Dustin and Michaela and I travelled down Friday afternoon and enjoyed some drinks and food with 15 other volunteers and Julie Fingar the co-race director this year. By the time we actually got to bed it was really late as in close to 10pm I think. I had a early day on Saturday as Michaela and I were volunteering at packet pick up and needed to be ready to go by 4am.
Lucky for us it wasn’t too cold at 4am. We arrived at Lake Chabot and quickly helped unload and get the packet pick up area set up. Soon the early start runners were trickling in and we were busy. There were plenty of volunteers helping us at packet pick up and soon the time flew by and we had to leave to get our aid station set up.It took about 30 minutes for us to reach our aid station and when we arrived it was still pitch dark out. I had half of the aid station in my car while Dustin had the other half. Michaela and I quickly got to work unloading my car and setting up what we could. I pulled out my table and started cutting up the potatoes and bananas. We also set up the water jugs. Now all we had to do was wait for Dustin and the early starters.
Getting the aid station all ready
The early starters started coming in and we helped them as best we could soon Dustin arrived and we all scrambled to get the rest of the station ready for the runners. As we were finishing setting up the front runners started flowing in. Just as soon as we had our table all ready it was whipped out. It was nonstop from the moment the front runner came through. More PB&J, more water, more Gu brew, ahh crap we need more snacks. But we held it together and with the help of Daisy and the stellar crew we managed to get the runners in and out in no time. We were a smooth running aid station, well that is once we found our groove, which didn’t take too long. We are all experienced runners and we just jumped in and did what was needed. It was all very exciting and at times overwhelming.
Once the rush came through we were able to get everything ready for the next wave and we also enjoyed a few beers. Soon we were applying sunscreen and getting into the super hero costumes. As that was the theme of our aid station. It was a lot fun, but also a lot of work. I have a new appreciation for all the volunteers.
The second half of the day was actually really busy. We had waves of runners coming into the aid station. Sometimes it was one and other times it was 5-10. Our aid station was rocking the super hero theme and it seemed that all the runners appreciated it and some even managed to laugh. We were nonstop once the second wave of runners came through, but we were all rocking our super hero outfits.
I am truly grateful that I was able to be a part of this event. I enjoyed helping out my fellow ultra trail runners and most of all it helped me regain my passion for running. After my last race I had fallen into a huge funk and by volunteering it helped bring me back. Again, thank you to all that volunteered at Fire Trails and if you haven’t volunteered at an event I would encourage you to do so. For more pictures go here e earlyFOr more piFoFo
It was a awesome day, but I was exhuasted afterward. Very glad I had this opportunity to give back to the ultra running community. What an experience!