The morning was heating up quickly as the first group headed out onto the trails. About 2 miles into the run came a hill that seemed pointless to run. The group was beginning to whither. The water bottles were emptying quickly and the aid station was a mile away.
From behind me, I hear someone say that she wasn’t feeling well. I looked back, seeing a young girl walking behind me. She said that it was so hot that she thought that she might faint. She did not have any water.
I offered her sips from my CamelBak and stayed with her for a bit. At the top of the hill we stopped to take in the view. By then she felt a little better.
"Amber", as I called her mistakenly (having forgotten her name), said that I was her new mentor. I jokingly told her that I changed her name to protect her identity. Truthfully, I couldn’t shake the thought of someone getting into a serious emergency situation requiring some sort of alert to be sent out (like the Amber Alerts that get posted on the freeways after a child abduction).
I told Amber that she would likely be the best prepared participant in the coming weeks. She had just joined and had apparently missed the many talks and emails on being self-sufficient. I couldn’t figure out why she went with the advanced group though, but she did finish the run in the end. Along the way, we discussed fuel-belts, sunscreen, hats and that sort of stuff. She kept me within her sights for the majority of the run, occasionally sipping more water.
On top of the difficulty, the weather did not help in the least. I am sure they got an earful of complaints about it. I heard a bit of it spewing forth in the aid station.
I assure you, it sure wasn’t me complaining. Aid stations, on a run, are a luxury. Even races run out of water. Moreover, there were cancer surviving honorees manning the station. I wanted no part of that. I just grabbed my water and was out of there.
As it turns out, the location for the days run was not as originally planned. Regardless, I hope that everyone learned a lesson from it. When the coaches say be self-sufficient and bring water – do it!
You guys are going through some serious heat out there? Right? Yikes! Stay safe!!!