The Ozark Trail 100 is a 102 mile run from point A to point B. I became interested in this after reading about a friend from high school getting into ultra-marathon running. I believe ultra marathons start at the 50 km mark and go up from there. Since I have done some ultra type events before, I figured it would be a breeze. I signed up about a year in advance and started training with lots of short runs. Around May, I finished my master’s degree and started devoting more time to running. The longest training run I had was a little over 16 miles before I injured my foot enough that I have not run since.
Instead of just quitting the race altogether, I signed up to be an aid station volunteer. This involved helping the contestants getting their water bottles filled up and with directions/distances to the next aid station. Being a run in November, I expected the streams to be dry, but by the time the runners got to the first aid station I was at (around the 20 mile mark), they had two water crossings and all had wet feet!
After all the runners had come through my station, I drove two participants that dropped out back to the start before heading on to my next aid station. I would be there overnight helping. At the 80 mile mark, participants looked like they had been in a fight, quite tired and without much energy. Many of them had drop bags at aid stations with supplies to help them get through the race.
The event was extremely well organized with ham radio operators at every aid station and the finish to keep track of all racers. I’ll probably never run a 100 mile race after the pain I experienced training. My doctor suggested that I may not be built for that type of activity and I think I agree. I’ll keep to bikes and boats if I want to go over 10 miles in a single day.