Left Hand Turns ….

 “Running with Friends Makes Everything Better”

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     My friend, who will remain a nameless badass, ran the  Hinson Lake 24hr run in North Carolina over the weekend. I tagged along to help out and get in a few left hand turns of my own. I was still feeling a bit off from having the flu and running the Georgia Jewel the weekend before, but remember my DUMASS motto … “Poor Decisions make for Better Stories”.

      We arrived the night before, went to packet pick up, and then went to the lake and set up our tent. We walked the course and I was told that the course was slightly different from years past with a few trees missing. I instantly fell in love with the course, soft sandy surface, rolling with plenty of flat sections and well defined walk points. A course that one could do big miles on if one was willing to suffer !!

     Race day arrived and soon my friend and all of the other runners, 230ish, were on course making the first of many left hand turns. Crewing/pacing is very different from running … your only concern is for that of your runner …. your runners needs always come first !! The first 4 loops were run rather quickly, so I went out on the 5 loop for a quick diagnostics check of my runner. Everything seemed to going smoothly so I started running every other loop. By noon the runners were all starting to feel the effects of the very high humidity and starting to show signs of suffering. At 2:30 We decided it would be best for me to get a nap so that I would be freshish to run through the night.

     I wasn’t able to sleep but I did get off of my feet and hear a lot of the runners talking about how tough their day was going. I was amazed at how many had stopped by 5pm when I returned to my duties. My friend had also had a rough couple of hours, but was fighting through it. I was handed a cheese hotdog and egg tortilla (which was amazing !!), and I was back on course with my friend. We ran side by side for the next 13.5hrs … we had good times and bad times, but we kept moving forward and doing left hand turns. It is very easy for me to suffer during a race, but it is much harder to watch someone else suffer. All you want to do is make it stop, but you can’t, so you lie and say things like “you are looking great” even though they just came out of the bushes after hurling 🙂

     I was constantly watching the clock and crunching numbers to make sure that my friend would hit the 100 mile mark. My friend was running/walking a thin line and I was trying to pushing as hard as I could with out pushing my friend over the line. We were doing well, with about 20 minutes to spare when the lap counts changed, somehow we had lost 2 laps !! I was keeping a record of every lap and knew exactly how many we had left to hit the 100 mile mark and how much time we had to get it accomplished in.

     All a runner should have to worry about is running, the crew should take care of everything else. I tried to get the laps straightened out and was able to get one of them back, but I couldn’t stop and have a debate … I had to stay with my friend and keep them moving. With 6 laps to go the lap count once again went off and my friend was well aware of it this time. We ran 1 more lap and then another friend took her out while I had a discussion with the counters. I was prepared to go to war for my friend, but the counters were very understanding and it didn’t take much to get the lap counts corrected.

    With 20 minutes to spare my friend passed the 100 mile mark with a smile on her face and a banana in her hand !! All that was left was the final beer lap and a well deserved rest … so proud of my friend and her amazing accomplishment !!

“Running with Friends is Awesome”

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