It is a long drive from Westport to New Haven to Cannon Mountain! Fortunately, with the early van's "noon" departure from New Haven we had plenty of time to drive up in the daylight and get to the all you can eat dinner at the ski lodge, which also doubles as the race's starting area.
Now I know you are thinking, "Wow an all you can eat dinner for just $15! I wish I could get a deal like that!" Well, before you get too green with envy maybe I should fill you in on a few details. The dinner bar begins with a salad that you can mix up with a wide array of items. There were bowls of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and red onion. Yep, that was it. Next came your choice of whole wheat or regular pasta. On that you could put meatball, marinara, or one of three cream based sauces any one of which would probably clog every artery you have. I stuck with meatball. To finish the main course there were rolls of bread. Dessert consisted of your choice of chocolate chip cookies. Yes, they had out platters of them so you could pick your own cookie! I know you probably think it was one of those horrible home made ones, maybe even with the chocolate chunks. Rest assured that was not the case! Fortunately, Bare Naked had out granola and a stand where they would add in a little yogurt as well. To drink Fizz (?) had out bottles of their fruit flavored drinks both high and low calorie and those were pretty good! Finally, each wrist band came with up to two cups of beer.
True the pre-race dinner was not the worst meal you could have for $15 but it may have been the coldest! All of the tables were outside in an unheated tent. Let me tall you it gets really cold up here in the mountains at night! After we could not take freezing longer we headed to the condominium/hotel to get organized and ready for the next day's adventure.
Once we were settled in it was time to create a Road Kill Counter for each van. In a relay race like this "road kill" typically refers to somebody you pass. But, we are way too slow for that! So we count people that pass us as well! When we get passed the runner gets a Halloween sticker (think ghost) and when we pass a cute animal sticker (think puppy dog). By the end of the race everybody has a large collection of these things, and we have a photo worthy poster! If you want to see last year's final creation just check out the race end pictures here on the blog from 9/30/2007. Below is our first picture of the race which shows Emily creating the Orange Line's poster.