The week is getting away from me, so I thought I would get a quick post about the “Forget the PR” 50K race this past weekend at Mohican.
I travelled up to Loudonville early on Saturday. After a few stressful days of work, I could not wait to flee into the woods. After meeting up with Don Baun, Rob Powell, the Race Director, and Lucas, we split to mark trail.
For our trail marking, we were using orange and yellow flags. We were also using lime/chalk (the kind they line baseball fields with.) Rob was doing away with the pie plates with arrows. I loaded up the backpack with an extra 20 lbs of chalk, and started marking trail from the Covered Bridge, up to the Fire Tower.
For a well used trail, marking it for an event is not that hard. I mean, if you are on the trail, there is usually nowhere to go. If you step off the trail, you are in the woods.
The trail through here does intersect with some rough gravelled well roads (we have many natural gas wells here in Ohio) so I tried to mark the trail crossings well.
After the climb to the Fire Tower, I picked up my lime that I stashed there and started down the mountain bike trail. For this section, I stashed the music away-this is the mountain bikers trail, and they were out in full force today. The good thing was I was travelling toward them, so I kept my eyes open for the bikers coming downhill.
After trail marking duties, I met the group back at the race start/finish. Luc was just starting to organize the food/supplies for the aid stations, so I joined Ted, Matt, Rob, Michelle, Terri into packing the supplies. More hands make work go quicker.
Around five o’clock, we all kind of look up to see about twenty runners standing in front of us for packet pickup! We weren’t quite ready for so many folks the day before. (I think last year, about five people picked up their stuff on Saturday.) But Rob got everyone squared away.
We retired for the evening to the Race Director’s cabin for pasta and beer. None of us stayed up that late; all of us were either running the next morning or working. I got to the start/finish line at six am to help with packet pickup. Betty Baun and I grabbed runner’s bags when Michelle or Elizabeth Martin yelled out a race number. That movement helped a little to keep us warm, because it was COLD!!!
The 50K and then the 25K got off to their respective starts, and I picked up Autumn, Mike Keller’s daughter, and we made a pitstop at McDonald’s before we got to the Fire Tower.
Fire Tower Aid Station
Same as last year-get everything all organized way too early, and then wait!! Note to self: first runner wasn’t in till 1130 (double check that with Paul’s sheet).
Shaun Pope was first through, and Jay Smithberger was 4-6 minutes behind him. Jay pulled to 45 seconds behind Shaun for the finish!
I amused myself by almost calling the top ten runners through the AS. Vince Rucci was next; then I believe a man from PA that I did not know. Then Justin, and then my neighbor Trevor came through. Beth Woodard, the female winner, was in the top ten!
My friend John Reynolds from WV, whom I will be crewing for the Mohican 100, came through around this time. He was bonking due to not eating, so I let him stand around and eat (and talk too much). But most runners were through the AS fairly quickly. Many of my friends were energized and on course for a PR, so they were leaving the AS quickly.
This year my parents participated again at the AS. Mom made hot potato soup and Dad made his homemade peanut butter fudge-both were big hits!
Right around the cut off time, the last runner emerged from the woods, followed by the race sweep, Matt. (Matt was the one in the kilt.) It was great having a sweep because I knew then that all runners were through, and we didn’t have to worry about someone being left out on the course. Our station was quickly packed up, and I delivered Autumn back to the start/finish.
My goal was to leave fairly quickly, as I had spent the entire weekend away from home, so I did make it out after about a 1/2 hour of socializing. (I really could have hung out for hours!!!)
It was a great weekend. It’s always a good time to volunteer. The weather was cold for the volunteers, but great for the runners. If you have never worked an AS, try going to the other side of the table. It’s good to give back and support the community.