The Terminator

After a long, hard night of mushing through the Alaska Range, camping in the Burn, and making the marathon run into Nikolai, there is a marked difference between the Lance that we all saw at Rainy Pass exuding confidence and raw personal power, and the Lance that pulled into the village of Nikolai, immediately dropping three dogs and telling  reporters that things “were not looking to good for him right now.”

The former Lance is the superhero that his many fans know best–the latter is a tired, frustrated man who is in the process of watching his beloved team of dogs slowly disintegrate. I  can tell you from personal experience that this is a most agonizing situation.

This situation is exacerbated when one of your main competitors seems to be having a magic carpet ride.

Given the circumstances, I like how Lance handled things in Nikolai–he took enough rest to get his team ready for the 70 mile run to Takotna, five hours & change, and is right now rocketing down the trail behind the current race leader Martin Buser, matching him nearly step for step in the MPH department. Lance dropped Hugh Neff off his six with ease and gobbled up Sebastian Schnuelle like a trail snack.

So here are a few things to consider–I think that almost everybody is going to 24 in Takotna, including Lance & Martin, as well as most of the teams coming along in their wake. Martin is sitting in a good but oh so scary position–an hour and change in front of the most terrifying musher in racing history.

Because here is the deal; I fully recognize that things are not really “ideal” for Lance, but that means almost nothing in this business–if the situation does not suit him, he simply makes it into a totally new situation that does. He’s like that scary machine from the 80’s sci-fi horror movie where Arnold Schwarzenegger played the Terminator, a merciless metal man whose sole purpose on earth was the annihilation of his target Sarah Connor.

In the movie, the Terminator was blown up with dynamite, run over by semi trucks and filled up with about 10,000 rounds of various kinds of bullets–they even pushed him into some heavy machinery that chowed up his bottom half and left him to crawl…and still he kept coming. Nothing stopped him–nothing could keep him from accomplishing his goal. He was the personification of relentless pursuit.

In this analogy, Martin is Sarah Connor. My advice to Martin is to run run run…and pray that Lance runs out of gas…or gets hit by a very large meteorite…or gets abducted by aliens…

Thanks for tuning in–more to follow…

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18 Responses to “The Terminator”

  1. O ya Jason.. that read was priceless… Trail snack…too funny

  2. Excellent comments, thanks for sharing ~

  3. man i hope you keep writing these i love em

  4. The best one yet! The picture will stick in my head as I watch Martin and Lance the next few days

  5. Marlene Phillips-Daniels Reply March 9, 2011 at 00:37

    It isn’t over until it’s over. Martin had better have Jeff’s phone number on quick dial for support after the 24. People need to understand you can’t tell Lance “You can’t do that”. I agree Jason, Martin you’d better run, run, run.

  6. lance just seems to excel when the chips are headed down. im thinking this is excatly when the lanceinator will start to drop into low gear and grind!

  7. What a terrific “story” to wake up to… Or is the Lanceinator still part of my dream? Thanks Jason, for the image!

  8. Margriet ter Braak Reply March 9, 2011 at 05:29

    I’m worried about Lance because I read the next article.

    What’s your opinion?

    • Hi Margriet–it’s too early to worry about Lance catching the bug referred to in the article. It may well become a factor, certainly is for a number of other teams, but for the time being Lance’s team seems free of kennel cough

      • Margriet ter Braak March 9, 2011 at 15:36

        Thank you, for your answer.
        I read your blog every day and I enjoy it very much .

  9. Mindee Morning Reply March 9, 2011 at 12:01

    “Martin is sitting in a good but oh so scary position–an hour and change in front of the most terrifying musher in racing history.” I love this comment. I trust Lance to do exactly as you have said. He WILL pursue the finish line with all his will and skill.

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