24 hours

After getting back home from the Scottsboro Half marathon Saturday night I volunteered at Operation Endurance. Operation Endurance is a 6 hour, 12 hour and 24 hour race that takes place on Fort Benning and benefits the House of Heros foundation and has an amazing race director. Now some of you might remember I had toyed with the idea of particiapting in this race as my first ultra. But I delayed and delayed and delayed registering. And then I got tendonitis and had so many races and .....bascially I am a chicken shit. The idea of running around a one mile track for 24 hours was just too much for my tiny brain to handle. So instead when asked if I could help out I gave it some thought and figured I was due to volunteer. I have run a butt ton of races with a ton of volunteers who have helped me get to every finish line. It was time to repay the debt. Plus I was curious. 24 hour ultra runners are a different breed all together plus Buddy was running it so I wanted to cheer him on. 

So from midnight to around 7a.m. I worked the aid station. I grilled some grilled cheese. Heated some pancakes. Made a lot of cup o' noodles. Tried to keep everyone movin. Feel asleep in my chair. Tried not to freeze to death. Ate some potato chips and gummy bears- what I had to stay fueled too. I would say if you ever want to be inspired...with a side of crazy....volunteer at an ultra race. Ultra runners are amazing. The will they have to keep going espescially on a loop course through some not so great weather this time is amazing (hello wind advisory not cool). The craziest thing to me is how many people were just using the race as a training race for some other unbelievable distance coming up in the future. The other thing that was amazing to me was how nice everyone was. You know they had only been running longer than I have ever run in my life but they were all please and thank you and thanks for being here. I have a sneaking suspicion besides crying ( I am just assuming at some point I am either a) goning to really regret the life choice that has brought me to whatever mile mark is my breaking point or b) be super happy about finishing...or stumble upon an aid station with just the right mix of candy and the tears will flow) my othe major emotion during my first ultra may be bitchiness. Not sure, but have a sneaking suspcision based on how I react when someone wakes me up from a nap or if I am for some reason kept up past my 9p.m. bed time. I am not all sunshine when I get tired..... the point is ultra runners are amazing!

I am super happy I volunteered and would recommend doing it if  you ever get the chance. You will be inspired! I also learned that if I am going to do a 50 miler...or even a 100 miler (what! that is just insane) that I need to go somewhere. Either bigger loops or a point to point. Congrats to all the amazin runners who rocked Operation Endurance! You are all amazing!

Comments

  1. I love that you volunteered, especially during these brutal hours. Your lovely smile would keep me going - not that I'd ever be crazy enough to run 24 hours round a track!! Your ultra will come soon enough - just pick one with great scenery. In Northern California, for example!! x

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