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June 29, 2010 / teamoperationprogress

RAAM Day 5

Sweltering heat and steamy humidity brought Team Operation Progress to its’ knees as they entered the fifth day of the race in the rolling hills of Missouri on a mad dash to make it to the Mississippi River before the qualification time set for Friday afternoon by 5:30pm. With 400 miles to cover in 24 hours, the team was feeling the pressure to perform and not let down all the supporters of the OP who have made this race possible.

The team went from fifteen minute to five-minute intervals and came in drenched in sweat, panting and dehydrated.  By mid day, the heat index on the Garmin mounted to a riders bike read 110 degrees.  All four team member traded off and rallied through the late afternoon waiting for the occasional cumulus cloud to puff up and bring down the temperature. As the heavy late afternoon set in, the mosquitos and ticks were out in full force looking to sink their fangs into the physically and emotionally drained riders and crew loading bikes on and off the racks almost fifty times throughout day.   Competing for pavement with the boat towing, exhaust blowing monster SUV’s all speeding for the lake of Ozarks, was not an ideal situation for Kristina who sits in her trike at just three feet above the ground. As the sunset and the RV’s pulled into a Wallmart parking lot outside of the Ozark Lake, an ambulance and fire vehicle had their amber light blinking around one of our own Operation Progress  2011 Sienna’s.  As we approached the van,  we see Fran sitting in the car surrounded by EMT’s who are taking her vital signs.  The EMT’s determined that she is severely dehydrated and needs to be withdrawn for the race for at least eight hours.

Fighting off the loss of a teammate, Nancy, Kristina and Mark ride through the night on a mad dash to make up for lost time and the stress of being down a team mate.

Driven to not fail, they are able to maintain a 15 mile per hour average and come within 100 miles of the Missouri/Illinois border.

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