I want to make sure that you, along with the volunteers know how appreciative I am for their compassionate help. I’m not emailing for a big response or anything, I just really want the volunteers and you to know how much I appreciated everything they did!
My husband and I were literally the second to last people to finish. NOT what we were hoping for, but have had a few physical setbacks the past few months, I’m having major ankle surgery in a few weeks, and it was a nightmare juggling our two young kiddos with family trying to train. Even with this lackluster result, we are still pretty damn proud we finished…BARELY. Damn mud!
I truly believe that we wouldn’t have been able to finish if it weren’t for the volunteers at the aid stations. I have completed more races than I can count, but nothing to this extent. The volunteers made sure that we were refueled, restocked, cleaned up, and as comfortable as we could be.
Oberg Station there was a taller man with red hair and goatee (I think). He was so incredibly helpful, insistent; and the initiative he took grabbing my hydration pack off my back and filling it up, throwing food/water down my throat and giving me electrolyte tabs in plastic baggies to keep with me was enough to make me believe that I could keep going. On the way back to the finish I had a little mental freak out session, and this man told me right to my face to go and that we will finish. Although I honestly didn’t think so, his blunt but compassionate “get outta here” tone of voice was just what I needed.
Sawbill Station there was a guy who had a beard and sunglasses, and didn’t talk much 😉 He was all over my husband and I having things ready before we even knew we needed them or had to ask. He brought a chair over for me to sit on while we wiped our feet off and changed socks, he grabbed food, water, everything we needed. It was him as well who gave me a little jolt of “I can keep going”.
This was our first ultra, I swore I would never do another one, but you know how it goes….you forget the hell you went through and want to do another one. I am eager to sometime (not too soon ha!) to redeem myself some year. You organized and put on a wonderful, wonderful event. I want to thank you for the opportunity to push myself a million times farther than I thought was my max.
As for the volunteers, even though we were dead last, I felt like everyone treated us as if we were in first place. I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for everything they did and said! Again, it was truly them who got us physically fueled to the finish. It means so much. Thank you again!
I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know how much I appreciate what you do leading up to and during the races. This was my 5th time running one of the two races, and it is a special weekend every year for me. You have given me an opportunity to really connect to a very special place. It is easy in our society to avoid doing hard things, you have helped countless people break that cycle and learn that they can do hard things. Don’t underestimate the power of that in every person and that persons family. You embodie this northern trail running community and for that I am very thankful. I can’t imagine how you are feeling at this moment but remember all the lives and whole communities that you have impacted for the good. Thank you!
I competed for the first time in the Superior Spring Trail race yesterday. It was a tremendous experience. Here’s why: Volunteers: To a person, each volunteer was outgoing and enthusiastic. On my best day, I am a middle-of-the-pack runner, but from the enthusiasm at the Oberg turnaround, it felt like I was a pretty big deal. Even at the check-ins / packet pick-ups, the volunteers were pleasant and quick. Organization: Everything went very smoothly and as expected. The quality and variety at the aid station was great. I thought the finish line was going to be a cluster since it was in a small space, but was pleased with how efficient everything flowed. The only fault I could find was the chili being empty for an extended period, but, on further reflection, perhaps this was a blessing in advance of the five hour car ride that afternoon. Participants: You cannot choose personalities through a lottery, but it ended up being a great group of people. Lots of encouragement from other runners. There were a few people who threw gel wrappers on the trail (I picked up 6), but that is out of your control. Trail: I have backpacked a little bit (CDT, GET) and it still humbles me to come back to my own backyard and enjoy the Superior Hiking Trail. This section is perfect for these two distances. I hated climbing Moose Mountain with a backpack and it was just as difficult in a Trail Race. (I’ve donated $ to the SHTA over 5 years in a row.) It was a great route for a run, but on Friday it was a great hike through the woods. Please pass along my thanks to the many team members and volunteers. A great experience!