I went to Where's Waldo last weekend to watch, cheerlead, and work at the Gold Lake Aid Station with the CORK crew. I had a blast! Being stationed at the first a.s. of the day meant an early wake-up call, but it also meant we were done first and we got to see all the runners while they were still happy. To make things fun, I even got to wear a pretty pink dress.
By 6:45 a.m., everyone was through there, so Sascha and I were off to Mt. Ray Aid Station, approx. mile 21 of the race. I got there just in time to see Nate go flying through in 1st, with Hal right on his heels. They were cruising. Some of the other fast boys came through, then Meghan flew in with Prudence right on her heels. Everyone was still looking good. And it was starting to get warm.
Next, it was up to Charlton Aid Station. Again, I made it just in time to see Nate come in, take a dip in the lake, and he was off. Sean came in a few minutes back looking great, and Neil was 3rd, 10 min. back. Neil sat down, took off his right shoe and sock, put on a new shoe and sock on just his right foot, then took off. He looked like a kicker, which proved to be foreshadowing for the butt-kicking he did later in the race. Prudence came running in as the first place girl, looking great. Krissy was only 5 minutes behind. Tonya came in a bit later and was a bit concerned about her leg, but Jenn was there waiting to run the last 30 miles with her, and as we all know, Jenn's always a good motivator.
Up at the hot a.s., Rd. 4290, most runners were looking a bit worked. The temerature was around 90, and there was a long, slow climb ahead in the next section. Most people would run out of water here, so I encouraged them to drink up and find the spring at the 1/2 way point. Ian, Bronco, and Brad all came in close to each other, but Brad lingered the longest, slurping down his concentrated broth. Mm, mm, good drinkin'! Prudence cruised through again still in first, still smiling and looking smooth. Only minutes later, Krissy came in, too. With a little tip from Dagan, I knew she was digging Ultragen, so I quickly made up a bottle of tropical punch for her to get her up and over the long Twins section.
Shortly after seeing Meghan go through 4290, and giving her a rah-rah for wearing her Olympic Trials hat (how cool is that?), I had to head off to work. Luckily Chris was on the ball at the finish line and called me with updates. Neil smoked the last section and won in 10:06. Not only is Neil fast and super nice, but he also ran the Waldo 72 miler last year. I was excited to hear that he came back this year and won. In doing so, he cleaned up in the $$$, winning $1000 for overall and $500 for being a fast old man. For the girls, Prudence had no idea how close Krissy was to her until Maiden. Seeing she only had about a 6 min. lead, Prudence put the hammer down from the summit to the finish, and in doing so, earned the title of 2008 National 100k Trail Champ, finishing in 11:12. Pretty sweet!
One interesting Waldo note; Meghan won overall last year and Krissy won overall in 2006. This year, Prudence was 11th overall. Do you think the boys were out for revenge??
Congratulations to all Waldo finishers, with special kudos to Jeff, Brad, Ian, Prudence, Krissy, William, Meghan, KR, BW, Scott, Stacey, Rob/Waldo, Ken, Maura, Tate, Caroline, Olga, John, 5-Finger, Stan, Eb, Tom/Waldo, Steve, and of course Tonya. Tonya, I wish I could have seen you finished. You were the hero of the day!
Tomorrow I finally get to go to Colorado for TransRockies! I used to live in Steamboat Springs and I love running in the CO Rockies. I am sooooooo excited and ready for this epic adventure. A week long running vacation with one of my best buds...I mean really, what could be better? I call it a vacation, but during the daily stages, there will definitely be no vacationing. We will be running hard. We have a challenging goal and it will definitely keep us breathing hard and running fast. But Hart's tough. And we're gonna do it. And it's gonna be a blast!