Adventure Racing in Texas in its heyday was magnificent. In 1999 when I started Rattlesnake Racing I was one of two hits when you did a google search. We held two races in 1999 and the sport began to take off. Soon Texas and Oklahoma were weekend adventure race hot spots. Eco-Oklahoma, Too Cool Racing, Team Xperience, and Steel Sports were all hosting races and you could race at least three out of four weekends from March until October.
Angie Glover, Robyn Cantor, Art Cook, Rodney Skyles, Adam Crossan are and were great race directors. You could find a real adventure race to participate in and did not have to travel long distances, well relatively long considering the size of Texas. The Adventure Racing community was one great big family and we saw each other most weekends. We became friends and competitors.
If one race director needed help there were multiple competent race directors to step up to the plate. If a family needed help, they just had to ask or the other race directors would pick up on a need and step up no questions asked. We had our own series and our own AR Resources (non profit group to promote AR). We did not file lawsuits against each other.
In August of 2005 Jim and I began the journey of adopting our daughter from Russia. We had one biological son, River. By the time he was ten we decided we were too busy and too active and I did not want to be pregnant again, but we would love to have another child, a daughter and not an infant. The Gladney Center for adoption matched our family with a little girl in an orphanage in Russia. An international adoption is no easy feat and is quite expensive. We let our adventure racing family know our plans and let them know we might need help with upcoming planned races. When Russia calls and says you have permission to travel and meet your new daughter, you have to go.
In April of 2005 that is exactly what happened. We had a race planned the day we had to get on a plane in Houston and fly to Moscow. I was at Huntsville State Park for the race briefing and able to hand the race over to Angie Glover to be the race director. One new racer started throwing a fit because he was there to do a Rattlesnake Race. Angie shut him down and assured him it was a Rattlesnake Race and she was a capable race director. We hit the road and skies for Russia. The race was a huge success and at least Angie some warning she was going to be the race director. JIm and I arrived at one of her Eco-OKlahoma races in Oklahoma to participate and found out Angie had fallen an hour earlier carrying a box out of her trailer and broken both elbows and was in surgery. We immediately went from participant to race director within minutes of arriving on the race site. The race had been planned superbly and directing the race with no contact from Angie was no problem.
Robyn and Art of Too Cool racing were well aware adventure race promotions was not a huge money maker and international adoptions and travel were expensive. Without our knowledge the teams and race promotions companies created and sold race calendars with the proceeds helping us with our adoption fees and travel costs. I to this day don't think I thanked anyone enough for their extremely kind gesture and action.
After our first trip and the adoption process was in full swing and the whole AR community knew we were bringing home an adorable seven year old little girl they swang into action again. Gale Murphy, Robyn, Sara Keast and so many more took action and planned a surprise "little girl shower" at our Lake Georgetown race. When we traveled to pick up Zhenia and got her home she had dolls, dresses, clothes, adventure gear and so much more from the AR community and a surprise shower at a race. Once again I don't think my thank yous were near enough.
Over the years we have stayed close with the AR community albeit participating. The t-shirt quilt Angie made for me is priceless. I don't have all of my past race shirts and to be quite frank don't even remember the names of all the events we promoted over the years. Angie's t-shirt quilt reminds me of these things and so many great memories.
This weekend we entered and participated in The Big Chill with Too Cool Racing. Most of the racers didn't know us and even a few follow us on Facebook, but didn't recognize us. We quietly joined the race briefing and expected no recognition as old out of the game farts. I had made three quilts for Robyn and Art and taken them to her early that morning. She displayed one in the TA, introduced us and gave me the opportunity to promote our upcoming race May14-15, 2021. The quilts were a gift of gratitude and she was so gracious to recognize us. I needed to complete a race to make sure I was still in the game, game on.
I hope to see the old faces along with new ones at our signature Rock, Roll and Rattlesnake Challenge May 14-15, 2021. Registration should be up and on by February 1 at our website.