"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Sunday, May 3, 2009

2009 Runnin' In the Ruff Report

Psyche! Didn't race.

I volunteered this year, directing traffic at "confusion corner." The course was dry this year and the temperature warmer than I've ever had for racing there. The competition was tough as usual; the winning time was 34 minutes, which for a trail 10K is phenomenal. I'd see the first guys skittering, barely making a sharp turn and think, "I remember that! Oh, I want to do that again." I may return to short races next year for a change.

I was also formulating my next big plan that's not running related. I may have to cut my blogging down when I get serious enough.

The trees were not as full as they were an hour south, though it changed even during the day, as mild temps rushed spring along. At my post, there were all kinds of marsh birds and the signpost I stood by had a chickadee nest, the residents of which took hours to get comfortable enough with me to enter. I saw a flycatcher and tried to memorize all the field markings, as I know there's at least one I haven't seen on my lifetime list; it was a Least Flycatcher, the only one that migrates to here by May. Weighs about as much as a nickel, if you can get one to land on you.

As the only person directing traffic, I felt guilty that so many of the 2 Mile runners went the wrong way. None went wrong where I was; they needed one more volunteer - still, I feel responsible. Perhaps, when I told them to "stay to the left," they took it to mean not just through the intersection, but through the whole next section - they made a left turn when they should've gone right. I went back over the course and there was a sign pointing the right way.

After the last runners went by, I pulled out my NY Times crossword puzzle and completed it, in ink, while walking back to the finish. That is, all but one space, where "ansa" and "aetat" crossed. C'mon! Who knows those words?

If you think volunteering is a thankless job, I was thanked by at least 20 people, from the race director, to the first 10K finisher, to the last 2 Mile finisher - not by any who went the wrong way, though. Good to see so many familiar faces, including Dan and Jesse, who'll be trying their first 50 mile next week.

Seven weeks, seven race reports:
1.) Ron Daws 25K 2.) Zumbro 100 Mile 3.) Trail Mix 50K 4.) Chippewa Moraine 50K 5.) Runnin' in the Ruff (volunteer) 6.) Ice Age 50 Mile 7.) Superior Trail 50K.

Guess I need to volunteer at the Stillwater and Minneapolis marathons the next two weeks, to fill the gap before the Kettle Moraine 100 mile!


keith said...

A break might be in order! Thanks again for volunteering. You did a marvelous job.

Beth said...

Hey, I'm volunteering at the finish line for the Minneapolis Marathon. Sign up! I'm sure your volunteer work was much appreciated.

Mark said...

I ran the race, and I'm not sure I said thanks for volunteering, so I'll do it now. Thanks!

Jean said...

I need to run this race again. Last year was so wet and slow, and it would be fun to get revenge on that course! :)

A great find with the least flycatcher. I have only seen the eastern phoebe this season. Good to know those little guys are returning.

Best wishes at Ice Age!