Sunday, November 7, 2010

Volunteer Fun at Potomac Heritage Trail 50K!

Just because I'm not in racing shape doesn't mean I had to miss out on all the racing fun from this past weekend. With Mountain Masochist, the 100k World Championship, Pinhoti 100 miler, and NYC Marathon all taking place this weekend, there was hardly a moment that this ultra dork wasn't checking for online updates and split times. To help cure my racing jonze, Lizzy and I headed out to help volunteer at the Potomac Heritage Trail 50k on a beautiful day in DC!
Yes, it was quite cold out, but did I remember to wear gloves? Of course not.

The excitement of working the Mile 17 & 21 Aid Station kept us busy and distracted from the cold all day as 100 runners came through our oasis twice.

For added fun, this race has a few "Time Bonus" opportunities. Since runners had to pass through our Aid Station twice, we offered up a 10 minute bonus for anyone who could carry an egg (intact) over the 4 mile stretch of trail before they returned to our Aid Station the second time.
 Many took us up on the Egg offer, and all but a couple succeeded. It was safe to say the runners had a much easier time with their task than the guy in charge of getting everyone's splits as they passed through. Good help is so hard to find!

 As the sun went down and the last of the runners made their way through our stop, the cold was clearly telling us one thing...
Time to go home and sit in front of the fire!!

It was, indeed, a fun day working at the race yesterday. As much as I love running these races, I also enjoy being on the other side of the clip-board too. I know without the great volunteering spirit in the ultra world, none of the races I like to run would exist. It always feels good to give back a few hours of time to help give this great community of crazy people a reason to run outside on a freezing cold Sunday morning!

Yesterday also marked the completion of my first week of running again. The point of my 5-week break was to rest and recharge my body in preparation of a fun stretch of training over the next few months. The great news is not only do my legs feel great now, but I also don't appear to have lost too much speed either. Sure, I'm not going to blaze through a 50 miler any time soon, but it feels good to be able to cruise at a 6:30 or 7 pace without feeling like I'm working too hard on shorter runs. I expected Week 1 to be much more painful than it turned out to be. Of course, the last time I ran before my break it was still 90 degrees in DC, so I think the shift to 50 degrees helps put a little extra giddy-up in everyone's step this time of year!

The training continues this week, and as a Super Huge Highlight this weekend, I'll be heading down to Richmond with my friend Amelia to run her first marathon with her!  As a really good swimmer back in college, I seem to recall her thoughts about ever running a marathon falling somewhere between "Not in a million years" and "Not in a billion years".  So, technically-speaking there WAS a chance she'd run one someday. I couldn't be more excited that it's finally happening this weekend, and I'm super-psyched that I get to run it with her! I wonder how I can convince her to run a 100 miler...hmmmm...


Amelia said...

You are too kind! I think I could be fairly accused of having said, "Never." Just shows how much I know! Now I can't wait for our marathon adventure. People celebrate finishing marathons with champagne and ice cream, right? Or is the proper thing cottage cheese, broccoli, and responsible stretching exercises?

Dan Rose said...

Oh, there will be a celebration alright! Champagne and ice cream can surely be had, just be sure you don't put both in your mouth at the same time. The whole scene will immediatley turn into a Elementary School Science Fair volcano project.

Trust me, I speak from experience.

Chris Roman said...

He's back :) Have fun next weekend!!

Brian Schmidt said...

I am late in responding to an earlier post, but suggest you run Grindstone in October. That race suits you very well.

Dan Rose said...

Schmidty -

Grindstone is definitely on the radar...although I'm pretty sure my entry will just mean another dude for you to smoke on the way to defending your title. Congrats on that great run, by the way, you kicked some serious a$$ out there!