Well I've written before about the slightly crazy athletic endeavors of my dear husband before. This is the first one that I've actually seen in person. It was pretty amazing. I also have a few tips on supporting your running friends when they attempt to run any type of ultra race.
One of the great things about this race was the shuttle to the start. Peter was able to drive about a mile from our house and catch a shuttle. This enabled the rest of us non-runners to sleep in and then get up ready to meet him.
Now...Peter doesn't always give me all the details. He doesn't mean to leave them out. He just tells me his version and his version tends to be abbreviated. So he told me it would be great it we met him at mile 20 and at the finish. My plan was to do just that. So I loaded the boys up and headed out to meet him.
We met up at mile 20. I timed it JUST right and we got there minutes before he arrived. They allowed you to have a change of clothes/shoes because the first few miles of the race were on dirt and very muddy. Stafford was SUPER excited to see his Daddy and SUPER excited to see that massive pile of bananas. Lol. It's the little things.
We cheered Daddy on and then loaded back up into the car. Surprisingly it was actually kind of warm and already at 10ish in the morning I remember sweating as I loaded the kids up!
After assessing him in that "I know you like no one else knows you" way I felt like we should try to meet him at the next station. So on we drove!
He was very surprised and happy to see us.
Here you see him going through the bell tower. They had a bell at each station and you were supposed to ring it as you went through.
Most of the race was gorgeous! And thankfully there was ample parking as we met him at each and every stop. The race raised money to help fund the Foothills Trail. This trail goes from Rainier all the way to the Puget Sound. There were people biking, running and even horseback riding at various points on the trail. It was really neat!
Looking good here!
Reedster clapping for his Daddy. The kids were AMAZING sports through this day. We ended up meeting him at each station from 4-12 (except 11). So that meant we were in and out of the car...into the stroller...walking/hiking to the bell towers 7 different times. I know it sounds ridiculous to say when he was running 50 miles but I was exhausted by the end of the day!
The boys napped a little in the car but mostly they stayed awake and happy. It was incredible. And they were so excited to see him at each station. A few times Stafford ran through the bell tower with Peter.
The finish! The finish line was gorgeous!! The last couple of miles were down along Ruston Way which is all along the water. It was a picture perfect day....blue skies....puffy clouds....actually a little too warm for running a 50 mile race. But for the spectators it was gorgeous!
So...some tips for supporting your long distance runner.
Have lots and lots of extra water. Bring a bottle to each meet-up station. Towards the end of the race they ran out of water at one of the stations!! Thankfully I had a bottle and was able to give it to Peter. I would also suggest having orange slices, bananas and bagels. Salt tablets are great as well.
Make sure you are prepared. If I would have known I was going to meet up at each station I would have gotten a babysitter for the boys. We were hot, hungry and exhausted by the time the race was ending. I had to spend a lot of time reading the map trying to figure out how to get to each station so we were fortunate to meet up with him at each place. So make sure you read the maps before you start out! Also...wear something that is easy to recognize so your runner can pick you out and have them wear something that distinguishes them as well.
Spare shoes and socks are also a great idea! I saw one Mom helping her son change his socks and shoes at one of the stations. She massaged his feet and had all kinds of snacks etc in a backpack. I felt so unprepared! Next time I'll know!!
S man running after Daddy towards the end of the race.
This was a fun spot to get to.
There he is!!!
Gorgeous gorgeous day!
I'm so proud of Peter. When he told me he was an ultra runner when we were dating I told him it meant that he had a never give up attitude. He insisted he was just stubborn. I still prefer my definition and it has proved true over and over. Even though I still don't love running, his love for it has proven to me that when he loves something he doesn't give up. No matter how hard it gets he keeps going. Yeah...my husband might be crazy. But I think he is crazy about me :)
Ruston to Rainier Ultra Marathon--June 1, 2013