Sunday, August 02, 2009

Long

That describes my whole, entire day for the last two in a row. Friday I awoke early to a steady rain. Having planned to run long, and knowing full well that such a thing is competely impossible in the rain, I hit the mill. I watched an old movie on TCM as well as some other stuff, and did 24 miles in 3:05. Not bad, but I know I cannot do so well outside. Wish I could.

The long day continued at the store and in the evening when Linda and Bob and Iris and Mike came over for a bbq and then to later watch South Pacific on our new blu-ray player/theater (it had just been re-released). A late night, but nothing I couldn't handle.

Saturday would be a tougher one to handle. Here's the play-by-play:

5:00am wake-up, get ready and drive to Station Rd.
6:30am run with Dave and Amy. It's very nice of them to start up early in order to run with me. We ran an easy hour plus on the towpath like old times. Except a shorter run. I figure I got seven in before having to take off.
8:00am arrive at the Alexander Road aid station to help at the Burning River 100 Mile Run. It was kind've fun helping set up and then watching for the top runners to come by. Ran a couple miles into the course to place signs before Mark Godale came in. This was at mile 31.8, so the top runners weren't too very spread out yet. But even this is relative: they were often 15 minutes or so apart. My job was to direct traffic as the runners crossed the road. I could only stay until the first 15 or so came in; had to get to the store.
11:00am after stopping at Panera I arrive at the store wearing my BR100 volunteer t-shirt. As expected for a Saturday, it's pretty busy. I only work for a little over 3 hours.
3:00pm arrive at the Happy Days visitor center for BR100 volunteer assignment number 2. This is at mile 70.5 or something like that. All the volunteers are dressed in tie-tyed volunteer shirts and there are peace symbols everywhere. After once-again running into the woods to place signs, I settle in and kibitz with everyone. Lots of comings and goings. Once again, I only see the top 10-15 runners come through before I have to take off. At least I helped a little.
5:45pm arrive home and eat a quick dinner with Debbie. I tell her what a wonderful event the BR100 is. I tell her how much I truly enjoy being a part of it. She already knows this. I take a power nap before flying back out of the house.
8:30pm arrive at Boston Store, mile 60 point something. I am to perform a "runner sweep", which means I follow the last runner to make sure they make it on the dark trails. I wait for the last runners to come through. I find it interesting that so many hours ago I was at mile 70 watching for the top runners, and now I'm at mile 60, watching for the slowest runners. Some of them are fine, whilst others are beat. Some drop out. I wait some more.
9:55pm I take off with the last two runners, a husband and wife from Frederickm MD, who are running together. We do a fast walk on the trails of which I'm a little familiar - it's on the Buckeye Trail 50k course. I say running. It was really just a fast walk. And some of it, over the rough trail portions, wasn't all that fast.
11:55pm We arrive at the Pine Lane aid station at about mile 65. We had just come up on a couple other runners, but all of them, including my couple, dropped out at the station. We were still under the cut-off time, but they were sure they wouldn't make the next one. So now I have no one to sweep. I take off running to try to catch the next last runner.
12:15am I catch up to Kim Love from Newcomerstown, the new last runner. She is very upbeat, and is actually walking at a pretty good pace and occasionally jogging.
1:00am Kim and I catch and pass Sheryl, who is now the last runner. I stay with Sheryl, who is moving noticably slower. The conversation is slower as well.
1:50am arrive at Happy Days aid station with Sheryl. It is a beacon in the darkness. She is under the cut-off and although she had been getting prgressively slower, decides to push on to the next aid station.
3:45am Sheryl and I arrive at Pine Hollow, 30 minutes past the cut-off. Only a couple guys stayed to wave us in, and they had removed all the food! Oh well. This stretch from Happy Days to Pine Hollow had been comically difficult. Instead of going around the ledges, we were often routed through, over, beneath and between them, crawling in a couple places. We both supposed that this may have been fun during daylight hours, but was genuinely silly in the dark. It had rained for the last hour or so. As we hung it up, Sheryl thanked me profusely. She had tried, unsuccessfully to finish other 100's, and this is the furthest she'd got.
4:00am I am back at the Boston Store and getting into my car. A guy had given me a ride back here. I'd done my job: 15+ miles of mostly walking on the extremely dark trails, making sure no one was left behind or lost. Now the ride home would be a tired one. It had been one heck of a 24+ hour day for me.

Now I feel like *I* ran 100 miles, even though I most assuredly did not.

And yes, I know. The length of the post also goes along with that title.

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