As the horsemen of the Corona Apocalypse gathered, sports the world over shut down. No March madness, no NBA finals, no Mud Hens training camp.
Ezra Ward-Packard and his friend Ben were about to hit the road, driving from Minnesota’s winter to Oklahoma– in a borrowed Subaru– to participate in a 100 mile, once obscure road race.
Ezra had been training since fall, after a nearly five year absence from the cycling world, mostly indoors on a trainer at Downtown Bicycles, where he and Ben work as bike mechanics. They’d done a few long training rides in the Minnesota and Wisconsin wilderness, but that training was on snow and ice, not mud.
Ezra’s was going to celebrate his last week of college- forever. Graduating a trimester early, he was finished. Spring Break! He turned his course work in early to hit the road. Freedom at last.
With the whole world shutting down, the March 14th race quite suddenly became the biggest sporting event in the country, and maybe it’s last for a long time.
The whole story of the race will have to wait for Ezra to have time to tell, but the results are in: 784 people started, 342 people finished.
Ezra placed 27th. You know those other guys had teams. He’s back!