Pacing the Ozark Trail 100

This past weekend, I was out doing my civic duty as an ultrarunner not running a race.  I was working an aid station.  I ran the aid station at mile 34.8 at the Ozark Trail 100.  My friends Stuart Johnson and Paul Shoenlaub are the Co-RD's. They have given me some great advice over the years so helping them as well as all my good friends who were out running the race at hand was the least I could do.  We had a lot of fun with the runners and the great weather. After we closed down our aid station around 5:30PM, I headed up road to meet my friend Kyle Gibbs at the 68 mile mark of this point-to-point 100 miler to pace him to the finish.  I knew he was doing great when I saw him come though my aid station during the day sitting in 3rd place.  I got on my cold weather running clothes to prepare for the 30 degree temps and waited for him standing around the fire at the Hazel Creek Aid Station.

He was still in 3rd place when we left that aid station around 7:30 at night, an hour behind 1st and 2nd who were running a tight race.  We just kept talking and working hard until we hit the finish line just before 3 am in the morning for a finishing time of 20:52.  He had even made up a place in the standings to move up into 2nd place.  Kyle ran really great all day and ran the last 34-35 miles (Ozark Trail 100 is actually over 102 miles due to the logistics of the course) strong.  He was always willing to dig deep and push even when he did not want to.

If you have never paced a runner or worked an aid station, I recommend doing it, you won't be disappointed.