By Carol Patterson
Don’t feel like running a 50K? 100K? Need a day off? Feeling a little low, bunky?
Lift your spirits: VOLUNTEER to help those your fellow trails mates and have a wonderful time doing it. Aid station (AS) work is a fun way to support and give back to your friends and our running community – from whipping up a “witches brew” of electrolyte solution, to whacking a watermelon (or 2, or 3…) to making beaucoup peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and finding someone strong enough to open that dang jar of dill pickles.
I drove from Reno down to Foresthill the morning of the Canyons Endurance Run. The DPMR team of volunteers assembled at the Foresthill School at 6am, Our AS, “Cal 2,” was at the bottom of a seemingly endless bumpy dirt road down into the American River canyon (thank heavens for 4-wheel drive!) We jumped in the cars of those brave enough to drive down to Cal 2 and immediately got to work setting up tables for food and drink and erecting the DPMR tent. The really heavy stuff (water, tables, tent) had been transported to our clearing the day before. When we arrived around 7am, we burst into action – setting up tables mixing drinks and prepping the food – fruit, Gu, pickles, chips , PB&J’s, candy, etc.
We were ready!!
About 8:30am, the first runner came through; by 10 -10:30am, a deluge of runners had come through so we were way busy filling and topping off water bottles and speed prepping those PB&J’s and whacking watermelon. Things slowed down, then we got another rush around noon.
During the lull, we discovered that Kelly was a butterfly whisperer… they flew to his hand, posed on his hat and generally hovered around the man!
A park ranger on horseback came through around 1pm and let us pet her horse. Apparently, the horse enjoyed running with the runners and was not spooked at all!
By 1:30 or so, the last runner and sweeps had come through so it was time to tear down our set up. All loaded and back up the bouncy road to Foresthill school where the 50K finish line was and a party going on.
What a great way to meet and get to know fellow runners – a retired doc, a gal who ran a shoe store in Sacramento, our dear DPMR president, some techies, a retiree, our communications guy who gave up his very own PB&J for runners as we ran low.
I’m so glad I had/took the opportunity to “work” the AS and hang with my tribe-mates…..it was also a good excuse to stop at Ikeda’s in Auburn and take home a pie!
Be a part of the volunteer fun at these upcoming events:
Broken Arrow Skyrace: June 17-19
Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Runs (at Diamond Peak): July 16-17
Pt Mariah Trail Marathon: August 6
Ultra Trails Lake Tahoe (UTLT): October 1-2
Also- stay tuned (at the DPMR website/calendar) for upcoming trail maintenance opportunities with the Truckee Donner Land Trust and with the Truckee Trails Foundation. DPMR proudly supports and maintains the Mt. Judah Loop and the Emigrant Trail and will be hosting several upcoming trail work days.