Pemberton 50k, Aid Station Volunteer Report | Posted: 2008-02-12 08:18:12 | 4729 hits | View in Hi-Fi Mode

Rockin' the NYC Marathon shirt at the Pemberton 50

Saturday morning, I put in a few hours volunteering at an aid station the Pemberton 50k over the weekend... and I've gotta tell you, it really was a good time. I'd never done that before, so it was kind of rad to have the chance to help out.

My act wasn't totally without self-interest. I've gotta pick up about twelve hours of volunteer time, preferably in the running community, to fully qualify for the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 in July.

Could be worse, right?

So... I showed up at the race out in the McDowell's at 6:00 am, threw on a headlamp, and casually jogged out to the aid station at mile 5 / 20 (Pemberton is a loop course.) I'm so bad with names, but my fellow aid station volunteers were both fairly talented ultra runners sitting this one out for various reasons.

As the sun came up, we got everything in place. We had a full selection of junk food -- oreos, fig newtons, m&m's, gummy fruits, etc... plus some healthier selections, potatoes with salt, for instance.

It was a perfect day for a race... it started cold, before dawn. As the sun came up, the coyotes started howling around the valley and the temperature dropped further. Luckily, as soon at the sun really started to rise, it warmed up nicely. I think it ended up in the mid 60's over the course of the morning.

The first herd of runners came through all at once. The leaders, those guys made it look easy... it's just a pleasure to watch 'em run. Saw a bunch of folks that I know in the crowd, filled up water bottles and whatnot. For the most part, people were looking pretty strong at mile 5... the ones that weren't, we pretty much didn't see 'em on round two.

After that, there was a long pause. The leaders wouldn't be through for at least another 40 minutes, so I took a little jog myself, covering a little bit more of the Pemberton Trail. Not my favorite trail in the world, maybe, but a great place to hold a race. It certainly delivers a good variety of terrain in a totally runnable way.

By the second lap, folks had spread out considerably, so we had a steady stream of runners come through over the space of a few hours. Some of the folks from WMRC rolled over the course the opposite direction of the race, pretty much just to taunt people and "document the pain." I think 106 people ended up finishing the race.

Not a bad way to spend the day at all. Got in some good runs, met some nice folks... can't beat that.

I'm taking it a little easy this week -- my left ankle feels a little off, so I'm trying to rehab a bit. Nonetheless, I'm going to run the Lost Dutchman Marathon this weekend, but take it nice and easy and slow slow slow. My training philosophy leading up to Zane Grey is to try and run 50-60 miles a week, basically do something of around marathon intensity every weekend. I've started swimming again and have really started eating well.

We'll see how it goes, eh?


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