Andy here - i've been pretty consumed following the action down in chile the last five or six days, and noticed a few things i thought i'd mention. To begin with, i've realized that i've changed significantly in the last year in that i am now whole heartedly rooting for the team. It's not that i wasn't rooting for them last year, but for some reason i was comforted by their good, but not great performance. perhaps it's because it made it easier not to be there with them - it made me feel a little bit less distant from where they were as a team - like i might still be able to join them someday and compete with them and not slow them down. but i suppose i've become more comfortable in my own life over the past year and have also actually had the chance to race with them and realize that i probably do have a place with them, at least as much as i'm able and willing to take it. so it's been cool this year not to have any of that baggage to deal with while i'm glued to the computer, checking twitter every 30 minutes.
The second thing i wanted to mention is that this has been the first time i've really ever been worried about my brother (and the rest of the team). As soon as i saw that teams that were behind them going into the trek were arriving at PC 10 my mind started racing over the options. If someone got hurt to the point they couldn't continue, they'd have used the sat phone. i couldn't imagine them getting lost as long as they had been missing, particularly since they weren't hunting for checkpoints like in some adventure races. Perhaps they tried a shortcut and got cliffed out - but i struggled to imagine a scenario that would set them back the 10+ hours they seemed to be behind. based on what i've been through on our too much fun expeditions with three members of the team i reckoned they'd be set back a couple of hours at most. The only possibilities that seemed to make sense were the best and worst case scenarios - they'd already passed PC 10, somehow unseen; or they'd had an accident that had left someone injured AND the sat phone out of commission. This last possibility seemed extremely unlikely - unless swimming was involved.
i looked at the online maps and found one or two spots i thought they might have decided to take to the water as a shortcut. What if the swim was longer than they anticipated? what if there was no egress? what if the team fell into hypothermia or got too fatigued to swim to either shore? the sat phone would be of little to no use to shivering bodies in the middle of a fjord. I went for a run and relished the 30 mph headwind and 50 mph gusts that drove into me and pretended i was in patagonia, if only for 45 minutes. when i got back i took a shower and closed my eyes, breathed in the steam and tried to get a sense about jason - whether he was in trouble or not. Nothing - but it was worth a try. An hour later i got word that they'd arrived at PC 11. the best case scenario had played out.
I don't like to worry. maybe next year i'll have to do it with them so i won't have to. Of course now that i know what it's like, can i do that to tammy? (: