Great Race–Thursday Pre-Race by Olivia Gentry

June 16, 2016

Today over 100 teams of vintage cars registered in San Rafael, California. Those teams consist of one driver, one navigator, and a remaining support crew. Cars went through a technical inspection, and were later decaled. After completing technical inspection and decals, the drivers and navigators went on a Calibration Run, which is a specific route that has been previously laid out in hopes of calibrating speedometers with the course. This is also a good opportunity to make sure that your car is running properly, before the Trophy Run tomorrow – a last chance opportunity to cross your t’s and dot your i’s before the race begins. Teams were also given the unique opportunity to make a few laps around Sonoma Raceway, as well as a photo shoot of their car in front of The Golden Gate Bridge. Though all of these steps sound very simple and quick, the reality of these steps is far different. Each of these steps are very time consuming, as well as tiring.

Today is also the day where each individual affiliated with the Great Race receives their name tag. Though it may seem silly, this is one of my favorite items received on The Great Race. Each year the nametags have a unique theme which in most cases goes hand in hand with the route. The theme of last years name tag was the Route 66 as we traveled from Kirkwood, Missouri to Santa Monica, California, while this year’s theme is The Lincoln Highway. I had the privilege of catching up with fellow repeating racers today and reminiscing over many memories that have been made.

I also had the privilege of meeting multiple rookie teams this year who are about to receive the experience of a life time that you can get every year. This year repeating Great Race competitors are lucky enough to have many new names to learn, and I could not be more excited about that. Going from San Rafael to Moline, Illinois with such a great group of people will definitely be a race for the books!

In hopes of beginning our journey together The Great Race went on a cruise around the San Francisco Bay. On the cruise we were able to see breath taking views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Angel’s Island, as well as Alcatraz. It was a great opportunity to introduce yourself, and get to know everyone. After all, with new name tags comes new memories. I was able to experience an amazing start of making memories today, and I am overjoyed at the opportunity to make many more with new friends, as well as old ones.

Until next time..
–Olivia Gentry

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