Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What can I get for you?

On Saturday Gail and I volunteered at the Mt. Ray aid station for the Where's Waldo 100k. We both got off work Friday and then headed up to Oakridge to spend the night. With a short 30 minute drive to the aid station early Saturday monring we were ready to go. With runners from the early start getting to us just after 7:00 am. I was given a "meet and greet" assignment, which means when you came in I asked "What can I get for you?" I tried to think what I would want as a runner and then asked those questions. Gail was at the drop bags helping each runner get there bag as quick as possible. My goal was to make them all smile, feel good about themselves and get them back on the trail as quick as they wanted too. It was great to talk to some of the elite runners and see what was working for them. Meghan and her chocolate milk is one that really surprised me. Gail was amazed to see one of the elite men stuff a huge snickers bar down in less than a minute and wash it down with a Red Bull! Whatever works is what I have found out.

We were done at the aid station by 11 am and Gail and I got changed for a run of our own. We went down the trail toward Bobby Lake on the advice of Kate at our aid station. When we got 4 miles or so out we ran into Kate sweeping the trail and Meghan Arbogast's husband at a T in the trail. We sadly found out that someone had sabotaged the trail markers and many of the leaders ran the wrong way. I can not believe that someone would do this. Many of the leaders ran numerous extra miles and ended up dropping. Allot of runners did more miles after they figured out what went wrong. Well Gail and I continued on to Bobby Lake as Kate had said it would be a nice run around the it. We got to the Lake and turned right following a trail. Well as we trekked on the trail got smaller and smaller. More logs across the trail. Gail kept saying "are you sure this is the trail" "Yes" I replied, "out here they don't get much use." Well about 20 minutes later you could hardly call it a trail anymore. We were having to walk allot just to go over the dead trees. Next thing you know there really isn't a trail anymore. We are fighting our way through deep woods. Gail thinks the trail is up the hill so I hike up a bit and look. No trail. So we keep going...across dried out bogs and super thick small trees. I am getting nervous but as long as the lake is there we will make it back. As we crossed a small bog area I saw bear tracks. "Mommy!!!" We kept going. Finally Gail said "I'm going to walk up a bit, I still think there maybe a trail up there" "OK fine, go ahead, but I tell ya...there isn't one up there" One minute later we walk on to a really nice wide trail. Opps! Oh well....I guess I should have asked the birds for directions after all! After over an hour walking through thick forest we were back on the trail heading for the car. I missed another trail turn later and added about a mile to our planned run. We ended up doing a bit over 13 miles but quite a few of those were exploring the woods of Bobby Lake! Gail's nickname if Detour. She got this one night from taking a wrong turn in Forest Park and our running group looking for her for about an hour. This one was all my fault. Later I told some of our new friends from the aid station about this. They then called me "Detour two!"

Gail and I drove to the finish were we got to see the leaders finish. It was a great time and I introduced Gail to the Finish Hugger, Olga. She was having a grand time handing out the prizes and greeting each finisher with a big smile. We only stayed 45 minutes or so and then headed back home. Gail and I both thoroughly enjoyed our time and hope to do it again soon.


olga said...

I like that name:) It was great to meet Gail and to see you around. I am loving all this volunteering stuff more every day (if it's possible). Hope to show up at McKenzie for it!

Sarah said...

Sounds like a great time, even with a little bushwhacking detour! So are you going to run Waldo next year? : )

Bret said...

Yeah Sarah it was a great time. I almost signed up for Waldo this year but I wasnt sure if I could handle 60+ miles and it was sold out before I got my first 50 miles in plus its a pretty hard race anyway. Next year I probably will. Hey Portland Marathon clinic is having a 20 mile training run saturday morning at 8am. Its all on pavement but it runs the marathon course...I have done it the last few years. Its free and starts at the marathon start. I will be going for sure. Gail is doing Hood to Coast. Come join...its pretty good time.

Sarah said...

Thanks for the invite! But I'm going to hit the trails for probably my last long run with Sharon before she moves. Next time for sure.