Hashawha runners make their way across the rolling fields during the 2010 race.
February 23, 2008 • Westminster, MD
48 starters, 30 finishers
It seems to be standard procedure for run directors to always make a point of thanking their volunteers and stressing the fact that without the volunteers, the running events we all love would never happen. And although we always knew this important fact to be true, we could never fully appreciate the truth of the matter until walking that proverbial mile in our new run director shoes.
Although there were 30 no-shows, 48 runners braved the icy conditions and judging from the feedback of most participants, our volunteers enabled us to hit one out of the park with the inaugural running of the Hashawha Hills Trail Run 50km. Despite our worries about the complexity of the Hashawha Hills trail system, no one went off course, and all seemed to enjoy the venue.
Due to snow on the ground, some muddy sections of trail, and the never ending hills, the course ran a little slow and extracted a heavy toll, with 16 starters opting to run only one loop of the two-loop course. Despite the conditions, Joe Clapper turned in an inspired performance on the slippery trails to capture the overall win, with Diana Widdowson placing first for the women.
Not adhering to the fat ass label, our volunteers displayed an abundance of irrational exuberance. Our main aid station offered literally everything from soup to nuts, along with hot potatoes, hot soft pretzels, a warm fire, and music on the stereo along with all the “normal” aid station fare. And a special thanks has to go to our “Traffic Cops” who remained cheerful despite their lonely outposts where they endured the elements for hours on end.
We need also to thank the runners for their consideration. Not only did they treat the heated pre and post run facility with respect, while taking down the course markings, we found no litter whatsoever.
We really enjoyed putting the Hashawha Hills Trail Run together, and we received a lot of positive feedback. We’re considering making it a yearly event, but now more than ever we know that the future of the Hashawha Hills Trail Run is in the hands of our fantastic volunteers. We really couldn’t have done it without them.
As folks in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula say, holy wah. Beautiful run. Wonderful course. Burma Shave-like signs. One series exhorted us to whoop or something like that. Or maybe they all did. Very little flat. Kinda like HAT run, but less soupy.
I’ve paid for road marathons that have been less organized and far less friendly. Absolutely no shortage of food, Credence, Hendrix, Gatorade, goodwill, organization, or friendliness.
I learned to drive in Minnesota winters, and still I’d never driven on ice like this. At one point I was accelerating down a hill even though none of the wheels on my car were rolling.
Still, no one hit the guardrail. Though you wouldn’t have known that from the tire tracks. I love ultras.
Oh my heavens. I can never ever get enough of the potatoes. In kosher salt, no less. There was a fabulous aid station on the course, and we hit it four times: twice on each loop. And that was in addition to the start/finish. What was even better?
Each of the volunteers on the course knew exactly where they were, how far it was from that spot to another spot, and was very interested in our well-being. They were gracious and generous. I had my water bottles filled for me each time, and cheerfully. I love ultras. Hats off to the volunteers placed in the final loop, who spent the whole day standing in the woods, alone, just to tell us where we should be turning, and when. One guy even predicted to the minute when he’d see me again. Which would have been dead-on accurate if I hadn’t needed to sit on a tree trunk after chatting with Paul and working myself to death pretending I wasn’t bonking. I love ultras.
The tape was where it was supposed to be. Always. There were arrows in case we were too stupid to see the tape. There were Burma Shave-like signs with poetry that entertained us along the way. They didn’t skimp on hills, there were fun switchbacks, the trail was soft, it was surprisingly wide in places where I and others could run three abreast. Rocks and sticks were absolutely minimal. It was like running on thick carpet. Covered in snow and mud and dirt and water and stuff. My favorite surface to run on, bar none. I love ultras.
The start was very fun. It was sort of raining a bit so everyone was beneath a picnic shelter. The runners were, anyway. The volunteers were all out in the rain, working and being happy. We sort of lined up at the edge of the concrete slab. It kind of looked like a real starting line. I forgot my starting block. As usual.
A wonderful nature center that a) knew we were coming b) welcomed us c) was clean d) warm e) dry and f) happy to let us eat chili.
Friendly, happy, chatty, wonderful. I love ultras. Big Trail Dawgs contingent in particular. Many of whom were sick. Usually when folks have the a cold / the flu / pneumonia, etc., they stay home and get better. Not these folks. They do an ultra.
Right about 32 degrees or something. My feet got muddy, but fortunately Alan and Pam worked in at least one stream crossing where I got good and clean up to my knees. I love ultras.
Deserve tremendous commendation for the best fatass ever.
† Course record, Master’s record
†† Female course record