I think I am in love. If I could live anywhere all summer Silverton is my all time choice with Ashland not being far off as second. It is a super cute little town having all the quiet and character Leadville lacks. Both Seth and I had a hard time dealing with how “busy” Leadville seems, Ashland just seemed much less “on the go”. We spent the morning at the railroad park called such because it sits next to the tracks, a little disappointing but still a cute place. In true homeless style we cooked our lunch there as the children climbed trees and made new friends. The joy of having no agenda.
T-shirt pick up at Rouge Valley Runners wasn’t too exciting but luckily we draw attention! We parked in front of this super cute antique store and as I stared longingly in at all the amazing old books, the kind woman who I believe owns it came out. She informed the kids for all children 10 and under it was free book rushed them inside and began offering them all wonderful options, of course they were all super excited! The children all shook hands and gave high 5’s to her husband as we said our thank yous and headed on our way. I love happy people who just want to make the day of others! So thank you to the lovely couple, my children (who are complete and totally book nerds) were beyond happy with their selections. This super cute couple also looked up our blog, how cute is that?!
The kids each got their shirts, picked out some race nutrition, and we headed for a nice walk around town. +1 informed me we should have the kids try the Lithia water in Lithia Park. Always up for tricking my children we convinced them to all partake and of course they all were grossed out (expect Tru… hmm…). The best part of this was our new friend Pirate we met. He informed us that this water was a joke and showed us where the real water fountains were, right next to the Lithia Water. Pirate then informed us until the day prior he had longer hair then Tajh, but he cut it for court. Apparently that did not help the outcome of his case, at which point he asked if we needed any weed. Being cautious Pirate whispered this, you know, since the kids were there and all. Overall, I think Pirate is a great guy. Silly court system in Ashland…
So between Pirate and our finding of a super cute little market to grab some tasty food at, we had quit the exciting day in Ashland. Eventually we headed up to Mount Ashland to sleep at the start, and the kids and I ran the course a little to get a shake out run and a feel for what they had ahead. Both of them had finished a 50k plus a little before, but this was the first time they would be running a set distance, non loop course. Honestly I was a little nervous, and with Seth being the one to run with them and me having to watch the little ones it was worse. I love being there with my little people, and helping them through the lows. The real joy with the kids is being there during their highs. I have never seen my kids as goofy as they get when feeling amazing hours into a race, although it is hard to keep up at those times! So we ran, and then had a dinner of mash potatoes and veggies, and they headed to sleep.
In the morning it was a little crazy getting all 3 of them ready and sending them away, but once they were gone the sitting and waiting was terrible. I have no idea where they were at and occupied my time hanging out with the little ones and cleaning the van a bit. I knew Seth would get cell reception at some point on the way in so I asked him to text me back whenever he had it. Seven hours into the race with a 7 ½ hour cut off (which apparently actually isn’t enforced) he text me they were still on the PCT; it was going to be close for Tea. I immediately assume that means Tajh is ahead, then I second guessed myself and ask for clarification. See, we usually run ever step of a race with the kids, I don’t believe either of them should be out on a course alone. Its not that I don’t trust them, its just IF something does go wrong, I believe Mommy or Daddy should be there. Going into this race we knew it would be hard. They can usually run together some, but for an entire 50K that just wasn’t going to happen. Seth is really good about running back and forth between them, but what if they were so far apart he couldn’t? Seth eventually text me back Tajh was behind… shit. If Tea was going to barely make, what is Tajh going through mentally?
Teagan and Seth coming running in, huge smile on Tea as always, and the race director announces Seth’s name as he has done for all people previous. I believe I yelled something like “and Teagan” and he looking completely confused and disheveled then yells, “I cant see her number”. Now here’s my point, if an 8 year old girl is signed up for your 50k, shouldn’t you take notice? And on top of that, not being able to see her number? Is that really an excuse when she is THE ONLY 8 YEAR OLD GIRL?! Seth runs by and yells her name which the guy then butchers… ugh… To continue on the volunteers then try and not give her a finisher medal and Seth has to correct them on that and then they aren’t taking the chip off her shoe. *sigh* Not a happy Momma here AND Tajh is still out there. I offer to run back and find him but Seth informs me he has it, and off he goes.
As Seth takes off a man rushes over to talk to Tea. At first I assume he is a race director, but no he is actually a reporter. It basically is chaos at this point as my tired little girl tries to talk to this man (which she actually did a wonderful job at!) I try and wrangle 3 little people, stress about Tajh, and try and get my little lady whatever she needs. Eventually its back to sitting and waiting, but this time with Tea too. Forty minutes later Tajh and Seth come running up. Tajh’s name gets butchered by the man announcing and he luckily gets his finisher medal without too much hassle. Poor Tajh did not have the best day out there, but that little guy sure stuck it out and finished.
We hung out for a while, a couple of people congratulated the kids, and the kids had their free post race meal from a taco truck. They do get caffeine in long races and they both informed us it didn’t kick in until after the race. This “crazy mode” as Tea calls it I think isn’t the caffeine (I think they use that up during the race) I believe its just a little post race high. Honestly they are just crazy, talkative, and goofy. I feel like its similar to those kids after the dentist videos that go viral, maybe I should film it!
So with no race director ever coming over to say anything to them, we eventually head on to our next adventure, which turned into the Redwood debocal of 2013 . Maybe I’m silly, but I believe my children deserved a little nod from the race directors. They are the youngest finishers of SOB 50k (at least that I saw) and I think that they desired a “good job”. Instead they got people almost seeming annoyed that they were there. Tea finished under the time cut off, with many people behind here, and Tajh was by far not the last finisher. They were not in the way, not a pain to have out there, they were the same as any other finisher, just shorter. Oh well I suppose. They both got medals they were super excited about and they both were happy with their performances. They thought the course was very pretty and they both of course were happily playing not too long later. Although I am jealous of their recovery time, I love my little people and I am so proud of both of them for their finishes!
Moral of this, I love Ashland. I think I need to plan another visit, spend some more time, maybe even a different race! 🙂