The day went very smoothly at our station with the exception of terrible radio communication with the race directors, something we had to remedy by texting and calling for most of the day. We were lucky enough to have some pacers at our station who were all really great and helped us out tremendously until their runners arrived. One of them was pacing one of the lead men, so we lost him early but not without getting the scoop on what it's like at the front of the pack. The leaders were very spread out this year, and the lead runner was minutes ahead of the next guy, but by the finish #2 guy was almost 15 minutes ahead of previous #1 guy. That kind of uncertainty doesn't happen in road marathons. I had to keep track of each of the runners (all 195 that started) and was able to tell the leaders how far behind they were. Just like last year, families and crews gathered at our aid station, making it a busy and fun place to be. I recognized Nikki Kimball's crew (one older man in a wool sweater) from last year as he lined up her bottles of water, coke and other mysterious concoctions. Nikki wasn't in the lead this year though, Annette???? came through before her and ended up winning the women's race. I was happy to see that there were 4 women in the top 20 finishers. The trails are the ultimate levelers of the playing field.
Plenty of bloody, beat up runners came through during the course of the morning, most of whom were having a good time despite the crazy hills, rocks and technical trails. A few dropped out at our station after an injury or just plain undertraining knocked them down too many times. I was impressed by everyone who made it that far! 28 miles on a very difficult course is worth being proud of. I hope they're able to walk normally soon.
Thanks to everyone who made the day a success, I love this event and I'm grateful for my friends who came along at the crack of dawn for this adventure. Congrats to all of the finishers as well, wow that's an awesome accomplishment.
You ought to think about joining me next year!
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