I decided not to run the Buckeye Trail 50K this year. It is held in July, and usually has some of the worst weather of the year-muddy slick trails, hot oppressive muggy weather. So this year it was sunny, cool at the start, dry trails-a picture perfect day to run trails.
I did drive up north with my local ulra-neighbor Gabe. Gabe just ran the Rattlesnake 50K last weekend (along with finishing Mohican) a few weeks ago so he was looking to run along with volunteering.
We helped park cars at the start, then went over to the Boston Store Aid Station. With this being an out-and-back course, we would be the aid station at mile 12 and about 20. Suzanne and I were the bib checkers and split time personnel. Hey now I can say pin your bib number on so it can be read okay!
The Boston Store is siutated right on the towpath, so it is a very busy spot, with runners and bikers and walkers all coming through. So Suzanne and I had a chance to check out all the runners, not just our racers..
Tony came running through with his marathon training group, and Suzanne had to comment on how fit Tony was!
It was both fun and nerve wracking trying to get numbers, especially when the packs came through..and especially as you tried to both write down numbers and shout out to all your friends running!
Mark Godale came through first..he was just smoking. The course was extremely fast and dry this year. Kam Lee eventually beat Mark, with both of them setting new course records with times of 3.55 and 3.56.
As most of the pack came through, things calmed down for a little while, it would take the front runners a little bit of time to hit us for the second time through.
Suzanne and I were chatting, and I started a sentence with "...my husband"
She blurted out "you're MARRIED?"
I started laughing. Ooops, maybe I don't act like I am married? Hmmm...I thought I behaved myself okay out on the trails. Suzanne went on to say all the guys loved me, and she thought I had my pick of any of them!!
Well, maybe I do, I am the Trail Goddess after all... it was a very nice, if somewhat weird compliment. I love running on the trails with the guys. I will also run with the girls too, but many times I am the only female out there! I'll give any of the guys a run for their money, I might be slow but I can certainly tough anything out!
As the runners started coming back, they were starting to look a little less fresh and a little more tired. We spent more time making sure water bottles were full, seeing how folks felt.
Elizabeth and Melissa return to the Boston Store. As they are running in, this old man on a bike swivels his head around to take a look at them, tangles himself and his bike next to a post, and falls over, THWACKING his helmet on the ground, right in front of us all!
Elizabeth leans over to help, and I tell her "get out of here!! We've got him" or something like that. She's got a race to run and there is plenty of volunteers around to help. They split and we get the old man up--thank god he was wearing a helmet! He was good to go after a few minutes.
He needs to stop watching pretty girls and watch the towpath...
Maria came through the second time, still smiling, still having fun on the trail out there, hardly looking like she ran 20 miles already! (bitch!!)
Red arrived as I was on the phone chatting, and I heard a "I'm going to drop my IT bands hurt" so I got off the phone in a hurry to see what I could do to help. Red had things under control though, in mere minutes she had cute Craig massaging his hands all over her legs. That either helped her or distracted her.
Meanwhile, Debi runs in, still smiling too, looking fresh. They start to settle in here at the aid station, trying to make themselves at home, but we finally tell them to scram. Red disentangles herself from her personal masseusse and they go off for the rest of their fantastic finish!
We start to pack up the aid station about one hour later, and arrive back to see the post race festivities in full swing. Most of my friends have finished, and finished well...the dry course was giving everyone sweet times for their race!!!
I ran into Bob and Jim and Brian, and we had an impromptu unofficial NEO Trail Club meeting where I found I was no longer the token female but still assured of my trail goddess stature. Bob also scolded me for planning to run a road marathon in the fall, so I decided I will run YUT-C instead. Ok, Bob?
I missed Maria's finish because I was sipping adult beverages with the club, but we did wander back over to the finish line to see Red and Deb come in. Of course we waited for you to finish!
Gabe and I headed out not long after that, we had a little drive to go.
It was a really great day. Northern Ohio does have a great community of ultra runners. It was fun volunteering, because I got to see more of my friends this way, and got to give shout outs to everyone as they went through. It seemed most were having good races too.
The talk of the day was the very soon Burning River a brand new trail 100 in Northern Ohio. It seems most the ultra community will be involved in it. If they aren't racing it, they are either volunteering or pacing or both. I'll be at Happy Days Aid Station at Mile 65 before I start pacing Mike at the race. Let me know if you would like to volunteer at my aid station, or any of the others! We can always use more help!