Duke Dunsford (Expert) View all posts in this topic  
Tue Sep 06, 2005 12:06 pm
Hello everyone - So many thanks...        

Back in the real world today - The past three weeks but a blur of memory now...

I'm simply overwhelmed by the support you all extended my way, and fittingly I must say a big thank you to everyone for the tremendous encouragement to Heather and to me throughout the rally. I was getting daily reports of all the activity on this board, and it was quite comforting and inspiring to know so many folks were interested in my ride. I only wish I could give each of you a personal thank you.

I'm feeling a bit better since I've arrived home. I have a nasty purple 'K-12 footpeg sized' bruise on my left side at the base of my ribcage, and still find it somewhat difficult to breath deeply and still sleep is a bit elusive. I have 4 or 5 ribs which are injured on my left side, just below my elbow. It will be a few weeks before I'm back to normal. fortunately I've finally found some sleep sitting semi-upright in a lazy-boy chair at home.

The dissapointment in Maine was almost more than I could handle knowing I would not be able to give it my best for leg 3. Fortunately I found the strength and determination to fight through the hurricane, the language barrier in New Brunswick and Quebec, the utter dissapointment in blowing a 9,222 point bonus picture on day 8, the mental challenge from the lack of sleep, and the terrible pain in my side. Through it all I managed to continue on - In part finding encouragement from knowing so many folks were pulling for me, and I wasn't planning to let you down. Finishing became the target for the last 4 days of the rally, and I'm happy to say I reached that goal.

Hopefully in the future I'll be able to dig out a suitable ride report. Much of the memory is already gone - but I still have vivid memories of many thoughts, sights and emotions of the 11-day ride. Until then, thank you again for everyone's incredible support. Most importantly thank you to my wonderful wife Heather, my great family, to Leon, Alan and Jennifer, to everyone who showed up at the start line and the finisher's party in Kansas City, and to the fantastic group of friends who supported me every mile of the journey! I look forward to seeing each of you soon!

Duke Dunsford
59th finisher, 2005 Iron Butt Rally
Ninja 250 rider

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