Vic Armijo / Montezuma, Kansas
June 19, 2011, 10:21 a.m. EST
Third place RAAM solo male Gerhard Gulewicz came through time station 24 at 9:49 a.m. EST. As he approached it was evident that he was weaving a bit—nothing too bad, but perhaps a nap will be in order soon. Based on their times through time station 23 back in Walsh, Kansas, your RAAM Media 1 crew thought that we had an hour or so before seeing fourth place Alberto Blanco. But the American surprised us by rolling by just 8 minutes after Gulewicz. I had already gone back at my work station in the gas station lunch area where I’d commandeered a booth when our driver Andre ran over to alert me. I ran out and caught the shot below with my trusty Nikon at full zoom.
The neck brace and support harness in this shot show’s that Blanco has contracted the dreaded “Shermer’s Neck,” that exquisite little inconvenience that comes about as a rider’s neck muscles fatigue. Often the rider is fine otherwise—Allen Larson won in 2003 in spite of having a severe case, finishing wearing a brace much like the one that Blanco is sporting. That Blanco made it to us nearly an hour earlier than expected is a good sign for him.
Soon we’ll have the Mighty Media 1 van headed eastward again to catch Blanco and get an update on his condition.