"I did the EM1240, and all I got was this lousy head cold?!?"
"The hardest ride I've ever done, by far. " Yeah, that one works.
Here's the short version, as I'll need time to collect my shattered thoughts before typing up the long(er)-winded version. I started with the first group at 4 AM on Wednesday, and finished up solo a bit after 8 PM on Saturday. 780 miles (counting the odd detour), 3 flats (two due to glass, one to my own idiocy, ALL within 30 minutes of each other), no injuries beyond minor contact point abrasions, and a grand total of 88:10 from start to finish.
The route was just about as hard as I expected; the weather was far, far worse (as the ~50% DNF list can attest); and the staffing and organization was unparalleled in my experience. Heck, of all the things to say about this event, probably the single most important is to thank the teeming throngs of volunteers who made the intolerable bearable, and who were bound and determined to make sure that no rider had to think about anything other than turning the pedals over. You guys rocked.