We at PCTR put on the Woodside 50k, 35k, 17k, 10k this Saturday. The week leading up to an event is, well, hectic. If you let the fact that hundreds of people are trusting you to make the race perfect with everything from a flawlessly marked course to ample amounts of food at aid stations and post race, you can drive yourself nutty. I wake up at 2am and immediately my mind starts rifling though every detail, details I've already taken care of, ones that need to be done, ones that I missed and can't recoup, and ones that escape the checklist I write and rewrite in my mind like an endless looping song.
|Tim Stahler, sweatshop labor with Pippit cracking the whip.|
After a restless night sleep, I was on the road for the long drive back down to Woodside on event morning. Stahler drove directly from his house in his previously packed vehicle. We got there at exactly the same instant on time at 7am on the nose. He hopped in my truck and we headed out to set up the aid stations. We heard a noise on the winding drive up the mountain and I glanced back to see this:
|Luckily, there was no damage. We got a great laugh out of it too.|
I scrambled around trying to do ten things at once. Check-in was backed up with the lack of manpower and I was forced to delay the start times by 19 minutes for the 50k, up to nearly 30 minutes for the 35k and 17k. Embarrassing but unavoidable. It won't happen again. I hate not starting on time.
Things evened out and calmed down a bit once everyone was out on the trail. These events seem daunting when you arrive at the race site, then, suddenly it's nearly over after a blur of 8 hours of activity.
Later in the afternoon, Stahler and I had the opportunity to sweep part of the course and were grateful to have the offer of help come from none other than (the best free solo climber in the world, bar none) Alex Honnold. I hadn't noticed his name on the list but he participated in the 10k and was waiting for his girlfriend to finish the 50k (she won the women's race and was 3rd overall). Alex headed out and took care of the ribbons and any trash (there wasn't any!) on the unneeded section. Thanks Alex!
The last runner finished just as we had packed up everything and were being nudged by the ranger to get out of the park at 5:15pm. After the long drive home, the unloading would have to wait until the next morning.
After unloading everything the next morning, Stahler and I made yet another trip down to Woodside (about 9 hours of driving alone in the 48 hour period…) to sweep the course. This time I was savvy enough to assign myself about 10 miles of course to sweep. After picking up every ribbon and, pleasantly surprising, finding no trash, we drove back, had a big lunch and enjoyed the last two hours of the weekend.
Thanks to the wonderful volunteers, Scott Dunlap for helping out with registration, La Sportiva (and Mike) for their support and presence, Stahler for his level, sharp mind and indefatigable assistance. Especially, a giant thank you to the runners. I had a terrific time watching you folks enjoy the beautiful trails.