Well, when I had my little bike incident which broke the bone in my wrist I was going to not do the event. That was a wise decision. I didn't want to put any further injury to chance. I let Drool Deer Race Director Derek Cernak know that this was my decision. Right after I did that something nagged at me. I know from participating at many races a race is not capable of being held without volunteers. In the case of Drool Deer it is Sherpas. I immediately emailed Derek back to say I would be there as a Sherpa.
The next day when I got the email for the Sherpas I started wondering what I had gotten myself into. It included this WARNING, "it is also FAIRLY safe... imagine that you are on the top of a big ball... the top of the ball is safe... if you get too close to the side of the ball, you will not be able to stop and you will fall off.... so DO NOT GO TOO FAR!!!! people have DIED HERE... THAT SAID... once you get there, you will see that it is VERY EASY to stay COMPLETELY safe... there is plenty of area that is safe... like, if you slip and fall... and then you roll, on purpose 30', and then you get up, and you do a front handspring... and fall... and roll again... you'd still be safe :) (this will make perfect sense when you get up there... i wouldn't put anyone NEAR danger... that said, there is always someone who wonders "hey! how far can i go?!"... those people keep me up at night... don't be those people :)"
Merrill got very nervous about all of that. And, I have to be honest, so did I.
Merrill was not going to be coming with me becasue she had her own training plan to run 16 miles. This was hard for me to leave because I am communicate with her as she runs her long miles and even had to go help her finish up a training run a few weeks ago. You can read about them here and here. I was so proud of her getting it done.
Hello Kitty and I left the house very early for the hour and a half drive up to the race location. The drive was uneventful and I wasn't able to really enjoy the scenery as I was concentrating on getting there.
This was to be my race nickname. It came from a "test" that Derek gave all participants months before. Let's just say one of my answers referred to my favorite color being green which is what the moon would look like if it was made out of cheese and it had gone moldy. Yeah, Derek's mind goes at a million miles an hour. Look at him with HK. He seems beyond himself to be with her.
After checking in we headed up the trail to the "rock." Got settled and waited for the runners. As you can see by the picture at the top, we were out in the sun where it was hot and humid and no breeze.
We were joined by two dads and their children. There was Dave and his daughter Grace and Ben and his son Isaiah. Dave and Grace manned the water station while Ben and Isaiah joined me out on the rock.
The first runner came to our checkpoint about 45 minutes after the race started. This was fter he had run to the top of one mountain, back down and then up another trail to our checkpoint..all in the heat and humidity. This guy was a BEAST! Once the runners got us they were to build a three rock cairn (stack the rocks on top of each other) and then get the third of five letters to unscramble at another checkpoint. We had the letter "M".
HK was very excited that some people wanted to take a picture with her. This always makes her happy.
Last, but not least at all was the most important runner, Jugband. She was the sweeper to make sure all runners were in front of her, everyone was safe and to let the checkpoints know that she was last.
The day concluded with finishers awards. The amazingly crafted wooden Drool Deer! HK got very selfish and only wanted it for herself.
I lugged my hot and sweaty body back to my car and began the drive back home. What a fun day this was. It was more than I could have even expected. Thank you Derek Cernak for the experience. If you ever want to partake in one his events go to the Rabid Squirrel Facebook page.
I am pleased to say that I have received a donation to help out the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles CAH Clinic. This makes a tremendous difference for so many children. Please, follow this link to read more: http://support.chla.org/pages/tri_ingby50.
If you could help, no amount is too small, please visit: Go Fund Me.