Wednesday, May 12, 2010

North Face Endurance Challenge

North Face Endurance Challenge 50 miler
Bear Mountain, NY
May 8, 2010

SSetting up the food table before the runners arrived. And a great shot of our furry volunteers for the day- a retired seeing-eye dog/therapy dog and a search and rescue Shephard. They belong to the great medical crew who helped out.
The leaders... wow they were running close together. They barely stopped for anything.

^OMG, it's Nikki Kimball in the flesh. What an inspiring woman, check her out. I believe when I saw her I said, "holy shit, its her."

Beam me up, Scotty. I had to stand in ONE spot to get radio transmissions through, it was so goofy.

Plenty has happened since my last miserable, cold and strep induced post! First : I got antibiotics for strep throat which worked their magic in about 12 hours. Penicillin: the most amazing drug on the planet. After about 4 days I began to feel normal again, whew. I got back to running last Thursday night with the group and a cameo by NYCBklynGirl for the start of her hill training for The Race That Shall Not Be Named (Pike's Peak Marathon) (I've dubbed it Voldemort and it stuck).

On saturday morning I woke at 4:30am and EG and I stumbled over to the garage to pick up my zipcar. We met BklynRunner (MJ) who drove up to meet us in my hood (after a scenic drive down Willis Ave in the Bronx, oops.) and drove down to meet my good friend, NM who was rather perky for 5am. We crossed the George Washington Bridge as the sun rubbed the sleep from its eyes behind us. We were off to Bear Mountain, NY for the North Face Endurance Challenge. Nancy was running and the rest of us had an aid station to organize and man along the 50mile course. I was really excited and a tiny bit nervous because I put this whole thing together and wanted it to be fun and a success.

We got checked in, met up with MR and AQ and hit the road to Camp Lenowa, where we would spend much of the remainder of the day. It was pretty busy from that point on... We arrived, set up (which included MJ making PB&J sandwiches, everyone cutting fruit, filling bowls with gummy bears, candy, chips, pretzels, potatoes with salt and anything else you can imagine!) Once the tents were set up, the runner's bags were lined up (we were a drop bag point) and the GuBrew was mixed, we waited. And waited... Where were those crazy runners? When the first guys came through we stood in awe of their speed and amazing calves before remembering to cheer as they bolted away. Wow, mile 27.7 and they looked fantastic! The runners trickled in and then came in waves, but it was steady work for hours! We filled bottles, gave morale boosts, fed them, helped them out of their soggy shoes and sent them on their way. All along pacers were showing up to join their friends and many of them were kind enough to help us out with filling cups, slicing fruit, etc.

My main duty for the day on top of helping wth the food/water was tracking all of the runners and attempting to keep track of what time they came through our checkpoint. At first it was simple, a few runners here and there, but before I knew it they were coming in droves. I felt like we did an amazing job as a team making sure everyone was accounted for. It was really crucial that we know who had come through in order to make sure no one was left on the course. I had radio chatter in my ear all day from the event director, Nick and the other aid station captains on the status of certain runners, need for supplies and other misc, but important info. In the end we were able to provide info on a few runners who hadn't been makred down at the previous aid station but did get marked down at ours. Small victory for us, but it saved the event staff from worrying about their whereabouts.

I finally got home around 5:30pm aftera helluva day. It is a good thing that I reserved the zipcar for much later than I thought we'd need it! A few moments of rest and I was up and out the door again with bike and laundry in tow. Hubby and I packed up and went to NJ for the night and for Mother's day. In some cruel twist of fate we had plans to meet the family at 8:45am for breakfast on Sunday. Wow, that was tough. My legs felt great, but the rest of me felt like I'd run the 50miler! Thank god for coffee.

Special thanks to Elyssa, Michelle, Ashley and Michael for coming out and making the day a complete success. I talked to Jim, the vol coordinator, on Monday and told him I'd be back next year for sure!!

It was so gorgeous when we got to the finish, I could have stayed all day.

All photos are courtesy of Elyssa G. Thanks!!


  1. Great post. I 100% will be back with you next year Aimster. Even though it was a lot of work, I had so much fun with you guys. We are a great team and worked so good together. Plus, I got to eat some gummy bears. :O)

    HOLLA me next year!!!!

  2. Thanks for organizing a station this year. It was a ton of fun - who knows? I may be running one of the races next year?? Note: 99.9% sure it won't be the 50 miler.

  3. So cool! I love volunteering and being on the other side of the table. I'd just have to resist all the tasty snacks :-)