Winning at Losing: The Untold Story, Part I

By October 13, 2017 No Comments

Welcome to our series highlighting some R2AK racers listed as DNF, which officially stands for Did Not Finish, but could also mean Damn Nice Feat, or Did Not (be) Foolish.  In our book, there should be an entire book about them, but we’re going to settle for this little series on our blog highlighting the fearless racers who made some real hard choices.  Check back to catch all their intense and fascinating stories.

We Adventoursists have never won a race, not even to the end of the block.  We are more like PBR who named themselves Pabst Blue Ribbon after never winning a competition.  We leave a sour taste in your mouth, but you just keep getting more of us until you feel a little better about yourselves.  On the other hand, we have somehow managed to complete everything we have signed up for…so far.  What must it be like to register, prepare and spend months fixating on an adventure, then reach that moment when you decide to turn around?  The truth is, I think it takes a stronger person than myself to make that choice.  Here are a few of the people that aren’t making headlines, but still have a hell of a story that deserves to be told:

John Guider, Team Adventure II
Once upon a time, or more specifically, in 2003, John dropped his canoe into the creek behind his house in Tennessee.  Fast forward three months and he is sipping celebratory hurricanes in the streets of New Orleans.*  He took thousands of pictures, hosted an exhibit and created a coffee table book to inspire those still sitting on the couch.

Clearly underwhelmed by this feat, in 2008, John built his own Expedition Skeery (like Combos, but instead of pretzels and pizza, it’s a sailboat with a rowboat in the middle).  After cruising around the rivers, he made some modifications to make the vessel sea-worthy and found his way around 6500 miles of the Eastern United States.

Then R2AK found John and he seemed all too suited for the adventure.  This is how he chose to celebrate his 68th birthday.  If Freddy is still alive at 68, we are going to consider that a win.  John, on the other hand, took it 750 steps (or miles) further.  Except that he didn’t.  John started the race even though he was feeling a little under the weather.  He continued to fall further and further behind.  128 miles from Victoria, he shook hands with his Bronchitis and told it “good game,” then turned around to continue his adventure, just in a different direction.  It’s like he scored a goal for the other team, but he still scored a goal, dammit!

Happy 68th, John.  Hope you got to blow out some candles on a huge cake and feel pretty darn good about all you have accomplished.

*Note: we don’t know if John actually downed any swamp juice, we only hope so.