Spirit of the Arrowhead – I don’t think an NFL linebacker could have done what Lisa and Joy did.
Although I didn’t have anything to do with the decision of the Spirit Award, I have a pretty good idea why it went to Lisa. I am one of the snowmobile volunteers and have had the pleasure of seeing Lisa on the course the past few years. All of the participants are familiar with Lisa and her positive attitude and encouragement throughout the race over the years but this year she took it a step further.
I was called out on Wednesday morning to check on some runners and on my way out I came across Joy who was having some trouble 5 miles from the finish. After pointing her in the right direction I found Lisa a half mile back and explained to her that Joy was having a hard time. Knowing that Lisa is a nurse I asked her to check on Joy when she caught up to her and I went on to pick up a racer 12 miles out that could not continue to the finish. On my trip back I came around the corner 4 miles from the finish and found Lisa and Joy travelling together……with Lisa pushing her sled and after already covering 131 miles, pulling Joy’s sled behind her……..with Joy riding on the sled.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. Lisa is jeopardizing her own finish to try to help another racer because she knew how important it was to Joy being her 3rd attempt. Lisa told me she was ok for now but could I please check back again. I continued on to bring Bonnie back to the casino and received a call from Lisa saying that she was having a difficult time with the extra load (imagine that…..) I rode out and found them now 2 miles out. I talked to Joy and asked if she could possibly make the last 2 miles on her own. Lisa offered to pull Joy’s sled to the finish and stay with her and the two of them came across the finish line together. In my years of being involved with the Arrowhead, this is the most generous gesture I have ever witnessed between competitors. Congratulations to Lisa for her second finish and to Joy for her first and again to Lisa for her well deserved Spirit of the Arrowhead Award.