I woke up yesterday around 3:20 am, it has gotten progressively easier to get up that early as I’ve timed more races over the past year. The drive out to Cleburne was pretty easy in the morning, a couple of night owls making their way home and some trucks probably driving too many hours overnight. I had taken care of some vehicle stuff on Friday night, airing up tires and getting gas, so I was really just getting myself to the site to get things set up. I’ve worked enough races with Chris and Anne to know that they would be already rolling by the time I made it out to the Six-O ranch at 5:30.
The turn off to Six-O came up out of nowhere and I drove by and had to turn around on the deserted road, the “Trail Run” signs weren’t reflective and it was early. Made it up to the venue and under the big white tent I could see some activity. The owners of the ranch are endurance horse riders, 50 miles to 100 miles on horseback, so the trails ranged all over the 2800 acre property. The first 100 mile run in the US was because of a lame horse that couldn’t run the Tevis Cup in California and a scrappy runner who decided to just run it anyway, I thought it was nice to have an inaugural race on a property that supported that kind of event in May. As the morning progressed, I had a chance to meet Kim who is the biggest racer of the family and she was interested in all the new technology we use when supporting a race, even out in the middle of a ranch.
I called the kids and showed them around the horizon line before getting back to work starting each distance and pulling out DNS runners and picking up Kristin’s shirt since she couldn’t make it out to the run and can’t run for 6 weeks due to a muscle tear. Had my own “can’t run” moments in the past and it is tough way to take stock of where you are at and plan for the future. The shirts were pretty though.
Race was really smooth, one little hiccup with course marking, and runners all seemed to enjoy the trails and the event. Beer was flowing by 9:30, one of the perks of private ranches versus state parks. I balance a liter of water every hour with a beer or two over the course of the event. This guy Jorge was grilling all day, homemade pico and burgers, so there was plenty of food for runners and volunteers. DARC had the Start/Finish aid station and Ben, Lisa, Terry, Stephen and Mike were out there throughout the day. It was nice to have some familiar faces out there so anytime I needed water I could just head over and say hi. We also had around 10 runners out on the course, pretty good turnout.
Towards the end of the day, there was the threat of a thunderstorm so I started breaking down the backup line and getting sensitive equipment stored away. One of our Denton guys caught a ride back to the start and he looked like shit. Pretty unresponsive and extremely pale. The medic came over to asses along with the RD and they did a fantastic job of making sure that he didn’t need an ER and after about 30 minutes out of the heat, he looked pretty much recovered although some cramping followed from the dehydration.
I made it back to town in time to go to my dad and Suzanne’s place for dinner with visiting family. I sat for a while chatting about the day and then brought the kiddos home to unwind after a very long day. Sophie had some glow sticks in her backpack and we had fun taking silly pictures in the dark with them before bedtime. I was up for 17 hours and rolled my car over to 40,000 miles, saw a lot of friends and supported people completing new distances and pushing beyond their limits. Next weekend is the Race for Hope in Denton, John’s work has held this race to raise money for the LOSS Team. Will spend the day with the kids relaxing and getting ready for the next week. Monday off and then into the week with rehearsals on the schedule. It’s gonna be a busy one.