THIS. This is THE hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life.
And that's saying something.
Last weekend was the Zion 100. The Zion 100 is brutal. The Zion 100 is beyond beautiful. The Zion 100 is literally right in my backyard and after running the 100k option last year, I was on track to conquer my first 100 miler at this race. And then I got injured and my first 100 mile conquest was out of the question, at least temporarily.
Instead of running the race, I decided to volunteer to run an aid station. And not just any aid station, but THE mother of ALL aid stations. THE GOOSEBUMP.
|From the top of Gooseberry Mesa. Runners started their ascent 1500 ft. below.|
|Selfies with some bad A$$ runners|
I knew this would be a hard job. I just didn't expect it to be so much more than that. It was emotional, exhausting, exhilarating, amazing, rewarding, empowering, happy, sad, scary, emotional (worth saying twice), awesome, beyond tiring. Would I do it again? In a HEARTBEAT.
To the runners of the Zion 100 (or 100k, or 50k) Thank you! Every. Single. Runner.
I saw runners with smiles, runners in tears. I saw blisters the size of Gooseberry Mesa itself. I saw runners who kept going when every fiber of their being was telling them to just STOP. I saw them push through pain, sweat, pukes, shakes, aches, pains, and breakdowns. And then I'd see them again in 20 miles feeling amazing, enlightened, delirious, hungry, and ready to git'r done.
Every single one that I met, fed and watered -- ... you were all so unbelievably inspiring, gracious, kind, and incredible.
I think you are all rock stars!
Here are some other amazing people:
|Me and one of my alltime fav runner bff's fast cory|
|Families, friends, pets, and strangers.. all who camped out and encouraged runners to keep on truckin. This is Mel and she rocked that monkey hat.|
|This dude was running the 100 miler but had to drop out after the Gooseberry ascent. He had such a wonderful, positive spirit! He is my hero!!!!|
|My wing-woman, Lisa. She kept me sane overnight :)|
|Awesome new friends who pitched in to help without even a hesitation.|
|Two of my favorite people, Jana and Alan, who also helped man this beast of an Aid Station (always with a smile)|
|Sunset over the mesa|
But seriously -- next time I'm just running the 100 miles. :)