Sunday, March 9, 2014

Post Oak Challenge aid station's perspective

It's been a while and I'm normally not this late in getting out race reports, so I guess this report is DFL--much like a lot of my races.

The Post Oak Challenge is a 2-day event where trail runners can run a DOUBLE. Only a trail or ultra runners understands the will to do two hard races on consecutive days--it's an oddity to some casual observers, and lunacy to others. The POC has your choice of a 50K/25K/10K on Saturday all on trailz, and your choice of a marathon/half marathon/quarter marathon on Sunday on a mixture of trailz and pavement. I did the big double the first year, and it is super tough. The past 3 years I have worked aid stations which is a blast. It's fun to see to the needs of friends as they push themselves.

The different distances are sent out in waves, and on day one, we had quite a bit of wait time til we saw our first runner. We had the privilege of seeing every runner, and the 50K runners twice,

I had fantastic help, with Susan Melon Westmoreland and Mishelle Hancock by my side. Our aid station was well stocked with goodies provided by the Post Oak staff (thank you Charlotte Lindley) and we also brought some goodies of our own.

Jello shots were a favorite. Nearly everyone who knew we had them through on e back. They were yummy, and were a lot like a yogurt cup where the goodies were on the bottom (wink.) The dude at the bottom left was having a big dose of one of our other goodies--CHOCOLATE BACON!!!

Nice crispy salty bacon dipped in a hard shell luscious chocolate. Melon cooked up 11 pounds of bacon, and it was all consumed. And I helped! (to the point of having a tummy ache)

We had such a great time and were out until the last runner came through.

Day two, my station was very near the start/finish, and we serviced only the marathon runners at their halfway point. It was bitterly cold, but the sun shining made it bearable. The chicken soup was a hit, but only for the mid to back of the pack. The front runners checked in and out very fast. My aid station was done and picked up by 11:00 am. I then made my way down the big hill to the point where my aid station was the day before. Monty Python and the Holy Grail was the theme.

Picture stolen from Wes Rupel
Stormy, Brynna, Edward, Christy, Phillip, Sarah, and Wes had this place under control. Runners came through and headed out on the road for an out-and-back, then headed up the Hill from Hell. Directing traffic (cars and runners don't mix well) was a big responsibility, and there were no mishaps. 

This is Holmes Peak-the tallest hill in a 3-county area, and the course goes up and over more times than most runners wished. Here, a GOATz friend Ron Ruhs practices a "Hurdle the weak, trample the dead" philosophy.

Picture stolen from Ron Ruhs
And the payoff for running tough but beautiful trailz for two days in a row--bragging rights, a cool tech shirt, and double bling. It doesn't get much better than this.


  1. Thanks for everything you guys did and continue to do for trail running TZ! Great to see all of you again...

  2. I have to say that you had the finest aid station I have ever seen. I passed on the chocolate bacon but I did try a jello shot and it hit the spot. It might be the reason that I even finished the race.

    Thanks for the aid station and I wish you a speedy recovery from your procedure.