Lined up they look like Pan Am sterwardesses-back when you had to be gorgeous, smart and efficient to get the job. Megan, Amanda, Heather, Sophia (me), Allison, Faith, Donna and later another Megan and Theresa.
"Baby wipe for you face?" Allison.
"Let me fill that pack." Donna.
(without taking off the pack, we filled- FAST.)
"Stomache issues? Here's a ginger chew."
And so the day went. We grabbed, filled, dished and repaired.
"Thanks ladies. You all are incredible." Over and over.
4 different races. 2 different start times. The epicenter of the race was Land's End, with two passes per loop. An added bonus this year, the half marathoners turned around at Land's End.
" Alright everybody, listen up! We now have runner's with all four races coming and going in each direction. Awesome." Kurt.
(Kurt's back is to you in the black and blue shirt- he's yelling directions.)
The buffet style aid work shifts to an atmosphere of an army MASH unit.
40 miles and 100k are a long way. It can mean a lot of mistakes, especially in a race that attracts many first timers. But it also gives the runner a lot of miles to fix their mistakes with the correct instruction.
"Sophia- come over here- this guy wants to quit."
I headed over to assess.
A firing of questions results in learning the runner needs salt.
"Take two S-caps, head to the next aid station- take two more and we'll see you back here in 10 miles."
It worked- he left and was back stronger for an even stronger finish.
This constant re-grouping and evaluating of runners was exhausting but fullfilling. It pushed my skill as an extreme extrovert to the limit. And it was fun.
"Do you want to touch the buckle?"
I'd worn the Free State 100k buckle, just in case we had a runner who wanted to quit. However, this ended up being just a fun interaction with Lloyd Lantz one of my favorite local runners.
During a lull in the craziness, I noticed we were getting low on Pringles and decided to send Megan for more from the finish line, so Kurt could continue his love affair with the red tube of Pringles that was now sporting a fake mustache.
"I brought fake mustaches for everyone." Danny. I put one on and found it a bit hot, eventually it found a home on my signature cowboy hat. Danny's ended up on the Pringles after posing for this photo with my bearded Armenian friend Seroj. Man #3. Holding the package of fake stashes, I looked over skeptically.
"I guess you don't need a fake mustache?"
"I don't need a fake nose either, Sophia."
Later I jumped in and paced my friend Erin for 23 miles on her first 100k. She ran a smart, planned race and didn't need much help. Still the friendship and commaraderie of a pacer is always a welcome lift.
After her finish I went back to Land's End.
3 years ago