Yesterday, I had the good fortune to volunteer at the Trail Mix. It provided an opportunity to look at a trail race from a totally different perspective.
I had decided to not to do the race back in March when I signed up for Chippewa, I wasn't sure how I would fare in back to back races. So after Chippewa, I remembered the email from Lynn that they needed extra volunteers so I went ahead and offered if they still needed help.
Lynn said yes, so I committed to volunteer and then recruited my wife to come along. We got there a little before 7, got checked in and then we were headed to the north aid station but they had more volunteers so our services were offered up to the south aid station along with Londell. I almost felt like I knew Londell since I have been reading his blog "Time to....." for months. He has posted a good summary of the race on his blog. So I will add just a few quick thoughts.
We arrived at the aid station as the first 50k'ers came through. It was great to see the enthusiasm and energy everyone had. The energy did drop a bit on each lap but the smiles and attitude of the 50k'ers did not. Since I don't know too many of the 50k group (or any running group since I run alone), Londell was filling us in on the runners he knew. Plus he was lobbying that I sign up for the Superior 50 which I said I was considering then he proceeded to explain why I should do a 100. How the running at night is almost peaceful, he also mentioned getting lost, needing multiple Garmin's and many other little things that I would need to figure out.
The neat thing about the trail mix is that you get to see the runners multiple time so you also get to watch them battle themselves and the course as the day wears on.
I agreed with Dean (aid station leader) that every runner should take the time to volunteer, it gave me additional insight to the joy of chatting with runners and volunteers along with the stress when things might run out or you are afraid you can't keep up. As a volunteer you definitely appreciate those that smile at you and look like they are having fun.
Based on this experience, I will double my efforts to remember to say thank you and to give a smile.
All in all a fun day.....................