Dear Jeff, Corky, Great Race Staff, Volunteers and Great Racers,
Mary and I, along with all the Spirit of Stahls team members, wanted to extend an additional thank you to everyone at the Great Race organization for putting together another stellar rally experience. The Great Race is truly in a class of its own and we feel so honored to be able to participate year after year. Each year presents its own set of challenges but one thing always remains the same—the camaraderie. We truly can’t put our finger on what makes the camaraderie at the Great Race so special, but it’s something we begin to miss as soon as the last banquet starts. We know that in the morning, we have to say goodbye to so many dear friends. It’s a bittersweet moment. And we must honestly admit, we are all addicted to the feelings that the Great Race evokes. Even though the days of rallying are exhausting, with all the pressure to find the right sign, make the right turn, drive the right speed, it’s exhilarating at the same time. But even more exhilarating are the small moments that make us smile, like seeing the steadfast Green Shirts waving us through a check point. Or receiving help from a fellow racer to fix a radiator or install a battery. We’ve all been there. Perhaps it comes from the fact that we are all racing against the clock, and not each other. However, it somehow goes deeper. In trying to put it into words, all we can come up with is the word “family.” Being part of the Great Race is like being part of a grateful, loving, protective family. Mary and I felt this feeling of family more than ever when we received the Spirit of the Event Award. Since we were both truly speechless on the night it was bestowed, we wanted to make sure you all know how much we really appreciate this unexpected honor. Thank you for inviting us into your Great Race family and allowing us to experience this level of emotion and acceptance from our peers. It is a moment we will always cherish, just as we cherish each and every person who made it possible. As we “recover” from the recent rally, trying to catch up on our sleep, get back into a normal routine, clean the grease out from under our nails, one thing we don’t want to scrub away is the feeling of family we get from being a Great Racer. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for fostering these uncommon family values in your organization and for making us feel so appreciated. You have all done an outstanding job and we look forward to the next Great Race and the next and the next.
Sincerely and with great affection,
Ted and Mary Stahl