My name is Sabina, and I raced in both 2015 and 2017 with my husband, Ben.
When thinking about my favourite SOAR memory, it’s difficult to pin down just one! The signature “ultra-cool challenge” is always such a highlight! It’s usually something unique that you probably wouldn’t otherwise get to do on your own and it adds so much to the race experience and feels like such a reward for the hard work of fundraising.
Another excellent memory was remembering the things you end up doing that are ultimately out of your comfort zone or just really challenging. An example of this was in 2017. We faced a logging challenge and Ben, and I didn’t properly look at what was around us before deciding which of us would do the challenge. I chose to do the log roll not realizing just how giant this log was and by the time I saw the size of the log, it was too late to change tasks. Once I figured out how to use the hook properly, even though it was hard, it was so satisfying to feel like I can do way more than I often give myself credit for!
Our best fundraiser was organizing a huge garage sale. Friends and family donated stuff for us to sell, plus we had our things to sell. We’re lucky that we have a big workshop to store stuff in so people were able to drop-off donations well ahead of time. That said, it’s still a ton of work to organize, and I had to deal with dropping off unwanted items to Goodwill, etc. In the end, we able to raise $1000 the first time & $700 the second time. What was cool about the second garage sale was that we had repeat customers show up who had come two years prior!!
Our advice for upcoming racers is not to be afraid to work with other teams. You don’t need to have a full-on alliance or anything like that, but it can be gratifying to work together if you’re all having trouble with a challenge. Both times we raced we ended up working with another team on the final challenge (by then we knew we weren’t top three), and the satisfaction of finishing and the hugs and emotions we all shared added to our experience. Yes, it’s a competition, but in the end, those connections and finishing together were rewarding for us. Also, don’t forget to savour the experience of racing. It can get discouraging when you know you’re behind, but your outlook on your race experience can make or break it for you.