'To Finish Is To Win' - A Look Back At The 2002 Great Race
by Alan Hunt
A Baylor University-sponsored 1947 Ford convertible was among 100 rare antique vehicles competing in The 2002 Great Race, which started June 15 in San Antonio and ended Saturday, June 22, in Anaheim, Calif.
The Great Race is a timed endurance rally-race; a contest about precision driving and navigation, not speed. Aided only by a speedometer, analog clock, pencil and paper (no maps, cell phones or odometers), the competitors must follow written course instructions at exact, predetermined speeds. The winners finish within seconds of the predetermined "perfect time." Drivers and navigators will be competing for a share of the prize purse valued at $250,000.
Michael Black, coordinator of chapter development at the Baylor Alumni Association, accompanied the Baylor car during the 2,500-mile rally-race and looks back on another memorable Great Race.
For more information on the Great Race, visit http://www.greatrace.com/ .
The Great Race 2002 was an experience that I will not forget. There are several things that I can say the Baylor team accomplished, but the one that we are most proud of is that we finished. That's right, they drove the 1947 Ford convertible 2,500 miles, from San Antonio to Anaheim, Calif., in eight days. They drove through the Painted Desert of Arizona, through the 115 degree heat, 12 hours a day - all without air conditioning.
The car and team also promoted Baylor well. Each night there were always people stopping by, asking questions about Baylor, and how the university got involved in the Great Race. There were also alumni in several cities that stopped by to ask questions about the car and reflect on their days at Baylor and how much they would enjoy going back. The Baylor team was able to make or re-establish Baylor connections in cities such as Clovis, N.M. and Williams, Ariz. - places that a Baylor representative isn't able to visit on a regular schedule.
Even though the Baylor team did not win overall, they did finish, and as seasoned Great Racers say, "To finish is to win." The Great Race is definitely an adventure; in how many other races can a team race without their hood, make modifications until 1 a.m., and pray that the duct tape will hold until the end of the race?