Monday, May 23, 2011

Slinging water at Hellyer

As if working an aid station at Horseshoe Lake wasn't enough fun, I doubled my pleasure by working an aid station at Brazen's Hellyer event. What was going to make this extra fun was that Mrs Notthat and Weird Haired Mom, her squeeze Needs Cool Name, and the two grandkids were all going to participate and I would see them at my aid station.

A bonus fun thing was that Tnarg (not his real name), who has gone with us on a number of hikes, was also going to be there for his first taste of Brazen racing. And of course, there would be a LOT of other familiar faces I would see throughout the day.

I've never arrived at a Brazen race when the arch was not already up - it's the landmark I use to know I'm in the right place. Apparently the generator they use is not a morning person, and was balking at trying to be productive so early in the morning - fortunately Mr Brazen was able to convince it to start working, and within minutes, the arch was up.

The excellently cool bit was that I got to be the one to pull it up! (OK, it's a fairly trivial task that my granddaughter could do, but it was AWESOME none-the-less! Never mind prize money - let the winner of the next race be the official Arch Puller Upper!)

Apparently my reputation preceded me, and the people I was supposed to work the aid station with failed to show in time. So Mrs Brazen grabbed the first people she could find, Ydnic and her delightful kids Nosaj and Anwahs (none of their real names), and we were off.

We quickly found the right spot and before you knew it, we were up and ready to go.

The first really cool surprise of the day was Nna turning up! Mrs Notthat had told me she was going to be there, but I had forgotten that, so was very pleasantly surprised to see her.

One thing that didn't surprise me was Mrs Notthat being in the thick of things. It used to be that she would show up when things had quieted down and all the runners had been through. But not any more - now she is one of those runners in the middle of the pack, pushing, shoving, biting, and pinching her way to a PR.

This picture is interesting for a couple of reasons: 1) Mrs Notthat forgot her water bottle and so relied on the aid stations. Her 6.1 mile run had three aid stations - that's a LOT! 2) The guy ahead of her has a serious drinking problem. (Actually, it was pretty warm and a number of runners dumped water on their heads, but I love this picture and that I caught it by total accident.)

Then came Ynnod, who I had not seen in a long time, leading Ahtreb, who I had also not seen in a long time. Both did the Half Marathon course in stunning fashion.

Finally WHM and Darci showed up (I really got a kick out of making everyone go around that cone, like we were the Race Police and would strip anyone of a medal that failed to do that - Ydnic was very diligent about enforcing that rule, and even better, I'm pretty sure no 10K people got past us and ended up doing an ultra 10K). Darci was very perky at this time - it was her first 10K and she did really well. (Even better, she mentioned that she wished it was a dirt trail! That's MY grandkid!)

A bit later NCN and Riley showed up. Riley was not quite as perky and would have gladly been done at any point. But he did stick it out and finish, which is fantastic.

In theory, Endorphin Dude and Ultra Woof were also going to do this 10K, but after them getting lost the previous day, and having had both of the grandkids already come through the turnaround, I had given up on them showing up.

And then there they were. I was stunned.

This was the first time this family had worked at an aid station (they normally help out at the start/finish line doing a variety of jobs), but they were superstars! There was only one near collision with a runner (there were times when we had a LOT of people showing up at once, and the heat meant they were all thirsty). Anwahs managed to bravely rescue a lady bug that wandered onto the trail (and made up for it by trying to see how many gummy bears she could shove in Nosaj's ear without him noticing - three). At this point there were not many runners left on the trail, and we were waiting for the sweeper to come through.

Mas the Sweeper, festooned with his pink ribbons of glory! We took down the aid station, packed everything into our cars, and headed back to the finish line.

We got there just in time to see Madman Einre coming up on the finish line. He did a Full Marathon the previous day and a Half Marathon in this race. No way a normal person thinks like that. He's so cool!

This is Brazen First Born, helping move the water around in the truck, making sure that everyone keeps well hydrated. (Or maybe she was looking for bugs.) Whatever - I loved watching her keep busy with these water jugs.

The arch came down and it was time to put it away. However, these two skinny guys were not enough to squeeze all the air out. So I put down my camera, and within 10 seconds, there wasn't a drop of air left in that thing.

This is everyone that drove down with Mrs Notthat to this event. Tnarg, on the left, won second place in his age group! He is now officially addicted. Darci and Riley both won first in their age groups (Darci ran in with Mrs Notthat and was cheered loudly the whole way - the finish contained a small victory lap that gave people time to cheer and encourage you as you came in). WHM managed to not aggravate her damaged leg with this event. NCN should have gotten a bonus medal for getting Riley to the finish line.

Later on I saw this picture. The theme of the race was that it was a flat and fast paved course (which should explain why I didn't do it), with a rabbit being chased by greyhounds as the logo. Brazen Hussy Eiram played the part of the rabbit and led out the fast runners (in this case, the guy on the right who is absurdly fast and has a knack for winning these 10K events, Nairb) on her bike.

It was a great day with perfect weather and lots of fun. A huge thanks to everyone that worked so hard to put this event together - it's so great to see so many people with such a wide variety of body types and levels of inner-rabbittness out taking on these events and having fun with it while pushing themselves to finish strong.

That's it - move along...

PS: I've got a few more pictures posted here.

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