After my failed attempt to run last weekend, I switched to a DNS on the Buffalo Run this year and switched over to being a volunteer. I figured it would help me with my disappointment and depression over missing another race after all the times that occurred last year.
I worked for a few hours on Saturday morning and then headed up to the race. As I was driving I started getting a little melanocholy thinking that it was one year ago that I DNF’d on the race course and remembering how that broke my heart at the time.
I ended up out on Antelope Island around 2 p.m. because they said they would need more volunteers near the end. After visiting for a few minutes, I started trying to find ways to help out. The finish area was running out of water and the White Rock Bay aid station was closing down, so I hiked over there (only a few hundred yards) and shouldered one of the full water jugs and hobbled back with it to the finish area. It was pretty funny, here I was congratulating runners on finishing their incredible efforts and yet a lot of them were worried about me walking around in a boot. By the time I had taken three trips back with water, I was pretty soaked. Then I taught the aid station how strong sports drink was supposed to be. They were watering it down so much nobody wanted to drink it.
I then noticed that the 50K runners were having to walk back uphill to the White Rock Aid station to get their drop bags, so started several trips that the volunteers then joined in with me on and carted back all the bags. The last trip back a couple of runners came up and took all the stuff from me. They said they were tired of feeling guilty about me hobbling around in a cast.
Lots of runners to visit with around the finish area. I talked with Celeste Collman for a while and also Twinkies (Matt) and Jun (Craig) from the FRB. I also met Steve P from the blog for the first time. Matt was looking great for having finished a 50 miler. I saw Celeste shivering in a chair at the finish line while waiting for her brother and went and got my blanket for her. She was excited to have it since she had lent her blanket to someone else.
While taking a break for a minute, I heard someone say, “Maurine, what did you do to your leg?” I looked down and there was a cute runner huddled in a chair by me. I knew who she was, but couldn’t put it together. It was Erika from the FRB (Josse’s sister). We visited for a little bit and then I realized the woman sitting next to her in an awesome green hat was her mother, Karen, who I met at the RHPC half marathon last summer. We visited off and on as I passed them for the next half hour or so.
Jim Skaggs, the Race Director, sent me off in his wife’s BIG TRUCK at that point to see if there were items to pick up at the Lower Frary Peak and Ranch aid stations. That is one honking big truck to climb in and out of. After that, Karen Skaggs mentioned that maybe I could start taking garbage to the dumpsters. The previous year there had been three dumpsters in the next parking lot. I loaded up the inside of my jeep with smelly, oozy disgusting bags and set off. Found there was only one dumpster and it was already full, but I was able to get a couple of trips worth on top. Then we loaded boxes (a lot less disgusting) and I found another dumpster at the old race start and did several trips there until it was full. At that point I said I wasn’t putting any more of the leaky bags in my jeep since it already was gross and smelled like rotten milk.
During some of these trips I was able to see Dave Crockett finish the first 100 miler on the island. He had started at 6 p.m. the night before and ran the 50 mile course twice. Very impressive!
As things started closing down we started gathering up empty canisters and such. I was put on emptying water jug detail, another garbage run in the BIG TRUCK across the island to Bridger Bay, and taking down the tents. By then we were all tired and cold and the poles were freezing! There were only about 8 people left and we were rushing to beat darkness to get the tents disassembled and finish loading the trucks.
I was sent home with two big bags of Buffalo stew and my car smelled gross the entire way home. It was the first time I left the island after dark. I stopped at a McDonalds to grab dinner and went into the bathroom to scrub my hands after all those hours of carting trash and to clean up all the scrapes and cuts so that I wouldn’t get infected. I got home around 10 p.m. and still had to scrub out the car, hose down my shoe and cast/boot and then hose down myself.
Although I didn’t do an official workout, every inch of me hurts today and I will estimate I probably walked 3 or more miles on various tasks.