Crewing at ES 100

I am not 100% new to crewing since I did crew a friend at Devil Dog last December, but this was a very different experience for sure. This time it was for a friend who I coincidentally reconnected with at Devil Dog after not seeing him for a good 10+ years. Funny how running connects people!

Anyway, that's not the point. this time around crewing was for the Eastern States 100-miler. ONE HUNDRED MILER. Seriously. So incredibly boss.

Brian, Bekah and I met at my house Friday afternoon and drove up to the race site about two and a half hours away. There was no cell reception- just a bunch of crazy people there to run and crew  their friends in the mountains. We pulled into the start/finish area where packet pick up was being held. Brian got a cool backpack with all kinds of ES100 goodies- shirt, socks, and a hat! I didn't really get any pictures of this area because it was raining pretty hard when we got there. After Brian got his packet, we headed to find some dinner. Our options were limited, but the place we picked had good food and we were STUFFED. 

I am not sure why, but I can seriously never get enough of pulled pork BBQ... who's with me?

After  eating, we headed back to the camping area to set up. Unfortunately, the  free camping lot was full so we had to figure out what to do! As we were trying to turn around, the rest of our crew which included Brian's brother, Eric, and their friend Haley showed up behind us. We saw that there were others camped out in the main parking lot and decided to set up there as well. We spent about an hour getting the tent up (mostly Eric and Haley.. they are pros!) and things organized in the vehicles for the next day. 

Once we were satisfied, it was time to get some sleep! After all, Brian was getting up around 3:30 am and the race start was at 5am and it would be a super long day (and night and day). 

The next morning came pretty quickly, but there were breakfast sandwiches and coffee so we hit the ground running. Well Brian was running.. we weren't...yet.

Blurry attempt to get a picture of Brian before the race. I did get one of him eating.. but I didn't think it would be too nice for me to post!

There they go! Brian is the orange and blue blur.

Once the runners were off, we all headed back to clean up our camp site and pack into the cars.  We were off to the first crewed aid station which was around the 18 mile point for runners. 

It was getting brighter and I was immediately enamored by the view of the mountains and the fog.

Just trying to be artsy. 

Sun kept trying to break through.

All. the. fog. 

So mystical.

Not fire, just the sun behind the fog.

I couldn't stop taking pictures. This isn't even all of them. I mean, what else was I supposed to do while I was waiting? 

There was also a pretty cool observation deck that we went up on once the information building was open. Bekah and I may have also had a little fun in the building.

Owl be honest.. it was pretty neat building and we had a little fun goofing off. (I crack myself up)

We headed out to the balcony and made a friend who took our picture for us

We are so amazing we even color coordinated.

Back to the race.. why we were there after all. 

The aid station had all kinds of yummy snacks and drinks for the runners. We watched all the first runners come in and once we thought Brian would be coming through, we got out an assortment of snacks and fuel that he brought. Once he arrived and we got a chance to check in, I got a plate of food for him- pickles and bacon were the first things on the plate of course!

Coming into the aid station

Chatting and filling everyone in. 

Brian hung out for about 10 minutes or so to refuel and then headed off on the next leg of his adventure. It would be a while until will saw him again with a little over 20 miles until the next aid station that could have crew. 

After Brian left, we once again packed back into the vehicles and headed to the next aid station where we would have lots of time to kill until we saw Brian again. Bekah and I went to talk to the people at the aid station to find out where runners would be coming in as well as a timeline of when they expected the lead runners to arrive. They told us it was probably going to be almost 2 hours for the leads, so we knew we had around 3 hours until we could expect Brian. 

Bekah and I decided to run the trail not far from where we parked, but quickly ran into another woman. She said she had run down the path and there was a very large tree blocking you from going further; she was worried about trying to get around it on her own so we headed back to that area to see if we could find a way. I wish I had my phone with me to take a picture of how HUGE the tipped tree's root system was. There was no safe way around it and we headed back to the main road. 

We hadn't run as far as we really wanted to, but stopped to talk to some other crew members who were running. They told us that the actual ES 100 course crossed the road about a half mile up so we went up to find it and ran that section and came out at the aid station. After we were done, we decided we were hungry and it might be time for lunch!

Bekah and I walked down to the aid station and set up our chairs so that we could watch for the runners as they came in. I think we both took mini naps and at one point decided to walk back to the car. We stopped to talk to Eric and before we knew it, it was pouring. Bekah ran back for the chairs and we camped out in the car, hoping the rain would quickly pass. It did not. 

Eventually, we decided we better head back over to the aid area so we wouldn't miss Brian. 

While we were waiting, we saw some interesting things. Like this fabulous shoe. The runner said that it busted shortly after the last crewed aid station nearly 20 miles ago. He kept running.. like a BOSS. I'm not even joking. 

When it started to rain again, we saw this guy.

He wasn't letting the rain stop him from catching up on his reading. You can't make this stuff up.

This was taken for Brian so he could see how dedicated and amazing we were. It can also double as our resume for the next one.  

Next thing we knew, Brian arrived and it was time to do our crew thing. The funniest thing I remember is probably Eric putting more oreos on Brian's plate every time he wasn't looking. That's a man dedicated to making sure his brother consumed enough calories (and gained 10 lbs) while running an ultra. If that's not love, I don't know what is.

Sadly, my recap of the event ends there. I had promised my oldest nephew a glow run 5k and the only one that worked for our summer schedules was the same night. I said my farewells to Brian and crew and headed home. I continued to stalk Brian's progress until he finished the 100 miles. I had no doubt he would do it, but it sucked not being able to be there to finish the crewing job and help my crew mates in shifts of pacing. A promise was a promise and I did what I had to do. I told Brian when he does another to totally count me in.  I have said it before, but crewing someone to help them reach an amazing goal is like no other experience and is something I do enjoy doing. I don't think I would do it for just anyone, but for a good friend it's totally worth it.

So once again, huge congrats to Brian for kicking that 100-milers butt and although I couldn't stick around for the whole shin-dig, I am so glad I got to be there!! 


Popular posts from this blog

HempPro70 Giveaway!!

PRO Compression Giveaway!!!!

Into the woods