This past weekend was unforgettable and very hard to put into words. A very good friend of mine who I have talked about before Donnie ran in another 100 mile race. What made this race different than any of the other races we have crewed for him on is that it was a trail race.
During a 100 mile race the participants test not only their physical endurance but also their mental endurance. These folks run for 100 miles straight. They do not stop and sleep for the evening and carry on the next day. They run from dawn to dawn and sometimes dawn to the next afternoon.
Our job as crew was pretty simple. Get to the next aid station before our runner and then supply the runner with anything they need food, drinks, gear for the next section of the run. The runners had a 25 mile circuit they ran with aid stations roughly every 6 miles. There were 3 aid stations that they passed through. some of the aid stations they were required to pass through twice during the same circuit.
Donnie started of f strong through the first 25 miles and stayed strong to finish up the first half of the race. His feet were doing awesome and no blisters had begin to rear their ugly heads. In the past this is where he would start to get them. At the 50 mile mark he was greeted with a special delivery of hot pepperoni pizza at his request.
As he continued into mile 60 or so he started to slow down and his attitude started to head downhill. We were able to get him pumped up and his pace began to rise again. I was able to pace him for a 5 mile section which was awesome to help out in that way. It was also my first ever trail run and at night even. He made it to 75 but was starting to fade emotionally and was slowing his paces again.
One of Donnie’s runner friends Bryan picked up the pacing and was with him for the next lap. He hopped back on the emotional roller coaster. Still eating up the miles he continued to push on. Then it happened. He went from tired “I am going to quit” Donnie to “lets finish this damn thing” Donnie. He picked up his pace and just ran. At times Bryan who was pacing him could not even keep up.
At 31 hours 34 minutes 58 seconds change Donnie completed the race. A flood of emotions from all of us poured out as he completed a monumental accomplishment and a personal goal for himself.
We are all very proud of this young man and I am thankful I got to not only help him complete this awesome accomplishment but also be a witness to it.
Who have you helped complete a life goal? How did you help?