Ed Garrison, who races under the team name “Garrison’s Gorillas,” has been around RAW and RAAM for several years. “I attempted RAW in 2011, but medical issues forced me to drop out in Prescott, AZ,” he wrote on his RAAM Bio.
“I came back and successfully completed RAW solo in 2012, finishing 2nd in my age group. A bike injury in late 2012 derailed my RAAM aspirations for 2013, so I did RAW as a 2-person team. We finished 2nd in our age group with both the 1st and 2nd place teams breaking the old time record for the age group.” The following year he stepped up to attempt solo RAAM, an effort that ended in Kansas with the onset of the dreaded Shermer’s neck.
Garrison came back this year; this time as a 2-rider team with Paul Hart, his partner in the successful 2013 RAW finish. But not all went well this time for the duo, as Garrison explained in an e-mail to RAAM Media.
“Unfortunately, a finish was not in the cards for me. Medical issues prior to RAAM led my primary care doctor to advise me not to do the race. Being the stubborn person that I am (that has helped me at times in my life, and in this case, not helped me!), I rationalized that I could still do RAAM because 1) I was feeling really good, 2) I was racing really strong in early season races, 3) I had a rather large financial investment of sunk costs already in RAAM, and 4) my primary doctor was not telling me I would do any sort of permanent damage to my body if I went – he just said that he thought I would ‘suck’ physically during the race, particularly in the climbing sections and cautioned that I could be more likely to pass out.”
“Surprise, surprise, surprise….. he was absolutely right. I passed out in the desert (Salome) with no warning signs at all – my coach was monitoring all my body functions online real time as I was racing and said afterwards that my body gave no indications at all that I was getting ready to pass out. But I did. I came off the bike and my partner went out to ride for a long stretch to give me time to recover in our follow van. I went back out for very short periods to give him a break, but the heat was really affecting me now. Things got progressively worse for both of us, and thus we ended up in ER in Prescott, AZ with severe dehydration. I got rehydrated through the saline IV’s, but my body had taken a hit, and now common sense was saying that I would not be doing myself any favors by continuing to stress my body in continued extreme temps and difficult terrain with lots of climbing ahead. Plus, I could pass out again without any warning signs. Thus, the decision to abandon the race.”
“I will be doing follow-up visits with various doctors in next month or so. Assuming we find the cause of the problem and correct it, AND I get a clean bill of health, I will be going back to conquer RAAM.”