I have had many comments on my blog asking about how I did at RAAM, and some saying its ok that I quit and failed …. so decided to post this quick blog.
I didn’t quit RAAM 015.
I crashed out of it.
Although the crash happened 19 days ago, I still have a bad left leg and I feel like crap .. not sure why, but I feel much worse today than I did the days after the accident.
A few days ago, back in Dubai, I had surgery on my left leg and the Dr told me he removed/drained 2.4 liters of “yellowish” fluid, plasma and blood, and a clout/mass from my leg. Ideally, I will feel back to normal soon.
I don’t remember anything from my crash.
My last memory was beginning the long long decent down Wolf Creek … I had just finished the climb up it .. and was happy to be on my way down the mountain.
When I crashed, I was just about 14 hours ahead of my time in the exact same position as RAAM 013 and I was in 7th place. (the final avg speed which is listed on raam site is incorrect, I assume the data is screwed up by my accident and the exact time I crashed because my overall avg speed up to the moment of the accident was several mph faster than listed)
I got knocked unconscious, had a concussion and some good road rash on my face, stitches in my head, but luckily I did not break any bones … just some good bruises.
I got to stay in a gorgeous, very modern Colorado hospital, “Rio Grande” Hospital for a few days, and was treated great by all the Dr’s, nurses and staff. Amazing how well they all took care of me.
Ideally, tomorrow or the next day, I will post a blog on my overall RAAM 015 experience …
What’s it like??
After all … I trained for 18-19 months for this race/challenge, was in the best physical shape of my life, focused and ready…but, I crashed out after just 3 1/2 days.
I am lucky that my follow car was behind me and my coach Marko Baloh and Bob saw me crash … and fall over the edge. I can’t imagine what would have happened had they not seen me crash and go over the edge, and how anyone would have found me. I am lucky in many ways.
My coach, Marko Baloh shared with Vic Armijo from RAAM media:
Unfortunately, yes I saw it happening,” Baloh related, “It was shocking. He was probably going 25 mph and I guess he must have hit something because in a moment he was down on the left side and he slid off the road and went over and down.” Ragsdale, with one foot still clipped into a pedal, landed atop rocks some 20 to 30 meters down a steep slope above the river. “If he had fallen farther her would have ended up in the river,” Baloh explained, “I saw him down there on those rocks bleeding from his head. It was horrific! There was a pretty good flow of blood from his head and he was unconscious for a few seconds but then he was with us and knew his name, knew where we were. He was asking me why his head hurt so much. The drop was so big that I could hardly climb down.”
Baloh shifted his attention to summoning help, “There was no cell coverage. So I stopped the first car that came. It was an old couple and I guess they were scared because they stopped far away when they saw me running and screaming. You could see nothing on the road—he went over with the bike so they had no idea why I wanted them to stop.” Other motorists stopped and among them was an off duty fireman who attended to Ragsdale. “It seemed like forever—it was probably 15 minutes before an ambulance came,” Baloh said. A rescue crew lowered a haul litter to Ragsdale, “This was the only way they could get him out. They attached it to a rope and pulled him up out of there.” Amazingly the hospital found Ragsdale’s injuries to be relatively minor considering the distance he dropped. Baloh explained, “There was only a concussion and they stitched his forehead and of course there are bruises on his hips and elbows—but nothing major—no broken bones.” Exactly what caused his crash is a mystery Baloh said, “He doesn’t remember. I was in the ambulance with him and he probably asked me four or five times what happened. ‘Are we on RAAM Marko?’ over and over.”
We fall down, but we have to get back up and keep climbing.