Yesterday Katherine and I volunteered at the Speedgoat 50k which is held at Snowbird, my old stomping grounds. Don't let the distance fool you. This race is TOUGH! I've never run it, but after a day of volunteering I'm
a nutter tempted. I loved volunteering. Seeing the faces of each runner as they came through and watching them regroup, was amazing to see. So many people came to us completely beat up by the mountain and you could see the mental switch that some food, drink and kind words caused. I remember that feeling so very well from my own 50k experience in March. There were runners from all over the country and some from other countries as well.
Katherine and I were stationed at the tunnel on the Mineral Basin side of the mountain, where while setting up I got to meet Karl Meltzer. We were joined by several other seasoned volunteers and some of their children. There were four little girls who were wonderful helpers, and did things like hand out popsicles, ring cow bells and refill water bottles. It was a very fun group of people.
I saw and cheered on several familiar faces: Britta (who I know from running on Antelope Island) Ryan (my running buddy, Lindsay's husband) Johnny Runner (who is one of the race directors for the CCUTR) the nice guy from Wasatch Running Center who has helped me with loads of things and of course some of the big names in running like Sage Canaday, Anton Krupicka, Max King, Krissy Moehl, and Timothy Olsen. Exciting!
Our aid station was the last cutoff. Runners had to make it to us by 3:15pm. Keep in mind that the race started at 6:30am. That's a long time to run through the mountains! Some of the last runners through to us were hoping they hadn't made the cutoff. Some were absolutely thrilled they'd made the cutoff, and some were just surviving. All the runners were kind and so many of them thanked us for being out there. Some runners would barely stop long enough to refill their water bottles, while others would stand around and graze from the food table. A few sat and even fewer needed a few words of encouragement to get back out there and keep going. I was honored to be part of each and every one of their journeys to the finish line. Fortunately, we only had to tell a small handful of people that they had not in fact made the cutoff and that this is where the race ended for them. Those folks had been running for nearly ten hours when we had to break the bad news.
A few favorite runner interactions:
Katherine and I met a man from Texas in the parking lot before the race and when he came into our aid station, his face went from defeated to a smile when he said, "I'm so happy to see you guys!" We were glad to see him too!
A French runner came through and when one of the little girls asked if he'd like a popcicle. With a look of confusion on his face he answered, "I'm French and I'm tired!" HA!
When the last runner who made the cutoff came through, she looked defeated until we announced to her that she had, in fact, made the cutoff! She thought she hadn't and couldn't have been happier! She began smiling and crying and even hugged one of the volunteers. She said, "I'm stupid happy!" That was an awesome moment!
Two runners came up to Katherine at the same time. The first asked what was in the small shot sized cups and when Katherine told him they were Red Bull he reacted with a very strong, "NO! NO Red Bull!" While the second runner came up saying, "I need Red Bull!" very enthusiastically.
Before the start of the race down at Entry 1.
Of course, Katherine and I thought of Dean Karnazes.
Fooling around. You're shocked, right?
Check here for more pictures, info and results.