So the next best thing (and it really is almost as fun as running in the event), was volunteering.
While WHM spent the morning registering runners, I spent it with Yrral (not his real name) fitting a LOT of cars into the parking lot.
I knew Einre (not his real name either) was going to be there, and sure enough, here he is all bibbed up and ready to go.
This picture sort of shows how many cars we were able to fit into that lot before lining them up along the side of the road. An interesting thing that I should not be saying out loud and SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS NORMAL is that, the later you showed up, the closer you got to park the start/finish area.
Of course, you had to actually show up to be able to take advantage of parking of any sort.
I knew of three people that were going to be there running the race: Einre, Endorphin Dude, and Ultra Woof. It turned out there was a bonus person I knew that showed up, but I never saw her and she never saw me. I did manage to get this picture of Enirehtak (130) as she streaked off of the starting line, but it was a total accident, and I didn't know it until much later.
Once the cars were parked and the runners registered, WHM and I set up the pass-through aid station.
The main course was an out-and-back Half Marathon. As the Half runners came in, we had to keep them moving through to the finish line, which wasn't always easy since we had lots of good stuff at our little buffet.
As the Full Marathon and 50K runners came in, we would fill their water bottles, store their bonus clothes (it really warmed up a lot - all this sunshine seemed to catch a few people, like me, by surprise), and send them back out for their second lap.
The one odd thing was that nobody had seen Endorphin Dude or Ultra Woof. This hawk was circling for hours trying to locate them. (EDude has been fighting a knee injury, so he wasn't going to do the Full as planned anyway, but they had planned to be there to do what they could. I mean, who would pass on a chance for race food and camera opportunities?)
This is just past our aid station - the finish line. And soup!
Waiting for runners. Plus, there were a couple of running groupies that were hanging around, waiting for their squeezes to come through the area.
Still no sign of EDude or UWoof, so we sent out the coyotes to track them down.
Einre finishing his first lap. He did the Full Marathon (and then a Half Marathon the next day - the guy is not right in the head, but in a really good and fun way).
Another trail running groupie. Actually, one of the women waiting has a tradition of taking pictures of her guy finishing races with this gnome making a guest appearance. It was odd and fun to see this thing, which got moved around a lot, showing up in a variety of places.
The groupies turned out to be paparazzi.
Just before our aid station, there was this creek crossing of sorts. I loved how this bird took advantage of it in between runners.
One bonus of volunteering at the race was that I got this great, subtly-colored running hat! (Honestly, this will come in handy when search and rescue people come looking for me at some future race.) In this picture I am all ready to cheer on EDude and UWoof, but it was not to be. Apparently their Google gave them bad directions to the place, and they ended up a bit lost somewhere just south of Oregon.
And that's about it. I like working aid stations at events like this since the runners are almost always fabulous and all about having fun. Time goes by pretty quickly (well, OK - there can be some lulls in the action, but you need them to recharge yourself and to perform a bit of Quality Assurance testing on various aid station goodies).
Plus I now get a free race in the future. I haven't figured out what that might be yet though (I have a hard time looking more than a couple of weeks ahead), but there are a number of attractive races to choose from. And thanks to all the Coastal Trail Run people for making this fun and providing everything we needed.
I can vouch for the quality of WAY too much of the aid station food.
That's it - move along...