by Carrie Adams
“I don’t mind living in a man’s world, as long as I can be a woman in it.”
— Marilyn Monroe
When the first of the headlamp lights pierced the darkness of the rain whipped night, all the volunteers at the pond crossing task rose to their feet. Seeing the lights materialize out of the deep void of the forest, bobbing side to side is an eerie but welcome site. It signaled that the first of the racers had successfully navigated the swollen and fast-moving river to get here nearly eight hours since the race began. The racers were quickly ushered into the 45 degree pond and were made to stand waist deep for five minutes to await the arrival of the rest of the field.
In that first group of a dozen or she stood, shivering against the cold that assaulted her bare legs a trash bag tied around her small frame to keep her and her pack dry. Her eyes were clear and focused and she cracked a few jokes with Joe Decker and the other front runners. It was 27 year old Grace Cuomo Durfee, 12th place Death Race finisher in 2010 and she was on a mission in 2011.