Lessons Learned from Volunteering at Aid Station 9 at Midstate Massive 100 Mile Run

Everything I read the year I trained for the Leadville 100 Run in 2019 said to volunteer at a 100 mile race. I did not add that to my training plan. Advice also included running at night, hill repeats, intervals and practicing throwing up while running. I didn’t do any of these things. 

Now that I’m training, again, for Leadville in 2022, this time, I will do all these things, so first things first – I signed up to volunteer at the worst aid station – 11pm to 5am. This meant, most likely no sleep for a day which I knew was going to be problematic at some point and definitely screw up long training days needed as I train for Ironman Florida in 3 weeks. 

My BFF Jeff said yes to joining me since I didn’t know what to expect. I knew there would be an EMT there but really it’s all I knew. 

We arrived at 11pm and then runners started coming in at 11:30pm. 

What I learned at the Midstate Massive Ultra:

  • Have a plan for dropping at remote aid stations – it’s up to you to get a ride home, not the race organizers.
  • Know the course and download the maps. The app for this race had a speaker stating they were arriving at aid station 9, how many miles and their pace, plus it stated their approximate finishing time. WOW. Annoying but cool. Many people ran extra miles because they missed turns or were following others. This course has a way of doing that, though.
  • Get lean. The runners who were arriving first were lean. Weight matters.
  • The runners were so thankful we were there. Be Thankful.
  • Stop, take break and think about what you need at aid stations. 
  • Be thoughtful about who you choose as a pacer. This person must know your gear and what you like when you are completely out of it. I saw great teams out there. Pacers knew what to do and what their runner liked. They got their bottles and bladders out quickly and efficiently. I saw a couple who were running the 100 mile race together and they complimented each other perfectly. I saw one woman runner who was running her first 100 and her pacer/husband/boyfriend said all the right things while she was doubting finishing. I knew she would finish. I told her – You Will Finish This. Find your person

I’m sure there are more lessons but these were the ones that come to mind after sleeping for 12 hours. 

I can’t wait for my 100 mile race and training properly for it. Bring on the 2am runs.

Woman seeking pacer for Leadville 100 August 20, 2022. Must be motivational, but not too motivational. Must be used to running at 10,000 feet and higher. Contact blog writer.