Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Keys to the Last Frontier

The Keys
Saturday I spent the day in the Florida Keys volunteering for the Keys 100 Ultramarathon.
This was the third year I have volunteered for the event and, once again, it was a great day!
I really can't imagine the mental strength it takes to complete 100 miles all by yourself.  These participants are total rock stars.
My volunteer "job" is working at the Mile Marker 60 aid station.  The Mile Markers on the Keys start in Key Largo and go down as you get towards Key West.  So I see the runners when they are 40 miles into the race.  My aid station had water, ice, electrolyte drinks, ginger ale, boiled potatoes, salt, pickles, PB & J sandwiches, chips, fruit snacks, first aid "stuff" and the like.  I didn't bring any of those things, the race provides it all.  I just show up and help out for 7 hours.
Everything seemed to be a hit.  The runners especially liked the potatoes (what a great idea!), chips, ginger ale and the pickles were also a hit.  And when I say the pickles were also a hit, I mean I thought they were a hit.
Dill pickles that are like little gerkins... omg.  So good.  Don't worry, there was PLENTY for the runners.
One runner actually had cans of beer in his drop bags along the route.  Just sat right down and popped open a beer.  He said that all the Ultras in europe have beers at the aid stations.  Interesting approach to ultra running... and quite frankly, one that I could really get onboard with :)
Not really, but beer and soda are two things I crave after long runs.
Most of the runners this year were in extremely good condition and spirits when they reached mile 40.  There were blister issues for some, but on the whole everyone was doing well.
Only one guy dropped out at my aid station.  Poor guy... I felt bad, but his feet were too blistered to go on.
If I haven't said it enough before, volunteering for races is awesome!  It really can be just as exciting as actually running in a race.  Give it a try!

The Last Frontier
Amazing picture of Anchorage I got off of Facebook, but I am not sure of the actual source.
Tomorrow I am heading up to Alaska!
Four days and nights of fun in one of my favorite places ever!!  I use to live in Anchorage, so it will be great to see some old friends.  Good times ahead.
I'll spend most of my time in Anchorage, but am also planning quick day trips to both Talkeetna & Girdwood.
One thing I am really looking forward to is the 18 hours of daylight.  I love how the sun doesn't set in the summer!  It gives you so much energy, it is just the best.  Just checked online and sunrise is at 4:50am and sunset at 11:05pm - awesome!
My friend Annie, and I were originally thinking about running the Trent-Waldron half marathon on Saturday, but ultimately decided against it.  I have not been feeling the long run lately and really I just want to eat, drink and be merry during this little getaway!
Work is dddrrraagggiiiinnggg today.  3 hours to go.
My danskos and fleece are super excited for "their" trip tomorrow :)

1 comment:

  1. Wow - what a setting for an ultra! And very interesting to hear what you had at your aid station. I'm now starting marathon training and my big worry has been What do I fuel with?? Maybe I need to a) learn to like beer and then b) have people ready for me on the course with beer?!?

    Have fun back "home" in Alaska!!