June 19, 2010
The majority of time I run a race, the work and pleasure of it all is for me. But this weekend I signed up to be a pacer for two of my friends, Karen and Rick, at the The North Face Mohican Trail Run in Loudonville, OH.
My first pacer assignment of the day was to run with Karen in the The North Face Mohican Trail 50 Mile Run. For this race Karen had to complete her first 37 miles solo before anyone could join her for the last 13 miles. I remember waiting at the Fire Tower Aid Station with the other pacers. It seemed to me that every runner who emerged from the woods wore a smile. My first thought was wow, I can't believe that everyone looks so happy after running so many miles. But I guess after you have been running trails for 9 hours, seeing a friendly and familiar face does wonders for your morale.
My second pacer assignment was to run a 16 mile leg with Rick. Because Rick was running The North Face Mohican Trail 100 Mile Run, he was allowed to have pacers after 67 miles. By time Rick reached me at mile 71, the sun was already setting and he had been running for about 16 hours. At this point my job as a pacer was not only to keep him motivated and moving, but it was also to make sure that he stayed on the course and did not get lost. I have to say that despite the responsibility, I really enjoyed running in the near perfect black woods with nothing but a headlamp and mini mag lite. It's amazing how much the forest comes alive at night.
I am proud to say that Karen completed her race in 12:05:03 (hh:mm:ss), number 40 out of 108 male and female runners. And Rick completed his race in 25:34:08 (hh:mm:ss), number 16 out of 133. It was a lot of fun helping them complete their 50 Mile and 100 Mile runs. I'm contemplating trying something similar in 2011.
The North Face Mohican 100 Trail Run http://www.mohican100.org/
Mohican Adventures http://www.mohicancanoe.com/