After several weeks in a row where I did a race, it was a bit unusual to encounter a raceless weekend; unusual, but relaxing. I was able to concentrate on simply running longish run on the towpath. I did 14 with Larry Orwin, and then 4 more on my own. That was the furthest I'd gone in a while.
During the run, we discussed Larry's experience at the previous week's Burning River 100-mile run. I had also been talking with other BR100 Warriors. I absolutely love hearing those great stories.
Larry's may be even more poignant than most. He had gotten married to Christine the previous day. His family was visiting from out of town (I met them when they came into the store), and they were able to attend the wedding as well as to help Christine support Larry during the race. The race itself did not go as well as Larry would have liked. Even though he was very well trained, the extreme mud during the race caused some severe foot problems, and that caused him to have to drop out.
What struck me, however, was the team support that he and other runners received. He had Christine as well as those family members to help get him as far as humanly possible on this day. Besides hearing about this from Larry and others, I was able to observe it myself from my position of race volunteer.
For each of the past four or five years, I've done some sort of volunteering at BR100. I am always very impressed at the team support that the runners get. The family and/or friends make it their mission to help their runner keep going. And the runners themselves depend heavily on these folks; they understand how much they need them. You can witness this at many ultra marathons, including the one I'm in charge of: the NorthCoast 24-Hour Endurance Run. It's simply amazing what a team can accomplish.