I heard something the other day can only probably be understood by those that have been on the Great Race. In working on the 2013 Great Race route from St. Paul, Minn., to Mobile, Ala., I was talking to the good people at the La Crosse, Wisc., Convention and Visitors Bureau about the event (did I just let the cat out of the bag on one of our stops for 2013?).
They told me of a man in La Crosse that had recently passed away, and one of his prized possessions was an award given to him in 1994 by the Great Race at the stop in La Crosse. The award was for his 1913 Stutz Bearcat, which he brought to the Great Race lunch stop. Back then, some cities had Shine Time car shows and the Great Race staff picked the best vehicle. I was on the 1994 Great Race and I remember stopping in La Crosse and having lunch on a riverboat on the Mississippi River.
Any way, they told me that when he passed away a few weeks ago that the award meant so much to him that it was displayed at his wake. The Great Race affects not just those that participant but also those that are spectators as well. It’s just another of hundreds of reasons why the event is so special.