The BHS Trail Runs are the brainchild of Marie Boyd, RN.  She is a multiple Australian National Record Holder at some pretty ridiculous distances.  So she started this trail run to raise money for the Northern Inyo Hospital Equipment Fund, which is where she works.  We shot up there and helped out at one of the aid stations this past weekend.  Well, two or three aid stations.  Depends on how you count.

We had the first aid station early in the morning, less than two miles from the start.  Filled some paper cups, cut some bananas, put out some gels and some electrolytes.  Runners like paper cups, even though most of them have a small bottle or two, or a camelbak.  Some like to carry, and some like to wear.  Hip belts, vests with pockets, small backpacks.  They get to the aid station, and they want some water or some HEED, and they want it in a cup.  They all come roaring through, then we clean up and move the aid station a few hundred yards up the road, and set up camp for the duration.

20 miles, 50km, 50 miles, 100km are the distances they can run.  Some guys were out there in button downs and slacks, just doing the nature walk version of the thing.  And why not?  Runners started coming through a little less than three hours after the start, and the very first was a woman.  Folks, the longer the distance, the more of an advantage the girls have, it would seem.  Badwater 135 Ultramarathon is the famous event – widely regarded as the most insane athletic event on the planet – that Pam Reed won in 2002 and 2003.  As in she took the overall.  Beat all the boys.

When we saw the runners for the second time, they were less than two miles from the finish.  Many wanted nothing from us, and just steamed on by.  The 100km runners had to turn and do another out-n-back, so we would see them a third time.  Some turned, and some just went directly to the finish.  No shame in doing “only” 50 miles, eh?

One woman showed up at our aid station asking what the correct distance so far should be.  We told her, but she already knew something was not right.  She had missed a loop miles ago, and her mileage was way short.  Just like the USA Cycling rule, if you miss part of the course, you can go back and make it up, but that just wasn’t possible.  She was pretty upset, but there wasn’t much we could do for her.  Looked like she was going to end up with about 65km instead of the 100km she had planned on.  At last, she headed slowly for the finish, defeated.

And she was back about three minutes later, determined to make the best of it and go do the 100km-only out-n-back.  We cheered.  Tough minds always triumph.  Apparently, she did most of the 20km out-n-back.  On her way back to us,  she met up with a friend who was just heading out.  So our friend turned around so she could run with her friend.  As close as I can tell, she did about (wait for it) 100km by the finish.  And turned what seemed like disaster into a great day.  Again we cheered.