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.