Crashing out of the rally

I had a blast.

Last week, we entered the Rocky Mountain Rally in Invermere with the goal of finishing in the top 10.

The car was fast, but I had never driven it in an event. My wife was really good at reading notes, but had never participated in an event. My car was looking like it would hold together, but was old.

Finally, I was looking like I could hold together, but I was old  and had not competed for several years.

We were driving for the Big O tires rally team in the Valley Mitsubishi EVO 4. 

Getting to the event included the usual drama of making sure that everything almost worked and finally deciding that we should go anyway even if something was going to break. 

We pulled out of town on Wednesday evening with a massive amount of work and three inspections ahead. After failing to make Invermere in time, we contacted the scrutinisers and indicated we would arrive the next day for inspections. 

We were so excited to receive the positive news that our inspections were successful and we could compete. Back to business, we now had to Recce 200 kilometres of competitive stages and write notes so we could run through as fast as possible. 

On Saturday morning, after all of the head aches, work, running around for replacement parts and getting ready for inspections, my wife woke up a little emotional and said she hadn’t slept a wink and could not compete. 

A few hours later, after some serious crisis intervention, we were back on track with a promise from me that despite all we had gone through it would be fun eventually. 

We hit the start line and quickly made our mark. Checking with teams around us we realized that we needed to move up the start order. From a seeding of 23 we were setting top 10 times and were eventually moved to 10th, which was exciting, but would also make our life easier since we would not be catching cars up. 

The day went well until the penultimate stage of the day when on the exit of a sharp corner, we had a tie rod end break and were thrown over a steep bank without any control.

Sitting in the car at a very steep angle, ready to roll over at any moment, my wife continued to read the notes until I explained that we were finished and she should carefully get out of the car before it rolled.

Jackie, who is a grandmother already, managed to some how open the door against gravity, lift herself out of a very constrained cockpit to safety and let other teams know we were safe. 

We then proceeded to sit on a grassy bank in the middle of the bush expecting a grizzly bear to walk by at any moment.

We found ourselves chuckling about what a fun day it was and what a great community the rally community is as we waited for the volunteer “beast-sweep” extraction crew to swing by to help us out. 

I guess the take-away is that no matter how difficult life gets, there is always a moment where you can simply sit down and smell the roses.


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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
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Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

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