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CLIF Blog

Jun. 23, 2006
Kenny Souza RAAM--Epi-Blog
going strong until the end!Well, it's all over but the cryin'. Kenny's done with Race Across America (RAAM), cleaned up, shaved, bathed, interviews done, and the crew on the way home. He finished in 4th place in the Enduro division behind Jonathon Boyer, Marko Baloh and Tinker Juarez.

Last night Kenny and the crew had their last supper together and the first relaxed meal in a long time. The crew then flew out leaving only Kenny and his son Dalton behind. Kenny and Dalton cleaned up the mobile home and loaded the van on a dolly to be towed back to California behind the mobile home.

In classic Kenny style, he'll be driving all the way across country, after finishing RAAM only yesterday, with no (legal) relief driver. Dalton, 14, is too young to drive. I'm not saying Dalton won't take a stint behind the wheel, I'm just saying he's too young to drive legally. The Souzas plan to stop here and there for some father/son bike rides.

I caught up with the ever-competitive Souza just before his departure from Atlantic City. The conversation centered around the mistakes made and how he could go faster with the current knowledge gained from his rookie experience. It amazes me that Kenny's willing to talk strategy so soon after the end of the brutal event. Kenny seemed completely recovered and energetic. In fact, he seemed to feel bad that he wasn't more trashed, as though he feels he didn't leave it all out on the course. But there's no question Kenny gave it everything he had and more.

The most interesting part of the conversation, though, was when Kenny talked about his meltdown in Alamosa, CO. He threw his bike down on the ground and refused to continue. He was sick, exhausted and had nothing left in his legs. The physical breakdown isn't surprising. But then he broke down mentally. Kenny began thinking about all that he's been through in his personal life, his divorce etc. He felt completely empty, with nothing more to give. Nothing to give to RAAM and nothing to give mentally. But at the urging of his son Dalton, and Crew Chief Gretchen, Kenny mounted up and rode to the finish.

His remarkable comeback from that low has left him refreshed and more confident than ever. We know we must experience lows to feel and appreciate the highs. Kenny's feeling those highs right now. He spoke again of wanting to return and race again next year. There's a sense of unfinished business. We'll just have to wait to see what the future brings for Kenny.

Time to sign off from blogging about RAAM. Thanks to everyone for reading and I hope you've enjoyed the inside scoop. Remember to check out flickr.com to see photos of Kenny early on in the race. And visit Souza Power for updates on the Natural Power documentary about Kenny.
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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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