By: Christina Barton
Arriving to the race on the last day of Tulsa Tough was a lot less crazy than I had
anticipated. After hearing about this race for years, I almost felt like we showed up on the wrong
day. The shuttle dropped us off about a half mile from the race and we followed a very normal
crowd of people to the start/finish. Everything seemed pretty calm. It was like any other race I
had been to. I actually felt a little out of place with my crop top and beer in hand, that is until I
turned the corner onto Cry Baby Hill.
Watching the riders race through the massive crowd is probably how Moses felt when he
parted the Red Sea, except this was actually real. As we continued to walk up the hill, the party
got louder and crazier with every step. It was what I imagine the Tour De France being like, only
with more beer and grown men wearing diapers. We reached the center of the madness and I
almost could not handle it. The sun was beating down on us and my luke warm beer was not
keeping me as hydrated as I had hoped. So, what is a girl who is sweating on her upper lip
suppose to do when she thinks she might die from a heat stroke? Dance, of course. When the
riders were not present, the middle of the street was more hoppin’ than the gay club my friend
and I accidentally ended up at the night previous. Although, I did get more free beer at the gay
club. As the riders rounded the corner, referees wearing wigs and kilts would shove everyone to
the side. This was my least favorite part because, being short, I almost alway ended up in a
guy’s sweaty armpit.
Off into the distance up the hill I could see my haven. The KHS tent looked so cool and
inviting. I was almost worried it was a mirage. We headed in the direction of the tent shoving red
blow horns and baby dolls on sticks out of our way. I immediately collapsed in a folding chair.
Paul Abrahams, director of KHS/Maxxis/JLVelo, asked me why I was sweating so much and
handed me a cold beer (Thanks Paul.) We decided to head back down to the party. This was
when the torrential downpour started. We were soaked head to toe and I was so happy.
My friend and I traveled back and forth between the tent and the party throughout the
whole race. After a few beers, I really didn’t know what was going on in the actual race, but you
better believe I was the loudest cheerleader on the course.
When the race was over, I was happy to hear Fabrizio Von Nacher of
KHS/Maxxis/JLVelo got 3rd place for the stage and 2nd overall. I waited around with the team
afterward and acted as a security guard when drunk blue haired men wearing shower curtains
as togas would come over and fondle the riders. And how else would we end such an amazing
race day other than to eat barbeque and dance until 2am at SoundPony. Tulsa Tough you have
outdone yourself and I will definitely be there next year, but with more beer, less clothes.