The purpose of this race is to remember a great father, husband, surgeon, friend, and endurance athlete. This race will entail many hours of extremely demanding work as Ken was a man who always pushed the limits physically and mentally in ALL of his endeavors. The Rat Snake will be UNSUPPORTED; you will have to provide your own fuel. Finishing times will be simple, as the timing will done with hand-held stopwatches. A small memento will be given to all finishers, and there will certainly be a true sense of accomplishment by the end of your journey. These characteristics are what made Ken who he was and how he inspired all of us so much. Ken never worried about prizes, boasting, or breaking records, just testing himself at some of the most demanding feats known on this planet. This race will be an emulation of this type of determination, and while doing so, will raise money for various charities through entry fees.
What is with the format? Why these strange distances? Where did these quotes come from in the captions? Well, Ken was an extremely unique person himself. So, this challenge had to be unique to pay proper tribute to Ken. My hope was that this would be a race that he would read about somewhere and think “Hey, this looks pretty cool, I think I’ll try that next year.” And, I think he would have. As for the distances themselves, I wanted to add a personal touch to it as Ken was very devoted to his family. The race distances are the ages of his 3 children at the time of his passing. Ken Jr., 29, Becky, 26, and Lily, 18. The 3K distance of the Jog/Stroll was the age of his predeceased daughter Leah, another characteristic of this special day I believe he would appreciate.
The quotes happen to be from The Most Interesting Man in the World commercials from Dos Equis. He and I would bounce some back and forth on our way to ice climbs. It did not come to me until the other night when my family had dinner with Janice and her sister Anne at Mama Nina’s when Anne said “I don’t always drink wine (in the commercial, he says ‘I don’t always drink beer….’) and Janice laughed and referenced the “Man”. I had to add some quotes as Ken was extremely humorous!
My hope is that you will appreciate these unique touches too. That you will understand by the end of your journey, how special this man was and what he meant to so many. This day will be a reminder every year of our friendship and his positive influence on my life and the lives of so many others.
Ken, you will be sorely missed man.