Eight Days Endured & Almost Done
Today’s start was an early one for us. The official start time was at 7:00 and we were placed 47 meaning out start time was at 7:47. We were used to sleeping in a little bit. We made it in time though, strolling along to the start line, and surprised to see so many other cars this early there as well.
The crowded start was a little bit more crowded than usual. It seems as though everyone wanted to get the early jump as well, because the start was packed. We chatted for a while, because we had over half an hour till we needed to be anywhere, again I am reminded of how friendly everyone is. At the start of the race Corky Coker, (who is the founder of Coker Tires as well as the guy in charge of the race, who is a huge fan of McPherson), said that all of us in the Great Race are a family, and it is evident. He is a wonderful spokesperson for classic cars and is a person worth meeting if given the opportunity,
Today’s race was another pretty smooth day, with no missing turns or huge mistakes. Everything went as it should have with the exception of a series of emergency vehicles, fire department, paramedics, & ambulances coming through at different times. As the last ambulance turned the corner, we could see our mark just past the turn. There was no way we could make up the time needed from the emergency vehicles, luckily if we were to write a discrepancy the mark could verify it, because we were right there pulled over.
Lunch today was in Savannah. Savannah itself, or at least the area we were in, was extremely beautiful. The section we were in was next to the Savannah River, surrounded by brick buildings, and cobblestone streets, with some trolley rails going through them. Aside from the beauty of the surrounding area we had a chance to meet up with yet another current McPherson student, Nick Foglietta. He has an internship outside of Atlanta, and drove a decent amount of time, to see us and hear what was happening thus far. Unfortunately we had to bounce pretty fast only having about half an hour there. It was good to see him though, and I hope the trip was worth it for him. It is so encouraging to see all of these students heading up and down the coast, to see how we are doing. That’s one of the things I personally love about my school. The support of past and current students is phenomenal! Thanks for stopping by Nick. Soon enough we departed and made out way towards our destination of Jacksonville.
The sights and sounds as we entered Jacksonville were quite memorable. Jacksonville is a pretty big town, so we began to experience a bunch of traffic, thinking to ourselves , “what a surprise”. Shortly thereafter we were engulfed for at least a mile long of droves and droves of people. For a whole mile, if not more, there were people and their cars lining the streets, as well as folks cruising the streets along with us. It was amazing to see all the car clubs come out as well as the excitement of the crowd. There was still a large amount of traffic though, so we were sitting still for a while. Eliza didn’t like that too much. We had some heating up and some vapor lock occurring. So we pulled over and cooled down for a little bit. Jake took a cold wet cloth, which we had all been given a few minutes before, and applied it to the fuel lines around the fuel filter. After a few minutes she cooled off enough and was working fine. Guess she didn’t like not getting her own damp towel. We were able to make it to the finish line after that with no issues.
At the end of the day, we were all exhausted. With the late nights, early morning, humidity,& heat we were all feeling pretty tuckered as everything wound down. During one transition point we were all starting to doze out a little, except Tony, (whom was driving at the time), though he was starting to feel it as well. After parking the Fairlane we headed off and had a relaxing dinner, and then went to our fancy hotel. The place has 19 floors! The pool is on the 19th floor, how weird is that? We are relaxed and waiting to get some rest. Tomorrow is an early morning as well. Start time is once again 7:00, this time we are number 27. Meaning that we are leaving at 7:27, getting our directions at 6:57, but it is the last day.
We got our results for the day and are feeling pretty good going into tomorrow. Our grand total for the day was 00:35:53. The legs were going well, except for one 15 second leg, which is somewhat of a mystery, the discrepancy we turned in brought one leg down to two seconds, which was great. We are currently in 40th place overall and have a grand total time of 4:43.31. Our main competitor in the X-Cup class, Ponca City, didn’t have too hot of a day, achieving a stage result of 2:12.06, bringing them down to 49th place, with a grand total time of 6:21.30. We are feeling pretty good right now, but will be very cautious, because anything can still happen. The end of the race is finally here though. We will end up in the Villages tomorrow and will be flying out Monday. It’s been an amazing road trip so far, and I think we will finish strong.