The Great Race: “an event of a life-time that you can do every year”. I wasn’t sure this was true for me when I was first talked into this. I knew that Bill, my husband, who had previously been a navigator, wanted to participate in the 2011 Great Race as a driver this time. He and his good friend, Terry, had done the 2007 Great Race together. But Bill felt his “talents” were better served as a driver. So I grudgingly accepted to be his navigator — on a trial basis.
We drove across the country in the Fall of 2010 from Penn Valley, CA, to Chattanooga, TN to enter the Coker Tire Challenge. Because this was a “trial run” to see if I could do this for the Great Race in 2011, let alone even enjoy being a navigator, we hauled our 2007 Mini Cooper on our trailer as our Car of Choice.
I was terribly intimidated and in awe of the “old timers” who arrived that Fall in Chattanooga. These participants came year after year, because they loved the sport, and loved the camaraderie of their fellow participants. I just felt there was no way I was going to fit in and be able to compete with them. My family will tell you, I do not have a competitive bone in my body. This, I thought, was probably not going to work for me.
On our first day out, probably during the first hour of the competition — the “BUG” hit! I was egging Bill on and declaring that “we can do better! Come on! Let’s get with it!” And I’ve been egging him on for five years now — and we’re looking forward to our sixth year! This navigating business is very addictive and while we will probably never get THE BIRD [grand champion eagle trophy], I am bound and determined to do my very best to help our team place well. We goof up; we sometimes don’t concentrate toward the end of the day; we make mistakes….but in the end, it is one of the most fun activities we do together as a husband and wife team!