Saturday, October 11, 2008

Life at the Firetrails Finish line...

Wait a minute, I hear you asking-- weren't you supposed to be at Firetrails today? Why does this picture look like people are getting ready for a wedding?

You're looking at the age-group and finishers awards for Firetrails. Yes, welcome to the Bay Area, where wine glasses are given as finishers' awards and the winners walk off with specially-made bottles of wine! (All about promoting healthy behavior, these running events...)

Anyway, I obviously wanted to be running this race, and finding out that the awards would be something I'd actually use (I only need one coffee mug in my life, but I can ALWAYS use more wine glasses!), I was even more annoyed at not running. Besides, if I had a wine glass with a trail race on it, it might actually remind me to drink less rather than more, because I'd be reminded that I might run faster if I drank less... or not. That could still be an area for later exploration. Doesn't need to happen right now.

Back to the subject at hand. After signing people in for the Golden Hills Trail Marathon (half of Firetrails 50-- started at the turn-around point), I got a ride to the Lake Chabot finishing area where we got all the awards organized and set up, and then waited around for people to start coming in. I was charged with keeping track of the first place awards for the various divisions, so I got to see who came in first, etc.-- it was a different view than I usually have in races, I can assure you!

It was a really good day-- would have been better if I was running, but I appreciated getting to see a different side of racing than I normally do. I definitely gained an appreciation for volunteers and I think I will probably be volunteering more in the coming year, whether or not I am capable of running. It definitely pointed out how much volunteer power is needed to put on such an event, and how much better people are able to run when there is strong volunteer support at aid stations, etc.

Cool things about the day? Let's see... Again, Kelly managed to post a fast time and serve as an incredible role model. Second woman overall, and first in the 50-59 age group. Like I said before, it makes me look forward to all the running ahead of me. Likewise, my fellow Aussie-owner running pal Julie also ran well, and I can't wait to get out with the pups again. Despite a painful muscle in her leg, Jo Lynn finished the trail marathon-- how
about doing AR50 in the spring, JL? Rick ran a great race today, taking almost an hour off his last year's time, and managed to look fresh-as-a-daisy for this picture.

This was a great way to stay positive and focused about running. I really wanted to be out there, and it reminded me of why it's important to keep doing core strengthening right now, and why I want to make sure I do all the physical therapy exercises I'm assigned (sometimes difficult for people with a lot of energy and a predisposition to lose interest in things fast). Ann and Carl are also wonderful people-- full of encouragement and support for all the runners. (They also have an adorable Aussie (maybe a mini?), Zoe, who ran around all day herding Ann and generally getting love from anyone and everyone she saw.)

Can't wait to do this race next year, but for now-- congratulations to all who ran today!


Rick Gaston said...

It's funny how off the field we are soooo healthy with our drinking and eating. Take this race for example; wine, chilled beer in the coolers, burgers with cheese on the grill and ice cream.

Yeah volunteering is a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to working at SF24 in a couple of weeks. Anyway Firetrails is my favorite 50-mile event. They do such a great job and have such a awesome post run bbq. People hangout and eat. The last couple of years the schwag bags have been amazing too. They could charge more for this race and you'll still get your money's worth, more.

Jo Lynn said...

I looked forward to seeing you at the start AND finish yesterday. Thanks for being there. And, doesn't everyone have a painful muscle in their leg when running a trail marathon? :)
Mucho better today. What month is AR50? I want to do a 50-miler for my 45th next year (May).
Thanks again Victoria.

Victoria said...

AR50= April 4, 2009.... not exactly May, but it could be pre-birthday celebration, right?

Victoria said...

However, we also have the Mt Diablo 50-miler in April as well (someone told me while running Ohlone for the first time that if I ran that, I'd be ready for my first 100...). Then, if you're feeling truly ambitious (which I don't think I will be) AND manage to get into the race, the Miwok 100K is on May 2nd. On May 10th is Quicksilver, in San Jose. (I could possibly be talked into doing that race too, although AR50 doesn't have a lot of elevation gain/loss, which could be nice.) So you have a plethora of races to choose from!

Jo Lynn said...

Sheesh, that is a lot of choices. I already know I'm not doing Diablo 50 miler. I will *consider* the marathon there. I paced Catra on that 50 miler and BLAH is all I can say about that. :)

deconstructing pam said...

i think it sounds like a great way to spend the day~ especially since you weren't able to run. i had a wonderful time recently when i volunteered at my first PCTR event (the skyline to the sea ulta) it gave me a chance to get a feel for what a lovely community of trail runners we have here in the bay area, even if i may never run an ultra myself:)

Derek said...

Those are some great looking awards!! Good luck with your recovery and can't wait to see some of your race reports with you running!!