Sunday, August 19, 2007

Closing Ceremonies, Canceled

My morning wish was granted, but that apparently was all I was allowed today. I had asked that, even though it rained all night long, the rain would stop in the morning at least long enough for us to break camp and pack up. I hate packing a tent and loading a bike in the rain; nothing remains dry for long.

We woke to cloudy but quiet skies and it stayed that way through our pack-up, breakfast and even our route opening. It started raining within the first hour of the day and never stopped. The weather turned so bad that closing ceremonies were canceled. I have never seen that before. For some reason, likely cost, 3-Day does not have a relocation plan for closing ceremonies. In this case, since thunder showers with heavy lightning was predicted (but never arrived), they decided early in the day to cancel the celebration. Quick work by the 3-Day Staff and a very generous Marriott hotel a block away from the scheduled location allowed us to use a ballroom for the distribution of shirts and a gathering place out of the rain to welcome home the walkers. We made the best of it, celebrating the $2.8m raised by 1100 walkers for the first Cleveland 3-Day ever, but it still lacked the pizzazz that we all expected and wanted for the final hours of a great event.

Lest I sound like the event was less than perfect, it is important to note that, walker for walker, this is one of the best events in which I have ever been involved. The route was awesome, the camp site great and the coordination of city police and services was impeccable. Lastly, the community support was amazing for a first time event. A lot of families out providing water and snacks, banners and signs and cheering for ALL walkers, not just the first 100 or so. The fire department came out with their mascot Dalmatian (all 6 feet of him waving to walkers) and a misting fan.

Now, I am in the hotel room trying to dry everything I own. My computer still works, luckily, but my camera may not fare as well. My HD map book will be trashed after I make it home and anything that was made of paper in my bags was reduced to pulp. So, it is a night of delivery pizza, diet cokes and cloths hanging all around the room.

And I forgot to mention, the wonder extra charger cable I creatively installed in my bike’s trunk to keep my mobile phone charged broke a wire, so my phone is now dead and I have no way of charging it. I will try to rig something tomorrow so I can have a phone for emergencies, but it could be a quiet ride home.

1 comment:

Jordan said...

And here's to Cleveland's crew raising $62 thousand -- with no fundraising needed by any crew members!