Rally Begins July 11, 2009 in New York City
Sometimes things do not go according to plans. It is 3 days before I need to be in New York City for the start of Bullrun and my official Bullrun vinyl kit is M.I.A. I need it to be able to partake in the official start of the Bullrun rally. Now normally this would onset panic and dismay. I mean, I am an amateur when it comes to applying vinyl at the best of times and this is a substantial kit. Working fulltime would only leave me 3 evenings at best to get the 10 hour job done. Not to worry though, I have an ace up my sleeve; more on that later.
The event I am preparing for is the 2009 Bullrun Rally. For those not familiar with Bullrun, think of it as a mix between a road rally, a race and a week long non-stop party. With nothing more then a destination and road map, teams of two travel from checkpoint to checkpoint all over the USA during the course of one week. First one there (as determined by their starting and ending time) wins. Of course at the end of each day the teams enjoy some of the wildest and most exclusive night life each host city has to offer.
So if this event is so great, why is it not more popular? One word, exclusivity. The entry fee for the rally is $20 000 USD. People who run the rally are either rich enough to afford the entry fee on their own, or they scrape together enough sponsorship deals to cover the cost. Either way, one thing is certain; the rally attracts true car people who are all a little nuts.
Now this humble reporter did not have an extra $20 000 USD kicking around to enter the rally. Selling Autotrader.ca (Canada) on the idea of covering the cost of the rally in exchange for advertising in a market we are not in (USA) did not work to well either. So how exactly am I going to get to be in the starting line in New York City? Well that honour was given to me by the great people at Bullrun themselves.
I have been an avid fan of both the Bullrun Rally and Bullrun reality television show for years. More recently I became an active member of Bullrun’s online forum where I can track the rally, talk about the television show and interact with other avid gearheads. It doesn’t hurt that it is a great community to be a part of either. If you ask anyone I know, for the past 6 months I have been talking about Bullrun at nauseam. As the rally drew closer, word was sent out that a few fans would be invited to take the green flag with the rally competitors. This is being done as a thank you to the fans for their support as well as a chance for us to taste what the rally we so wish we could be a part of is like. I could not pass up this opportunity and I applied at once. Lucky for me I was chosen to partake in the green flag drop.
Fast forward 2 months and it is 3 days before the rally. As I mentioned earlier I was still lacking my kit needed to take the starting line for the Bullrun rally. I figured after not receiving the kit by day 5 of a guaranteed 3 day delivery something was wrong. I contacted the shipping company to discover that they had no clue where my package was. Oh great. Starting to panic a bit I raised red flags on Bullrun.com that I may not be able to make the rally’s starting line. Within no more then 3 hours, Theresa from ASAP Signs (the company creating the decal kits for Bullrun) had contacted me three times, reprinted my entire set of vinyls, and express shipped them to NYC. All of this was done to fix an error that was not theirs to correct. If that wasn’t enough, 11 other fans and Bullrun entrants offered their help in getting my car prepped in New York City on Friday before the rally starts. Did I mention I have never actually met any of these people face to face and yet they are willing to lend a hand? This just reaffirmed in my mind why the Bullrun community is such a great place.
It is now 2 days before my departure. I have finally gotten word from the shipper that indeed my decals are lost. So I am forced to head off to Manhattan with my blue RX-8 only partially ready. Lucky for me a small army is ready to meet me in NYC to get the car up to spec. This in itself will be a great experience and memory.
Friday morning I will start my trip to Manhattan. I am ready to get a glimpse into what many describe as the experience of a lifetime. The rally is planned to head out of New York City at 9AM on Saturday July 11th and will finish in Texas a week later. Where will it be stopping? Well no one knows, that is the beauty of Bullrun. However, if you are travelling in the Eastern United States during the next week and a half, keep an eye out for some impressive machinery adorning Bullrun logos.
Below are a few spy shots of both rally participants and fans that will be in New York City this Saturday.