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RR 100 Miler (Part I)

Posted February 5th, 2013 at 11:05 AM by Black Spurs

The race season ended with a mixed bag of great victory and agonizing defeat. I didn’t think Rocky could be any more of a rewarding experience for me than it was last year when I finished it after overcoming a great deal of adversity. I was on top of the world. With the start of the new year, I decided that my number one priority would be to help others achieve the same milestone I was fortunate enough to achieve last year. And it was going to start with getting my brother through his first 100 miler.

My plan was to work the start/finish area and make sure I took care of him when he came through. My “get-him-across-the-finish-line plan” started with one cut off before the 6AM Sunday cut off for the last loop: Get out of the S/F for loop 4 no later than 10:30 PM Saturday night.

Initially, I was only marginally excited about working the S/F line. But once the race started, we got to work. The aid stations at this race are top notch. They are organized; they have what you need; they get you in and out quickly. The first runners came back through very close, to slightly under, course record pace. I knew things would probably slow down for loop two because the temps were steadily rising. I started looking for ice. I have been in a long race where the temps were much warmer than they were at this race, and I had no ice. It can be (was) devastating. However, we had ice. Someone asked me to grab one end of the ice chest, and we carried it over to the tables. We had one AS veteran who wanted to protect the ice. We’ll call him the Ice Nazi. He chastised workers for giving too much ice. He seemed determined to limit the amount of ice distributed and tried to dictate which receptacle the ice was to be delivered from… A couple of times, I politely just took the pitcher from him and poured ice into the handheld or hydration bladder that was put in front of me. Eventually, I explained that we had plenty of ice, and it was not a “zero sum” game: We could get more!!! Plus, once night fell, the need for ice would be very low. Soon, the AS manager showed him that we had plenty of ice to replace the ice we used and assured him that no one would be left without access to ice. We would get more if we needed it. This calmed him down to Ice Nazi Sympathizer status, but he had trouble trying to control his desire to manage the ice distribution. Ultimately, his concern was for the runners, and he wanted everyone to have access to some ice. And I understand that, but when a runner asks for something, you give it to him/her, especially if it is there for runners. It all worked out; everyone got ice who wanted ice.

We were rolling runners through very well. I was enjoying myself a great deal. I would laugh and joke with folks. I introduced myself to a few people I knew from Facebook, etc. We were having a great time. As the clock ticked by, I was concerned that my brother was well behind where I thought he should be for loop one. I told him between 4:15 and 4:30 for the first loop would be good. He rolled in at 4:45. He looked good; he said he felt fine. I chastised him a little, and told him he needed to pick it up just a hair. His reply was that I should just relax and let him run his race… Ok. And off he went. Somewhere along the way, I noticed a runner with a breast pump. I hope I didn’t look too long, but I was rather surprised by that sight. It turns out that she was running and pumping milk for her infant who was with a lady at the S/F line. I am not making a judgment about it; I was just not expecting to see that.
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