Last Monday, I posted, “If this is Monday, we must be leaving Oklahoma City!” One week later, we have travelled 2300 miles, announced the arrival of up to 117 vehicles at 14 additional venues and greeted 100 teams as they completed the Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty at Santa Monica Pier! From driving through medium size cities, to lonely stretches of desert, to climbing to elevations of 7200 feet only to drop to 300 feet, this was a gruelling experience! The trip from San Bernardino to the finish line , from the finish line to the banquet resort and then on to the LAX was one that tested this small city guy’s focus. Luckily with my colleague Mike Williams and my trusted GPS (and John’s directions) I can report that I am now flying high, looking down upon some of the vast areas through which we have just driven.
I am truly a changed person today! I will forever cherish the events of last evening. Near the end of the program at the banquet, after over $258,500 in prize money had been awarded, Corky Coker came forward to present the, “Tom McRae Spirit of the Event Award”. To be on stage to assist with the presentation of this prestigious award… to listen to the explanation of the selection… to be the first to shake the hand of the recipient over the years has truly been special! Last evening, to hear that my involvement and contribution to the Great Race Race over the years was being recognized was both humbling and overwhelming. I am still in shock! I hope that there is a photo out there that captured the moment! The “Bird” (just wait ’til Marion sees the trophy!) will be an everlasting memory of one of my most cherished organizations! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I’m as high emotionally as I am physically, and right now, I’m at 37,000 feet!
Here I am sevveral hours later, sitting in my own kitchen, eating my favourite…a bacon & tomato sandwich; trying to bring my wife Marion up to date on what has been another unreal experience!
Final reflections tomorrow after a good night’s sleeep!