This past Saturday I volunteered to be the aid station at the Pali Lookout for the group running from Kailua to the Nature Center and back--a long 40+ mile day. (Having done this run last August, I know how long the day is!) I was told to expect the group around 2:00 p.m. so I thought I would get there a bit early just in case there were any gazelle's with the group who might be ahead of schedule.
The Pali Lookout was typical for a strong tradewind day--in other words chilly and very windy. Along to help were Barbi and Sara, as we planned to run with the group--in for an hour or so and then return to the lookout. Due to Barbi having a bit too much fun at her party Friday night, she was really in no shape to run and this was confirmed as soon as we reached the Lookout. You can ask her if you want the details.
We waited and waited for the group and I was a bit concerned. Had we gotten there too late? I didn't think so as I remembered from my August run of getting here about 3:00 or 3:30. Did something happen and they have stopped somewhere? Are the trails in that bad of shape? Lots of questions and no sign of the group. I moved the cooler and other items over against a wall to try to get out of the wind. Meanwhile Barbi and Sara were both napping in my truck.
Finally I decided to call Steve and sure enough they were just coming into the parking lot at the Lookout at about 4:00 p.m. It was Steve, Gil and Cheryl. They seemed to be in good spirits and enjoyed the aid. Steve's son, Jakob (8-years old) was joining them for the remaining trip back to Waimanalo (11 miles). I learned that Jeff and Bob had run to Nature Center and ended their day. I also learned Gordon was the early speedster and ran to the grassy knoll at the top of Nuuanu and then returned on his own. Sounds as if Gordon was happy to be back on the trails! (?)
After some shoe and sock changes, and a little more aid, the group was on their way and would finish after dark about 7:15 in Waimanalo with Jakob leading them in. By the way, Jakob is an extremely motivated 8-year old. He's winning triathlon's already (age group) and is planning on racing in the trail series. Wow!
Rex and Kat came in about 20 minutes later. They also seemed in good spirits--given this was Kat's longest mileage day ever. Both were trying new long tights in prep for Miwok's poison ivy. We talked a bit about their recent snowboarding trip and sent them on their way.
All in all it seems like it was a good long training day. Ask Gil and Cheryl about their new Asic's trail shoes, they loved them. Apparently the stream was still quite high and tough to cross in Nuuanu. Finally, the Maunawili trail is in rough shape with lots of tough areas to get through and some dangerous sections. Be careful out there on the trails.
All in all, I really enjoyed being the aid station. It's way easier than running 40+ miles. This retirement thing is pretty nice. :-)
Next Sat--first trail series race. I'll miss this one as I will be facilitating a strategic planning session for a client. See other posts here for details on the race. Aloha, Bob