, to the finish in one piece. Nice work, everyone!

Kenny was talkative and commented on the difficulties he had during the race. He feels he likely had Bronchitis in the desert and the Rockies. As we talked, Kenny was distracted and slowed down while multi-tasking. Gretchen yelled over the P.A., "See if you can break 7 mph!" To add insult to injury, Kenny's son Dalton jumped out of the vehicle and started running along side Kenny to demonstrate how slow he was going. Kenny chuckled but ignored the antics of the crew. They were only half-kidding though; they wanted to get to the finish.

I was bold, and at the worst possible time, I popped the question: "Would you do it again?" Kenny answered philosophically and didn't really say yes or no. But I can tell you that he did NOT say no to the question. He did say that if he did it again, he'd likely do Traditional RAAM, where racers can sleep where and when they choose rather than at selected time stations. That said, the Enduro rules could change as event organizers get feedback from the riders on the new format.

I asked Kenny what he planned to do at the finish. He quipped, "Crack a cold beer and jump in the bath tub."

Congratulations Kenny! Job well done.

Stay tuned for the final Epi-blog. And to view photos from the first days of Kenny's RAAM, visit flickr.com.
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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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