Another crewmember took my place just as Dean was starting the first big climb of the race. Things started to go south for him soon afterward. His body mutinied, and he was forced to walk for long stretches. His one-mile pit stops grew longer and longer. Then they turned weird. Becoming delirious with fatigue and sleep deprivation, Dean became fixated on the idea that his wardrobe was the cause of his collapse. He changed his shoes at one stop, his shirt at another, his shorts at yet another. He requested items of clothing that were packed deep inside his luggage in one of the vans stuff he had never intended to use in the race and did not really need now. When those measures failed, he asked one of my fellow crewmembers for his shorts. Then he asked us to make new clothing. We had to cut off the legs of a pair of sweatpants to make shorts out of them. After a few hours of this madness, our most experienced crewmember, Jason Koop of Carmichael Training Systems, forced Dean to take a seven-minute nap. (Apparently, seven minutes of sleep are just enough to restore the body and mind to seminormal functioning under such circumstances.) Dean did get a bit of a bounce from the brief enforced slumber, but he never fully recovered. It was a bad race. He finished 10thdisappointing for a man who had won the race three years before. Afterward, I teasingly informed him that the race winner, Valmir Nunes, had not so much as changed his socks en route to setting a new Badwater course record of 22:51:29.
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