My wife Mary (asst. RD) dedicates an enormous amount of time and energy to getting the race organized, started and wrapped up. She's been the unsung hero of the race since we started and without her good spirit and support this race wouldn't be possible. Then there's Keith Moore, who slips out of work early on Friday to help us organize and pack. On race morning he gets up way to early to help tote all the supplies to the course, set up and help Mary with registration. His day doesn't end until all supplies are back at my house unpacked and cleaned.
Each of the three aid stations has a different personality and the first aid station at Hamburg Rd. was the "high energy" aid station. Don Meyer, his daughter Adrienne and Randy Ward are the kind of volunteers that you love to have at a race. They had so much enthusiasm that it was infectious. They were psyched and ready when they picked up their supplies and stayed that way until they drove off into the sunset at the end of the day. They greeted the runners at their aid station with laughter, yelling, clapping, screaming, a barrage of jokes, words of encouragement and support. It wasn't uncommon to see a bunch of runners hanging around longer than they should.
Brian McNeil ran the second aid station at Delauter Rd. Brian is solo at this aid station and he handles it with eclectic fun. A sign was posted prior to entering the aid station that read "Warning! Scottish Rock n' Roll" being played ahead". This was his third time running the aid station and each time he closes down he heads back to the Start/Finish area to lend a helping hand until after we shut things down.
The turn around aid station at the Manor parking area was run by Anthony Welch, his two young sons Zack and Luke, and Mike McCumber. Anthony has run the race twice but had a strong desire to help out this year rather than running. Zack and Luke sat at the stream crossings and observed who fell in where and then warned other runners where not to step. Oddly enough a number of people didn't listen to them and ended up getting a little more wet than necessary much to Zack and Luke's delight. Aid station journeyman Mike McCumber, who at his own expense brought additional water and food. He said that you never know if your going to have enough and that he wanted to be prepared. As it turned out the runners required more water than we estimated and his supply saved the day.
The runners are treated to a picnic at the finish line were we do burgers, steaks for the winners, and provide a host of other foods and beverages. Charlotte Streitoff is Queen Cook, chef and enforcer of public health policy. As runners approach with plate in hand, she makes everyone use disinfectant on their hands before they are allowed to take any food. Barb Wendell and Brenda Davidson where right in the thick of things by organizing, setting up, cleaning, and running around handling the odd jobs that constantly pop up at the Start/Finish area.
Every race needs an "at large" person who can be everywhere and do anything. Our guy Friday is Doug Clark. He always requests that he be allowed to handle the nastiest, ugliest job that no one else wants. He can always be counted on for a smile, a bad joke and to be there when you need him.
From the generosity stand point where to do I begin without making this report read like War & Peace. There were many different examples so here's just a few.
We needed a pickup to haul around supplies so Rick Hamilton, former Catoctin RD and participant in this years event, donated the use of a 2001 Nissan Frontier courtesy of Hamilton Nissan of Hagerstown MD.
Out of the $15 entry fee $3 goes to the park in the form of a donation. The application states that if you feel that the cost of the race is a steal of a deal then any extra money collected will be donated to the park. So the runners responded by donating another $500. The race is not meant to be fundraisers for Gambrill State Park or Cunningham State Park but the runners want to give back to the parks for allowing them to use the land and facilities. Along with other various anonymous donors the Catoctin Trail Run will donate over $1000 to the parks!
Finally, a runner approached the finish line an hour before cutoff from the wrong direction. After talking over his options with him he was about to drop out when the winner of the race over heard the conversation and acted quickly. He took the runner back out on the course showed him where he went wrong, pointed him in the right direction and then ran with him for a little bit. The runner finished the race with seconds to spare and finished the race rather than getting a DQ or DNF.
Oh yea, how did the race go? The race filled 10 days early with 110 entrants. 98 started 89 finished and no records were broken. The winner, Mike Schuster, who after a 20 minute delay for straying off course, crossed the finish line 10 minutes off the record and then immediately took the prone position and was heard uttering the words "#@*& that was hard". Barry Lewis crossed over the line in second place but informed race management that on his return leg he didn't run the "correct" course and we should consider disqualifying him. He ran much more than 50k, still made it back to the finish line in great time but in the spirit of the honesty found in almost all ultra runners admitted his error. For his honesty and unselfishness he won the unofficial Sportsman's of the run award. Karen Shiley was the top female finisher after passing a trail worn Michele Burr in the last 100 yards.
This is a hard and demanding race but a lot of fun. We're looking forward to the next one on August 11, 2001.
Kevin Sayers (RD)
|54||Charlie||Dermody||7:36:00||48||Cornwall on Hudson||NY|