Today I took the group out for a 17ish mile loop on the Way to Cool course. The point was to show the group the main sections of WTC. Namely the single track, "Ballbearing" and "Goat Hill". The day was awesome, wet trail with a lite rain and lots of puddles.
I went the day before and marked the first part of the run on my Mt bike. I was feeling the ride this morning in my legs. It's been a long time since I've rode 10+ on my Mt bike. My new theme song came to mind soon after I headed out, the back beat and repetitions got me thru the first few miles of dead leg running.
I later hooked up with the group. Kate and Rob Evans were leading group. Everyone looked great and looked to be having fun. For a great report and photos of the day go her: PAM's Blog. I tucked into the rear and began taking down the ribbons while hanging out with some of our group.
Fast forward to Hwy 49 crossing. I ran into a runner friend who told me she had run into one of my group runners near Goat Hill, she was lost. First thought was CRAP!!, how did she get behind me. I had already taken down the ribbons so she had no life line back. My friend told her to go down to Quarry Road where she had seen the ribbons were still up. She told her to follow those back to Cool.
The runner followed but got turned around, (not her fault, she has never seen the trails before). Long story short she ran another loop with Ballbearing Hill.
In the mean time I returned to my car to re-fueled and put together a plan. I made some calls to Kirk for help and told the others what we were going to do. Kudos to my friend Melissa for staying at the car the whole time I was gone to cover phone calls, etc. I then ran down to Quarry Road and down the road a bit checking for my runner.
I returned REALLY scared at this point. No one I saw along the way had seen my runner. The only thing I could think of at this point was the quote I heard for a Search and Rescue call-out, $40K. Thankfully I checked my cell phone when I got back. Jeffrey Johnson who was out on the trails had found my runner, THANK YOU JEFF!
Eventually she got back to Cool, surprisingly with a smile on her face. I forget her totals for the day, but I she told me " Ballbearing was not so bad the second time". Now that's an ultra runner. Lost, tired, extra miles, starving and she's smiling, nice job!!
My total for the day was 26+miles, I finally turned it off after I bonked.
I think I'm going to have to re-think how we execute these long runs. Had this been the 26miler we have coming up this could have been a lot worse.