Burning River 100 Mile Volunteering-Course Marking

This year marked th 2nd annual running of the Burning River 100 mile race. While I love ultras I am not yet crazy enough to try and race 100 miles, so in order to give something back to this community I love so much I try to help out as much as possible at this event. I think it is a great race that really highlights the amazing running scene in and around Cleveland and it takes a lot of people to get this race off the ground and running.

Volunteering efforts start long before the race weekend. People have to get together to make sure the course mileage is correct, permits have to be lined up, course markings need to be made, volunteers for race day need to be lined up, food and drink need to be purchased, shirts printed, medals made, and the course needs to get marked.

This year I helped out with course marking, captaining an aid station, and pacing a runner the final miles of the race. It was a lot of hours but I loved every minute of it.

My volunteer efforts this year started with helping to mark the course. I was approached by fellow blogger Meghan to pace her the last 8-15 miles of the race. Since I have never run that section of the course I decided to focus my volunteering efforts on those miles to get familiar with the course. The Saturday before the race I went out with DH, RH, and a few friends to mark from the Chuckery to the finish. Marking takes a long time since you can't really run and we try to have streamers always visible, so there is a lot of stop and go. But with our large crew we handled the section pretty quickly averaging about 30 minute miles.

Course Marking Photos


Most of our marking did not get vandalized on this section but when marking up to a week ahead of time you risk people tearing down markers. There was plenty of that this year and many volunteers had to go back all week to check markings and remark when necessary. Thursday night I went out with DH and we marked the towpath from Bath to Memorial on bikes then ran the trails to O'Neil to check on markings. We went so quick that we did Friday nights markings too and I saved myself the worry of leaving DH without help on Friday. It was fun to help and I was glad I got to see this section of the course so I would be ready to pace Meghan.

4 comments:

cyclonecross said...

It was cool seeing you out at the GC Tri this last Sun! I was inspired later that day to run 10mi with my gf, Sadie (I don't think run more than 5mi since '97 and my last 'long' run was the Susan B. Komen 5k last year). The legs were a little sore that night and the next day or two, but overall it felt pretty good. I really can't imagine running 100mi. Biking just seems so much easier.

-gb

duchossois said...

I love the trail marking photos. Reminded me of the many hours we spent doing the same. I have to admit, walking the trails gave me a chance to appreciate the beauty in a way you just can't when your running.

If I don't run it next year, I will work it again. It was a great experience.

Sensationally Red said...

I don't know...I can see you running one of these crazy things in the future, but it's fun to aid and abet their insanity in the meantime. You have so much energy!

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