This is Thursday at the Great Race 2013

Thank you to all the fantastic Great Race volunteers in their lime green shirts! We couldn't do it without you!

Thank you to all the fantastic Great Race volunteers in their lime green shirts! We couldn’t do it without you!

 

If you’re looking for the best way to see America, participating in the Great Race is certainly one “great” way to do so.  Mary and I have seen and learned so much on this journey, and we’re getting a bit sad that it’s almost over. We still have several hundred miles to go before it finishes up in 3 days in Mobile, Alabama, but we would like to thank all the volunteers that make this race possible. If you ever notice someone wearing a lime green shirt in any Great Race photos, that’s a Great Race volunteer. Without them, this race wouldn’t be possible. It’s hard for an outsider to comprehend all the planning and support behind the scenes at the race. This “Green-Shirt” brigade does everything from selling programs in every city at every lunch to working the check points to organizing when cars come in and cars leave. They put  up and take down signs, the arches and  all the necessary stuff in each city. It’s just a tremendous effort and without them they drivers couldn’t enjoy the sport. Yes, rally racing is a sport that requires endurance. Just like other athletes, racers need to be ready to go in any type of weather, under any conditions. But without the volunteers it would be impossible. Thanks Green Shirt brigade!  Today we also had the opportunity to meet Janet Lindstrom, owner of Elegant Stitches in Conway Arkansas, and Tonya Cothern, who joined us on the leg between Monticello, Arkansas and Vicksburg, Mississippi. Janet said she really enjoyed seeing all the folks come out and cheer the racers on–especially the two men holding up an American flag as we drove by. With the 4th holiday coming up, we are seeing a lot of homes decorated with flags and it is really, really great to see the patriotism. Janet and Tonya also got to experience one of the hottest days we’ve ever had from the back seat, but they didn’t complain, even when we were traveling down what seemed like the road that would never end. Just miles and miles of corn fields.  That’s another thing Mary and I both really appreciate about the Great Race camaraderie–no one complains, everyone just rolls with the punches. Hot (so hot I had to put a wet towel over my face while navigating, maybe that explains our score) or cold, thunderstorms or flat tires.  And even when you have dueling teams vying against the clock during the race,  those same teams will pitch in to help one another with a necessary car repair. Last night, when someone needed to repair a wheel bearing, it was a group effort, with one person running to the auto parts store before it closed and others working on the wheel. Hard to believe we’ve only got three more days to go. Danielle P. from Stahls’ has joined our support team and has been busy posting photos to the Spirit of Stahl Facebook page all day, hopefully you’ve been able to follow along. You can also follow the Great Race on Twitter @thegreatrace #thegreatrace or @tedstahl.

 

Cole Caldwell is the youngest navigator in the Great Race this year!

Cole Caldwell is the youngest navigator in the Great Race this year!

View of the Great Racers in Vicksburg, Mississippi on Thursday evening.

View of the Great Racers in Vicksburg, Mississippi on Thursday evening.

Beautiful panoramic shot of Vicksburg taken by Joe K.. Thanks for all your fantastic shots Joe.

Beautiful panoramic shot of Vicksburg taken by Joe K.. Thanks for all your fantastic shots Joe.

Meet the Mullis Insurance gang, Great Race enthusiasts in Monticello, AR.

Meet the Mullis Insurance gang, Great Race enthusiasts in Monticello, AR.

And it was even warmer in Monticello!

And it was even warmer in Monticello!

It was almost 80 degrees as we left Germantown at 6:38am!

It was almost 80 degrees as we left Germantown at 6:38am!

Jim Clayton and his grandson Russ drove 4.5 hours from Paragould, Arkansas to see the racers again in Monticello! Now that's enthusiasm.

Jim Clayton and his grandson Russ drove 4.5 hours from Paragould, Arkansas to see the racers again in Monticello! Now that’s enthusiasm.

Our Thursday ridealong guests, Janet Lindstrom of Elegant Stitches and Tonya. It was great having you on board!

Our Thursday ridealong guests, Janet Lindstrom of Elegant Stitches and Tonya. It was great having you on board!

Mary makes sure the windshield is nice and clean before we hit the road.

Mary makes sure the windshield is nice and clean before we hit the road.

Leaving Germantown, Tennessee for Monitcello, Arkansas on Thursday bright and early.

Leaving Germantown, Tennessee for Monitcello, Arkansas on Thursday bright and early.

 

This is a fabulous photo as cars drive through Parkdale, Arkansas, you can see how we are greeted with fans waving from the roadside. It is just a lot of fun. Image from the Great Race Facebook page.

This is a fabulous photo as cars drive through Parkdale, Arkansas, you can see how we are greeted with fans waving from the roadside. It is just a lot of fun. Image from the Great Race Facebook page.

Another photo from the Great Race Facebook page, entering Monticello, AR on Thursday for lunch.

Another photo from the Great Race Facebook page, entering Monticello, AR on Thursday for lunch.

Somewhere in Arkansas, a spray of water on the backroads cooled down the drivers. Image from the Great Race Facebook page.

Somewhere in Arkansas, a spray of water on the backroads cooled down the drivers. Image from the Great Race Facebook page.

 

 

Brett finds a way to dry his wet shoes. Very creative, very creative. Only a brother would take this photo-- thanks Dan for sharing.

Brett finds a way to dry his wet shoes. Very creative, very creative. Only a brother would take this photo– thanks Dan for sharing.

 

Great Racers don't complain when they have a problem, such as wet shoes....they find a solution. At least that is what Brett did.

Great Racers don’t complain when they have a problem, such as wet shoes….they find a solution. At least that is what Brett did.

 

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