Awhile back, I volunteered to sweep the course after the Sanders Saunter 25K race. I talked my husband into coming along, as a nice hike on the trail sounded fun. Saturday morning, we drove out to Clinton Lake to meet up with the other volunteers… It was cold and windy, and quite miserable as we waited. I assured Steven that when I had signed up, it was warm and it sounded like a much better idea then. While we waited, Steven drank some hot cocoa and I pretty much glued myself to the fire pit.
Soon, Josh and his sons, as well as Benita, who I know from Monday night runs, joined us and we got started. Thankfully, the wind died down and the day warmed up for us, and it turned into a really nice hike.
We started on the white trail, talking about bands and movies as we marched along, picking up course markers as we went. White trail, as I have mentioned before, is rocky and technical, so we picked our way through the rocks. We crossed a couple low water crossings, and managed to keep out feet dry.
We hit the aid station manned by Team RWB, who were the charity for the race, and enjoyed some soda and snacks. Angela’s famous energy balls were there and a total hit. We snagged a couple of those, dropped off the markers we had so far, and were back on our way.
Along we went until we found Caroline, directing runners across the road. She was playing her car stereo loud and I danced along to Pharell’s “Happy” as we dropped off our markers with her.
After about 6 miles, Steven was miserable. We still had bad colds, and he is not used to hiking. Josh suggested that Steven and I head back on the blue trail and they would continue out to Land’s End. So Steven and I turned onto blue trail and slowed the pace a bit. After a few miles, we hit Lake Henry and were happy to see that although the aid station had been packed away, they left the goodies behind until someone could load them up. We nibbled on a couple more energy balls and poured ourselves a cup of soda.
Once we were refueled, we headed back to the trail head. A few more miles and we were to Sander’s Mound and the end of the marked course. We dropped off our markers with Sherry and Nick, the race directors. Sherry managed to find a race t-shirt in Steven’s size, so he got a nice little prize for the day.
I was so surprised that it was already 2:30 – we had been walking about 4 hours. I decided lunch was long over-due and I ran back to the car. Apparently, Steven asked me to drive back and get him, but I did not hear him, so he had to walk. I thought a Cobb salad sounded good, so we hit 23rd Street Brewery for lunch and headed home.
Once we were home, we didn’t have a lot of time to shower and get ready for the concert we were going to. The Tank Room is in downtown, and doors opened at 7. We left a little early and went to LuLu’s Thai Noodles for dinner. We saw two opening bands (a not-good local band and a really great band from Austria called AudioDamn!) before Highly Suspect put on an awesome show. We were so tired but managed to stay for the entire show. (And my feet and back were killing me from standing the entire time). But out spot in the very front row earned us a fist-bump from Johnny and and setlist from Rich, so I was pretty stoked about that. Steven purchased a hoodie for me at the merch table as well.
Extremely tired, we made it back home. I needed to wind down just a bit and finally fell asleep. (And of course, even when I tried to sleep in, woke up early Sunday morning.)
I can’t recommend running or volunteering at a Lawrence Trail Hawks race enough – they are just an amazing group of people! And if you haven’t heard Highly Suspect yet, do yourself a favor and check them out.