Saturday, April 18, 2009

Volunteering at the Bull Run Run 50 miler in 2009

Team Jim (Jim A-shirt off and Jim B-shirt on) arrives at the Marina aid station for some food, beverage and good cheer. As in most cases we were accomodate 2 of the 3:-) Jim A was using this race as training run for VT100 which I know he, Anna B. and I will all be running (I think there might be a few more Reston Runners but am not positive)
My friend Dan Rose hydrates and makes small talk at the aid station. He is really nice and his friend Elizabeth and Parents were so sweet. Dan was supposed to be using BRR50 as a training run...I wish my training runs were as speedy. But way to go Dan!
My friend Tammy B crewed for her friend Homer. This was Homer's first 50 miler and he did really GREAT! He finished the race and looked really strong all throughout the race. I was able to take this picture when I headed out of the aid station to walk a bit with my friend Debbie (also then I could bring her cup back to the aid station after she liesurely drank some gatorade).
My friend Ethel from I have known Ethel for several years and have crossed paths at various ultra's including the race around the lake, Umstead and VT100. She is always very nice and a super strong runner.
Dave Yeakel enjoying some time at the aid station. The last few years he volunteered at this aid station, but this year I suppose decided to kick things up a notch by running the race. Guess we now know which one of us smarter, don't we?:-) Dave is an extraordinary ultramarathoner and has run Leadville, Western States, VT100 and many others (again, the theme of who is smarter continues:-).

One of the highlights of my year (including Umstead 100, JFK50 and many other races) is my yearly volunteering at Bull Run Run at the Marina Aid Station. This is my 3rd year volunteering and as usual I had a great time. Other years it has been one week after Umstead but this year I had a weekend in between. Sadly I feel as tired as ever after this 10+ hour day.

I saw many friends as they crewed for other runners, many friends on the course, many friends volunteering with me and made many more friends today. Ultra runners are a great group of people!

For volunteers today was picture perfect. Sadly for runners I imagine it was a bit toasty with temperatures topping out about 78 degrees. The marina aid station had runners dropping at both mile 21 heading out as well as a few heading back to the finish at mile 45. And volunteers were kept busy filling water bottles, making gatorade, filling cups and basically keeping runners hydrated and to a lesser extent fed.

I enjoy volunteering immensely and hope I am a great volunteer because I have all my senses tuned into the runners needs volunteering so closely to Umstead. It is the kind words, the telepathy in figuring out my needs and the encouragement that aid station volunteers that always help me through any tough times I might have in races. And they give me the strength to get to the next aid station when I can refill on food/beverage and of course most importantly on encouragement and positvie energy.

I was even lucky enough to run into a few friends from Umstead 100 who were running Bull Run Run 50 only 2 weeks after Umstead! These runners are so amazing and inspiring. I walked my friend Debbie about half a mile after my aid station to stretch my legs a little. We chatted briefly and I will look forward to seeing her at VT100 if not sooner. I also paced my friend Monica (from Richmond Marathon when we ran about 5 miles together as well as Umstead) very briefly and we chatted about life in general. Monica is so happy and enthusiastic. It is always a pleasure to meet her at various races.

I also got to see so many of my Reston Runner friends. Anna B. has a great race and was moving the first time I saw her and was picking up the pace during the last half. I know she will have no trouble at VT100 this summer. Jim B and Jim A also looked really strong. And as usual were running together, how cool is it to run nearly every race and training run with a friend? Marce was looking really strong and I know will run a great race at JFK this fall. I got glipses of Dave Y., Ed C. and many others as they scurried through my aid station.

I will write more tommorrow (because I have lots of stories). In the meantime Congratulations to all Bull Run Run 50 Miler finishers!!


elvoy said...

Tammy - I think it is great, with your experience and knowledge in ultra running, that you choose to give back to your sport, and I'm sure the BRR50 participants appreciate your assistance. Might the title of Race Director be in your future?


Just_because_today said...

It is difficult when a non runner has no clue as to what a runner needs. They mean well (I am a race director too and appreciate their help) but it is so much easier with a runner who knows their own

Mike Bailey said...


Had a great time working the aid station with you. Is your face still pink from the sun? You'll have to keep me posted on all your crazy adventures. I do have a "blog" you can read, but be warned that I update it once every blue moon. Let me know what runs you're doing, and maybe we can meet up at one of them.

Run like you stole something,
Mike Bailey

Mike Bailey said...


Great times working the marina aid station with you. Is your face recovering from all the sun? Keep me posted on your running adventures, and perhaps we will be able to do one together. Vermont? Maybe? See you round the trails.


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Man, congratulations indeed, and that doesn't even begin to cover it!

Did people really make it to 45 miles and then have to drop out? Man, that must really have been a heartbreaker! Of course, I'd never make it to 26.2, much less 45!

Good on you, sister, for volunteering to help these foax out!

Hey, sister, I could have sworn I was already subscribed to your blog, but I just checked, and I wasn't. But now I am.

You and your 100-mile races are currently teh 'Bride's obsession - not in the sense that she reads your blog (she barely reads mine), but in the sense that, to her, discovering there are people out there who run 100-mile races is the equivalent of discovering there are actual, honest-to-god elves who live in trees and bake cookies and whatnot. Because I thinks she considers you Ultra foax to be like alien life-forms, but in the GOOD sense.

Plus, she uses you and Doctor Nic (who does 50-milers) as example of what I am not even allowed to consider doing.

As though I would.

CTmarathoner said...

Tammy ---good for you for volunteering at Bull Runrun. I think that if your knee is twinging you do need a rest from long runs -ironically of course, now that the weather is better. I SAW YOUR PHOTO IN ULTRARUNNING !!! ON THE ROCKY RACOON PAGE ...pretty in pink as usual and it brightens up the page.
I really want to run javelina but just paid $149-ugh --for NYC marathon!!! It'll prob be my last NYC.
I lost debbie's e-mail address, along with your business card ut yesterday found them!!! so now can get in touch with her before VT 100. She is my age and says that ultras make her very happy and feel young...I don't know about that!!
Have a good week.

Runner Tammy said...

Hi Brian,

Maybe someday Race Director will be added to my "Running Resume", but for the time being volunteering will give me a sneak peak at all the endless responsibilities. Also, I am struggling to arrange my ~750 person statistical conference in Sept. so by the time this is finished I may be done with arranging/facilitating events that include more than about 5 people:-)


You are right about volunteers who are trying to be super helpful but in some ways create more challenges than they address. Since I am never aiming for time, these snafu's typically just amuse me but I imagine someone trying to qualify for Boston, wanting to set a PR or a runner intent on the finish could be a bit challenged. Also, the looks of horror on non-ultra athletes when the 5 second rule is instituted is priceless. As an ultra marathoner, I really have no standards because as hard as the volunteers may try, the other runners may be the ones who really contribute the most germs, sweat... to the food, beverages and meds.


It was so much fun volunteering with you Saturday. You made our 10 hour shift together feel like 9 hours and 59 minutes:-).

I will keep my eyes peeled for you at fun runs and races. If you need a place to crash before VT100, just drop me a quick e-mail. We arrive at VT on Thursday prior to the race and head home Sunday night.

Hi Emmy,

You continue to amaze me with your constant running and racing. And you make it sound and look so easy. Debbie was really hauling on the first swing through the aid station, but after mile 45 I was able to walk with her a bit and catch up. She looked really strong.

Some races are getting so expensive. Tristan and I are debating about JFK50 because at 135 it is a bit pricey (and then of course we need a hotel the night before because of the 5 a.m. start). If I end up signing up for Javalina, I might sit out JFK this year. That also might give me a better chance to enjoy my Death Valley/Las Vegas double marathon in Dec.

By the way have you signed up for the 24 hour race around the lake (like you did last year after VT100?!!?). I am ready to run the marathon with a trip to the Gingerbread construction company for yummy muffins during every lap:-)


Runner Tammy said...


Thanks for the congrats!

You should bring teh wife and Ian to some ultra in NJ. Since I haven't figured out if you are from north, central or south joisey I'll point out there are several ultra's in NJ. I have friends (shocking, eh?) that have done the ultra in Ringwood (north) and in Freehold (central).

Sorry about not knowing your hometown: I'm just too lazy to find out your residence by checking out/confirming your race results online...FYI that means you can run a future race and brag about any finish time you want because it's not like I would be doing any checking--I'm not a reference librarian so I don't have to do these things!

On a different note, if there aren't "elves" that live in trees and bake goodies, what did I see during Umstead 100? I was positive I saw "Krap, Krinkle and Pope" the generic rice krispy guys lurking about at 2 a.m. or so!

CTmarathoner said...

Tammy --I am signing up for the VT 100 (but haven't yet)-however, I just today made a reservation at Yankee Village Inn (they sill have rooms -LOL). Not the most luxurious place, but I figure that I know how to get to start and finish from there.
As for the 24 hour will decide after VT!! Last year, Frank and I drove up together and got stuck in traffic. We called the r.d. and she signed us up over the phone -we got to the start at 6:50 p.m. Frank wants to do Escarpment trail run on July 26 and I do too, so that is probably the more 'sane' idea (although it is straight up and down 6 unrunnable mountains) --I told myself that I would never do the 24 hour after VT again -too much stress-the night start, the entry fee, the fatigue. I do like that donut place on the route! JFK 50 is so expensive --don't blame you for taking a break!!! It fills up so fast also --will probably do Stone Cat as can enter that week:)