Yesterday I did something I have never did before! Well, I have, but for an hour here, hour there. But today was 7 hours of volunteering at a race. The Trail Mix, Hyland Park, Bloomington, MN. Seven hours of great times I usually find only in races. Although, I missed being on the course, I suggest anyone who is injured and capable, call the director for the next race and be on the other side. It is just as fun and rewarding and can not wait to look for these opportunities again.
It all started when Lynn Gannon had sent out a call for help a few weeks ago for a Tail Mix Aid Station. I thought “why not”. Who wants to clean house or do laundry anyway. So at 5:30 AM April 19, 2008, I woke and looked out at the drizzle and a ice crystal or two falling from the sky and thought, damb, another cold and rainy Trail Mix.. As I vowed to see how long I can go without a car, I bundled up and headed to Hyland Park on bike. I arrived at 6:30 AM and was happy to see many familiar faces at Aid Station one. Lynn, who I had not seen in years, Al, John and many others who took up the other side of a trail race. Well, after about 20 minutes Lynn asked me if I could go to the South Station instead. I said sure, but truly was looking forward to hanging with people I knew.
So I loaded up my bike and headed to the South Aid Station, the last station on the course. The last one to get to go home… I arrived and they were set up. It was slow and casual for a while then runner started to come in and need our supplies. As the day went on, I got to see the 50 K runners 8 times, COOL!!!!, I became an admirer of the “new king of support stations” in my mind (Dean), and met some great people. I can not tell you, I was so happy to be at that Station! Once again, goes to show, although I was slightly disappointed about moving at first, when you are with these ultra people, it does not matter where you are, you will feel welcomed and appreciated.
It was great to see the race from the leaders to the last runner go by the station. Kim led the Women at the first sight, but Eve passed her and went on to be overall winner. Steve Quick looked solid all the way through. If I recall the first lap he was third but by the second, he was the first male and did not seem to waiver. It was great to see him run back to our station and see us after the race.
I encountered so many people I had no idea were event running the race as I passed out supplies, filled bottles and laughed with them. It was fun that Karen and Les were about a minute apart and when Les came into my station, I would tell him “Karen is just seconds ahead” and he would chuckle. Then on the last lap, they were close enough I told Karen to yell as she disappeared from the station and Les was appearing. He finally believed me… We had fun with this.
Philip was the little engine that could today. One week after Chippewa, he seemed to pick up steam on each lap. Each time around he looked a little stronger. It was great to see him. He looks much stronger and looks lighter. Sure to be an asset at the Sawtooth 100 in September. It was funny as his race fuel mix looked like blood as we mixed his brew a few times. Non-runners at the station were amazed at the different drinks, habit and abilities in the single race.
At the end of the day, I had the pleasure of doing the two-mile trot (loop between the station I was at) with Sharon Mordorski. We had a great time running down and walking up the hills. If there ever is an award for the greatest disposition, she wins. Her smile as she came into the aid station, each lap, was larger than anyone I have ever met. It is obvious she loves life and running. What a treat to spend that lap talking and hearing all kinds of interesting stories about her running escapades.
My knee did not bother me at all!!! I have the clearing to start running again, easy, and build the base. I have been riding bike (as I said earlier I am trying to see how long I can go without a car) and my weight is down 4 pounds.
I wish I could give credit to all those by name for making my days so wonderful. Diane Farmer, Paul Fraser, Paul McCullough, and many others say hi as they went by the station. I was not able to run, but had a great time.