Day Nine: 2014 McPherson Great Race Season Finale Part II
As wonderful as the race was, the awards banquet deserved a post all to itself. After all the festivities at the ceremonial finish line we headed to the hotel to fancy up for the evening gala. Once we looked presentable, it was time to enjoy everyone’s hard work. On the way there we ran into General Lee and cruised on into the Banquet. Everybody was milling about and talking, and seemed just as excited as we were. We were eventually ushered into the dining area where we had a table really close to the podium. John Hollansworth, one of our sponsors who covered our entry fee (which we are very grateful for), as well as a few of his friends were at our table, along with Tony’s parents. Before the awards started there was a brief video recapping the race from the beginning to merely a few hours ago. I have to hand it to these guys that put this together. The media crew had taken tons of video and pictures throughout the whole race, and had to go through all of it as well as make the video, and even work on it a few hours up until the banquet. It really cap-stoned how much we traveled during this trip. It was also nice to see how the other racers handled parts of the course, such as taking some off those corners. The awards proceeded for the various categories; we were called up for being the X-Cup Champions and received our trophy bird as well as having our picture with Mr. Coker.
Aside from the awards for each class , there were a few others that were thrown in as well. Some were kind of silly, such as best dressed, while one was for perseverance called the Never Say Die Award. That one was given to the owner of a 1916 Hudson Speedster that had been entered for the past three years, but this was the first year that it actually crossed the finish line.
For me one of the most interesting and touching sections was when one of the Fredette teams was given their award. Mr. Coker said that he probably should penalize the Fredettes for having more than two riders with them. He proceeded to explain how the Fredette’s grandfather had passed away in December and had a final request of being able to come along for the ride on the 2014 Great Race. So his ashes rode the whole trip in the toolbox. After the ceremony Jeff Stumb, director of the Great Race, announced the location for next year’s race. Next year’s race was going to be on Route 66 from Illinois to California!
After that the dinner was over and everyone slowly dispersed. We said goodbye to Tony who went home with his parents, since he is from Florida, and we all headed to our hotel. It was bittersweet to think that it was all over. What an adventure we had ,getting up everyday, piling in the Fairlane, having fun, meeting all these people, seeing the country, and driving like a maniac. Especially driving, that is something that the four of us will never look at the same. Along the way we would always make jokes about , “can you hold 40 through the corner”? Or yelling at the driver if he is a little over. I hope that I don’t see Tony & Jake braking the way they did at the race while driving in McPherson, or maybe I do.
Thank you to all of our sponsors, who supported the McPherson College Team during the Great Race. Without the support of our sponsors, we would not have been able to participate in the race and share our college race experience.
To all of the blog readers, we hope you enjoyed sharing our race adventures and mishaps. The McPherson Race Team hopes you enjoyed the blog postings as much as we enjoyed participating in the race.
With that I bid you adieu!
P.S. Here is the video screened at the banquet.