Sunday, February 26, 2012

Post Oak Trail Run Day Two

Day two at Post Oak is done.Today's races included a marathon, half marathon, and a quarter marathon. Last year, these races were mostly pavement. This year, they were about 60% trail, and 40% pavement. I could deal with a ratio like that! But my job again today was manning an aid station.

Trail running superstars Stormy and Edward were back with me, along with Brynna, and Susan. Christi jumped in after she ran her quarter.

We set up shop just as the sun came up, but probably could have slept in an hour later since we were at mile 9.5 on the course. But we cranked the 70s disco music up, and the party atmosphere was going full blast from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The early start full marathoners started at 7:00, the regular start time was 8:00, and the half and quarter started after that. The early starters typically are a little slower, and the first of them hit our aid station about the same time the faster runners caught them. To tighten things up even more, the quarter marathoners only ran about 3 miles before they hit us. All runners went past us onto the road for 1.5 miles, and then came back through. We had about a two hour window where we had throngs of runners coming from both directions. It was an aerobic workout getting cups into the hands of runners who sped through like they were chased by mad dogs. I guess we accomodated them though. If I have any complaints at all, it was all the cars coming through crowds of runners at our aid station. Maybe something can be rerouted next year.

Today, we had pancakes, sausage, breakfast tacos, cheese quesadillas, and grilled cheese sandwiches. This is besides the long rows of the standard trail race aid station fare. One normal staple at trail races is boiled potatoes rolled in sea salt. Problem is, a few of our potatoes were practically uncooked. I love me some boiled potatoes especially when it is getting a little hot. But hard cold, raw, and crunchy will not work. So, master-chef Brynna cut them up, and sauteed them on the griddle. WOW!! They were amazing! Notice the lemon behind the potatoes. The dark spots are cloves. We were told to put them put by the food and that they repel flies. I was skeptical, but they WORKED!! We did not use them yesterday (we should have), and although yesterday it was about 6-8 degrees cooler, the flies were moving in on the food later in the day. Today, with the lemons, we hardly had a fly at all--just one big pesky horse fly.

After all the half and quarter marathoners were done, all that was left was the full doing their second lap. I had a bit of breathing room, and was able to take a few pictures. Ken Saveth, Wilma Harris, and John Parris are on their way at about mile 12.

After our aid stop, the half and quarter had the Hill From Hell--a .75 mile climb that ascends around 400 feet that stikes fear in many a runner. The full marathoners veered off about a third of the way up, and continued on a different loop, but got their serving of the Hill From Hell to finish their race.

I love trail racing, because you see all kinds of people. Where else could you see the tattooed hairy bald man without a shirt? Priceless.

The day wore on. Notice Susan and Brynna slaving away. They worked non-stop for a solid nine hours today. Not that the others did not as well, but all of the yummy cooked food came from them.

My Tuesday Night Crawler buddy Wes cam to hang out with us after his half finish. Wes did the 25K yesterday, and between the two days, got a little sun.

Same story for Channing, another Tuesday Night Crawler. Channing wore a hat, and sweat enough salt to fill a shaker.

Wes and I decided to get some bonus miles in. (Bonus for him--I had not ran all weekend.) I wanted to check on Ken Saveth, so we ran the course backwards until we came to him. I am guessing we got about 5 miles in, and I really enjoyed the trailz. They are in much better condition than they were the first two years at this race. Br brought Ken into the Disco aid station, and left him to do his out-and-back before his final .7 mile climb. As the runners behind them made their way through, we gradually packed things up, leaving all the tents, tables, and some of all the essentials until the final runner made it through. Then, like teamwork, we had it all packed away in a flash, still in the party mood. Again, I cannot thank my help--Stormy Phillips, Edward Snow, Susal Westmoreland, Brynna Schelbar, and Christi Davis. We also had a couple of ladies who came to help, and in the madness of things, and my neglect, I failed to get their names, so my thanks to them may seem generic and not sincere, but I truly am thankful for the non-stop help in handing out water and Gatorade, and filling hundreds of cups.

Finally, some footage of the Wild and Crazy Guys. Some of this is from yesterday, but some is new. Enjoy.

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