Sunday, August 08, 2010

The 100-Mile Party

Suzanne Pokorny is the volunteer coordinator for the Burning River 100-Mile Endurance Run. She's done it for a couple years now and by all accounts does a wonderful job of organizing over 20 aid stations and hundreds of volunteers spread out over the 100 mile point-to-point course. This year Suzanne worked her usual wonders of organizing everything, but then went on to run the race. Who would step in for her on race day itself? Hmmmm. I couldn't think of a good enough excuse not to, so I became Volunteer-Coordinator-For-The-Day.

It turned out that Suzanne did such a great job ahead of time that I wound up doing precious little more than show up at each aid station and ask if they needed anything. A few did, so I actually did add some value. Most of the time, however, I felt like just the window dressing - just appearing and accepting at least some of the praise for a great event.

Actually, RD Joe Jurczyk, Suzanne, and all of the other volunteers deserve all the accolades they can get. At least they do get some - mostly from the runners, who have been just about unanimous in their praise for the race and the volunteers.

Each aid station operated like a small city with it's own mayor (the aid station captain). They all took their jobs very seriously, yet managed to inject a great deal of fun into the event as well. That's why I call it a 100-mile party. How better to spend 30-plus consecutive hours of a weekend.

It was actually more and less than that. More in that I had arrive in Willoughby Hills well before the 5am Saturday start, and I had to be on hand for the awards over an hour after the 11am Sunday finish. Less in that I unexpectedly managed to break away for a 3-hour or so nap during the night. Joe was, of course, extremely tired and losing his voice, so I took over the announcing duties. That was a great deal of fun - seeing everyone, including many that I know - cross the finish line in Cuyahoga Falls all night and morning.

Does all the enjoyment I had make me want to go and, for the second time, do such a thing myself? Not on your life.

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