Sunday, September 27, 2015

Volunteering for Konquer the Konza

 I ran this beautiful course last year as my first 25 K trail run.  This year, they had added a 10 K option so I had signed up for the shortened course.  Then I got into Chicago.  I decided it wasn't a good idea to do a trail run this close to the actual race.  I would be that person that tripped and fell and broke my ankle two weeks out. SO, based on that feeling, I recorded another DNS and instead volunteered.  The first year of this race, I volunteered to be at the top of the stairs.   I asked to be there again this year and my wish was granted.

The stairs are a set of irrigation measures that look like stone steps.  They are not evenly spaced and most people walk up them.  It is a tough ascent.  It kicked my ass both times I had to go up it last year.  I saw lots of puking the first year, but this year was better, thank goodness!

I got up to my spot pre sun rise.  I saw deer, heard turkeys, and saw lots of butterflies.  I cheered loudly and rang my cow bell, and almost lost my voice more than once.  I brought a pack with lots of goodies for runners, just in case,  but no one needed them. I only had one hiker that was a butt head.  Most runners were very appreciative and we took lots of pics and got lots of high fives and sweaty hugs.  I had two runners I was concerned about, but they all finished safely and healthy.   I LOVE cheering them on and ringing my bell, and If I get into another fall marathon next year, I will for sure be up at the top, cheering on my tribe.

I even got a nice hike in and out with my pack, so I could count that as cross training today!  It was perfect weather, cool at the start, with the temps heating up as the day went on.  The humidity was pretty high, so I totally felt for the runners, and the second time through, many were pretty much drenched.  I had brought Nuun tablets just in case and two big bottles of water, but everyone seemed to have plenty of water.  The best part of this race is hands down the views.  The worst part of this race, you are on the prairie, so not much shade.  You really are at the mercy of the sun and it can get pretty warm in september. Plus, well, the beautiful Flint hills are pretty, well, hilly. All in all, this is an awesome race and I love volunteering for it! I hope they continue to do it and make it better every year!

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