The official start of the Death Race is just an hour away, with the little town of Pittsfield starting to fill with cars, jeeps, SUVs and a couple of RVs.
The two main areas of activity so far on Race Day are Amee Farm and the Pittsfield General Store, separated by a distance of about 3/4 km. The Farm is the start and end point of the race, while the General Store seems to be where various pre-race meetings will be held. Well, if they're held at all.
After the "meeting" ago Johnny came back to our tent, which is pitched alongside the road between the two venues, to say that the optional parachute packing tutorial was cancelled. A disappointment for him, since he'd been hoping his recently acquired skydiving experience was going to come in handy during the race.
Many racers had gathered at the store for the session, and instead spent the time introducing themselves and chatting about about other races/adventures that they've had or are planning. Not out of bravado or showmanship, simply out of a common interest, much like car nuts would list off their past rides or music lovers talk about what amazing concerts they've been to.
A lot of other racers skipped the parachute packing lesson in favour or finalizing preparations before the race this evening, and are opting to not attend the 2pm meeting of Freemasons, believing these to be a ruse and waste of time. Johnny plans to attend all the optional/recommended meetings, regardless of their purpose and benefits. He is very much into the spirit of the race and all the adventures it is going to bring. Even the ruses, if indeed they are, are all part of the mind game that this event is substantially comprised of.
It's quite likely these are just ways to prevent people from getting a good sleep before the race, but having spent enough time around Joe DeSena and Andy Weinberg, Johnny knows it's just as likely that a legit parachute session was cancelled because the rain is so heavy and the clould/fog bank too low for safe jumping.
As for the rain, it IS heavy. There has been a non-stop drizzle since Johnny and Wave 1 of his support crew arrived last night at 6:30pm. If there hasn't been a drizzle, then it's been a downpour. Much of the night and most of today it has been full on raining. Several adjustments needed to be made to the tent this morning when everyone woke up in varying depths of puddles inside the tent, and a morning run to Home Depot in nearby Rutland was required for additional tarps.
Fortunately, the times when the tents were setup were the least rainy, so everyone has managed to stay fairly dry thus far. In addition to the sleeping tent centrally located along the race route, we have setup a support tent/canopy at Amee Farm. This is where meals and hydration/food packs will be prepared, and serve as a "home base" for the members of Johnny's support crew when they're not sleeping.
Registration begins in an hour, after which the plan is for Johnny to grab a short nap but be ready to go at a moment's notice. The race could start anywhere between 3 and 7pm.
So...lots of exciting anticipation.
The next post will be "live from the race" and include some pictures from the first part of the adventure!