JK and I have been talking about doing a trail race forever, but, since we’re extremely efficient procrastinators, this has yet to come to fruition. Back in December we heard about the Orcas Island 25K, part of the excellent Rainshadow Running race series. Unfortunately it was already full, but we figured we might as well sign up to volunteer. Besides, it was an excellent excuse for us to visit Orcas Island for the first time.
JK (and Wellie, who by default won both the canine division and the age 1-5 group) signed up to sweep the course (run behind the last racer and make sure that everyone gets off the course safely) while I was part of the aid station crew on top of Mount Constitution. Sweet!! The view was surprisingly good given the weather (but check out the view from the aid station during the 50K race the following weekend – them bastards stole our sunshine!), and we were kept busy supplying the runners with food, drinks, and electrolytes.
Helping out at the aid station was lots of fun, trying to anticipate what the runners might need (hot soup? blister pads? an excuse to stop and rest for a few minutes?), attempting to make PB&J sandwiches with frozen peanut butter and watching the front of the pack zoom past us even at the top of that monster of a hill.
As I stood there in my humongous puffy jacket trying to keep warm in the hail/snow/murderous ice pellets, I was secretly pleased with myself for not being one of those poor runners out on the course…but when they started pouring into the aid station, looking absolutely elated (well, most of them), I realized they were the lucky ones. I also realized that I really really do want to run a race like this one day.
Between the beautiful course (even in this weather), mellow vibe, excellent post-race
meal party with live music and, if I do say so myself, a fabulous aid station, I would love to come back and race this in the future. JK has his sights set on the 50K next year, so it looks like we’ll both have to start training.