si quieres ganar, tienes que hacerlo en la tierra*

*If you want to win, you've got to do it in the dirt

It's a good thing the Cuttin' Cruiser didn't make the trip. In case you're not keeping up with current events, the first wave of Chicagoans arrived at Guatemala's Messenger Worlds, at the tail end of a nasty stretch of rain. They went to sleep during a stormy night in Panajachel, and woke up to discover "the river had taken everything" - mudslides buried parts of the Pan-American highway, homes and parts of villages were washed away, and sadly, nearly 50 have perished in the storm. Our thoughts are with the families of those that were lost, and everyone trying to put their lives and homes back together.

A few locals in Panajachel were swept away, but the townspeople immediately sprang into action the next morning, starting to repair local roads and the bridge out of town. The mayor presented the key to the "city" to Nadir, and the festivities continue, albeit on a somewhat somber note. Some messengers are still arriving on foot over the mountain, some are stranded in Antigua, and apparently several have flown back to the US in an effort to get new flights to the area.

It seems all the messengers are accounted for, and the racing will continue, with at least one modification: the storm turned la Ocho (the eight), the over/under banked track, into 'la Tres' (the three), but not before Señor Andrew Nordyke turned in a couple of hot lap times, just missing the cut for the finals. More results here, and more news to come. They say la Ocho may rise again...