A few weeks ago a call went out for Upper Midwest Trail Runners to volunteer at the Voyageur 50 mile trail race. My wife and I had already planned a trip to the North Shore the same weekend to do some hiking, so we decided to sign up to help, and then do some hiking after we got done volunteering.
We arrived around 10am at the Beck’s Road aid station. The first runners had been through, on the way out, hours before, and were just arriving back for the return trip. The leaders came close to breaking the course record set by Scott Jurek many years ago! We started helping right away, as the biggest influx of runners started arriving at the aid station en masse. My wife started making PB&J while I made sure other items were well stocked.
Eventually, the big rush passed, and we were able to fall into a good routine. Everyone pitched in where they could, but there was enough help that no one felt overwhelmed. I spent most of my time keeping the food stocked, and helping runners as they came through. I loved being able to convince guys I knew to keep going, despite their mind telling them to stop. It was great to help get them motivated and back on the trail.
The stream turned into a trickle, and the task of breaking down the station began. We bid the final runner farewell, and waited for the sweepers to come through. They weren’t far behind, and with that, our portion of the race was done. Most everyone else was heading to the after party, but the wife and I had other plan. I’ll write about our hike in another entry though.
It’s always great to give back to the trail community, and I love the people I worked with today. We had a great time helping out, and it was an amazing way to spend a Saturday. I’m proud of all the racers that finished, and can’t wait to see them all out on the trail again soon.