Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Journey is the Reward

Every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving Tucson hosts the El Tour de Tucson, a bicycle race that draws more than 9,000 cyclists from around the world. The route travels the scenic perimeter areas of Tucson and has race lengths of 109, 80, 66 and 35 miles.

My brother, Grant, participated in his first "Tour" this year in a hand cycle. He's no stranger to racing, though. He travels the country doing marathons in a specially designed racing wheelchair and has competed in races from LA to New York. Lee and I were Grant's "pit crew" for this race. The race route took the riders through a half mile of a very sandy wash so we were there to push him through, as needed. The rest of the riders got off their bikes to walk them through this area.
The weather was perfect for a race -- sunny and mid 70s. Gotta love Tucson in November.After we made it through the wash, Grant was back on the road cranking for the next 3 and 1/2 HOURS. He chose to do the 66 mile route. Lee and I chose to go have lunch and then meet him at the finish line. :)
The race ended up in downtown Tucson. We waited at the very last corner before the finish line. Here's Grant coming down the home stretch:
His goal was to finish in less than 4 hours. His official time: 4 hours and 36 seconds! Pretty darn close, I'd say. If it hadn't taken us 15 minutes to get through the wash, he would have been well under.

Way to go Grant! Oh, and by the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
Today is his 48th birthday! He'll be reading this post, so be sure to leave him a note. Don't you think he should start up his own blog where he can post about his racing and training?
I'd be his first Follower.

20 comments:

Webster World said...

Happy Birthday. Glad you all had a good day.

Brett said...

Happy Birthday Grant! Great job on the race. Best wishes from Brett in NC

the7msn said...

I'd be his second. Arms of steel! Happy Birthday, Grant, from all of us at the 7MSN.

Deborah said...

Happy Birtday to your brother Grant! He has a pretty cool bike. I have only seen one of them in person.
Have a good day!

Judy said...

Way to go Grant! Happy Birthday too!

Shelly said...

Hey Grant, WOW! awesome. Congratulations. I agree with Lee & Bridget, you should start your own blog. I think it would motivate and inspire others.
The look on your face says it all...

Julie Harward said...

WOWZA...what a feat to accomplish..way to go bro. and...HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (YES TO THE BLOG)

Mandy Saile of Bijou's Whimsy said...

What a great story and accomplishment with inspiring photos...I love the smile on Grant's face in the last one:D Awesome guys...and lovely family support too....congrats to you all.

Carolynn said...

Sorry. What did you say? I was a bit distracted by his biceps.

Ooop...did I say that out loud? *throat clearing*

Fabulous job! Truly. I would have knocked you down getting to the restaurant, so...Outstanding job to all the racers!

Happy 48th Birthday, Grant! If you include a few bunnies on your blog, I may very well be your 2nd follower. :o))

('scuse me...I may have had a little too much coffee this morning...)

Shelly's Stuff Jewelry said...

Congratulations and Happy Birthday, Grant! I would definitely follow your blog!

Rural Rambler said...

Happy Birthday Grant!! And absolutely he should start up a blog. It would be a daily read for me. And Congratulations on your official time-WooHoo!!!!

Cowgirl Goods said...

I'll be the second to follow that blog Grant! DUDE you totally ROCK! Must be a Michigan thing;)

Congrats!
Marj

cindy shake said...

Here's a cat call (I agree with Carolyn!!) to your handsome brother and a big Happy Birthday wish from Alaska! We also have the longest in the world "Sadler's Alaska Challenge" wheelchair/hand cycle race up here every summer -if he hasn't already done it maybe he should come!
Here is the link:
http://www.challengealaska.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=29&Itemid=44

Teresa said...

That is so awesome. Happy Birthday Grant. You have one great sister. I can tell she loves ya bunches.
Cool bike, my kids would love it!

Christina said...

Happy Birthday to you Grant! You SHOULD start your own blog, I would love to read it.

Phyllis said...

Yay, Grant - and happy birthday!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all out there :)

Gail said...

Great and Happy Birthday and Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Blackfeatherfarm said...

Ummm, biceps aside, that takes a lot of heart !!! Great accomplishment Grant !! I officially feel like a slug now. I think I had better go work out.....

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Annette F. Tait said...

Congratulations Grant! amazing feat and great accomplishment!
perhaps you should review your Soft Sand Pushing Team - someone owes you a year of free icecream :)

Breathe said...

Gosh, all I did was make corn bread. Way to go, Grant! And Happy (belated) birthday...