Friday, October 2, 2009

91.7 miles and 33 degrees

Gail and I were not quite ready to run a 100 miles so we decided to volunteer for Oregon's only 100 mile race, "The Hundred in da Hood". The race is similar to the PCT 50 mile in July except the runners go farther south on the PCT after coming back to the start line. Gail wanted to make sure we worked an AS that was late in the race. She wanted to learn from the runners about that last part of 100 mile trek. So Olga gave us the night shift at the Warm Springs Meadow AS at mile 91. Perfect!

So we got to the AS just before 7 pm. Our friends Sarah, Marc and their son (LG) had worked hard earlier in the day and did a fantastic job of setting up the tent, tables and the rest. They were the 40 mile AS as the runners continued south. Our AS was set up on an old dirt logging road that was about 15 miles south of the finish line and 4 miles off the main road. We were definitely in the woods! They left us their stove and pot which we thought was to be provided and that turned out to be very important later that night.

As it got dark we thought we would soon see our first runner. Our Ham Radio operator "John" was monitoring the position of the runners heading towards our AS. At 8 pm the leader came in. He stayed for a bit and ate and drank quite a bit. Soon number two rolled in just as one headed out. Two then decided "I'm OK" and went out right behind one. Ah the race is on!

The runners then started to stream in through out the night until dawn. We probably never went more than 15 minutes without seeing anyone. We boiled water, made sandwiches, refilled the cups. Just all the usual AS stuff that we all take for granted. We had one runner come in so badly hurt I had to drive him back to the finish line at 2 am leaving Gail to handle everything while I was gone. But of course she did a great job on her own.

We were surprised how upbeat most runners were. I expected to see folks just hanging on by a thread. But I only saw that a couple of times. Boy you guys and gals are tough!!!

Finally I could see the sun starting to come up. We figured we would have to stay at this AS till 9 am or so. We had some very cold runners who DNF'd at our AS. We put them in our car with the heat on. Soon they got rescued by crew members. We packed up some stuff and Gail headed back to the finish. The last runners came through around 8:30 or so. I had to tell one guy a couple of times how fast he would have to run to finish under the cutoff time. He was a bit woozy and hopefully he figured it out.

Soon Susan and Bob the Sweep team came through. They were cold so we warmed them up with tea and coffee. When they left we broke down the camp and ensured we left zero trash behind.

At the finish we talked with some of the runners and Olga. Soon I headed out for home. Gail still had to drive to Seattle that night. Later I figured I stayed up for 29 hours straight. I can not tell you the last time I did that in my life? Maybe never? It was crazy but I had a great time. Thanks Mike and Olga for a great race. I will do this again next year, either by running or the AS. But I will be back!
(Pictures up later as I am out of town without the camera)