Alex has turned down my intercom. The sound of my constant retching and vomiting is too much. Every five minutes my stomach revolts. A lack of food, too many red bulls and a stomach filled with fine silt means I have to keep the car moving as my cheeks swell with vomit but I'm not stopping. I swallow it and try as best i can to ignore it. Alex's speech is getting slurred and the course is slow and treacherous so I tell him to take a break and "enjoy it" but I feel like someone calming the nerves of a gunshot victim they're rushing to the emergency room. The extra few hours Alex spent in the car replacing Ross in the night is catching up with him. His neck is getting weak and his head is bouncing around a lot. The car is also feeling the pain and retches every time I shift gears. Its been making this incredible screetching sound every time I shift since we got the car back from the other team. Luckily the engine noise disguises the horrid reminder that it could all end any second now but I decide to shift as little as possible and just keep us moving.
This is the only section we didn't pre-run and we were warned it was going to be tough but this is truly madness. There is a small part of both our hearts that loath Sal Fish in this moment. How could he do this to us. Had we not proved ourselves worthy in the hundreds of miles before us? Like the final ten minutes of an epic film where the hero's are tested beyond breaking point. Alex asks me to stop as he feels his bowels may soon give out and he doesn't want to cross the finish line covered in his own shite. I refuse. We might just have to add feces to the long list of bodily functions and fluids currently at play in this race car.
The course is extremely bumpy, hard packed dirt and big rocks. We are averaging 27mph. My internal organs feel like they are being pulled away from where they are anchored to the inside of my body. My soul feels empty. "Leaving a club alone with the sun up and a head full bad cocaine" empty. The surrounding mountainside are lush and every time we crest another hill our eyes search for the outskirts of Ensenada but its not coming. Alex is no longer sure of the mile marker and had I had it in me I would of added tears into the cocktail of fluids. We are, for the most part, alone out here. No more crowds. Occasionally we see a group of hungover campers breaking down their camps. We have been chasing the dust of a bigger class truck for a long while now but they manage to stay one mountain ahead of us. I am determined to get us there. Being so close I start to get this incredible fear that something is going to break on the car. Every rock or crevice could deem this all for nothing. SMASH!
Jesus. Someones just bashed into us from behind. The mirrors on our car are barely functional when clean and now, mud splattered, I can just make out the front of a very big truck. Probably a trophy truck or something thats spent the night being mended and now wants to get home. This is a real wake up call. We are still racing. I pull to the side before forced to and let him past but then get my foot down.
Death or Glory. I realized a very important truth in this moment. Racing is risking all, even the long road behind you, for the possibility for victory. You never want to reflect back and think you could of been faster- even if you don't win.
Alex too straightens up and restarts his course notes. We are, as Alex always likes to say, "back in the game baby"....