My kind of people, that is what I think about runners. We all have something in common: running. We have a passion bordering on obsession with running. I was able to experience that at the Arkansas Traveler 100. I was able to see runners in their element. Everyone so hyped up, ready to get the 100 miles done.
I helped out at an aid station and crewed for a runner. I was able to see the run in all of its glory. The good and bad. There are so many emotions that you experience while running. The aid stations that I was able to crew at were hectic and organized all at the same time. Runners would come in and sit in their chairs, while their crew fluttered about them, getting water and food to push them to the next aid station. Some would sit back, chill and relax, some even falling asleep. Others were in and out within a couple of minutes.
They are all devoted to what they’re doing. Wanting to reach their goal of finishing 100 miles and to do that you must have the perfect combinations of items. I’m sure they agonized over what they wanted to wear (chaffing is bad, always wear the most comfy cloths). I would think shoes would be top on the list. I have shoes that I only wear for short runs and shoes that I wear for long runs, I also have running socks. I don’t have a lucky rubber band or bandana, so I don’t have to worry about that.
When I was at my last aid station at mile 83 I saw a variety of people. From zombies to ramped up beings (not sure they were human). I felt sorry and proud of the zombies. They were determined to finish the race no matter what. I never realized just how much determination it takes to run a long race. You have your mind that is telling your body it can’t finish this run, and your body totally agrees. The difficult part is switching that around so that your brain is telling your broke down body it can finish the run. Running is such a mental sport. It can conjure up a varity of things. From body parts aching, to thinking you might die, but something that I have learned is our bodies are amazing, they can pull anything off. What gets in the way is the mass of tissue in our skull.
I am a proud runner and I am proud of all my fellow runners. Great job to all the participants at the AT100. -SH