Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Crew's Perspective: Terrapin Mountain 50k

Yesterday I joined the hubby (and UltraVT crew) at the Terrapin Mtn 50k. Last year I ran this race and LOVED it. The course is beautiful, challenging but fun and well-supported. This year, with no plans to run, I charged up my camera and prepared to have a little photography fun. I am glad I was able to be out there soaking up the enthusiasm of the runners, enjoying the ultra scene and seeing the race from a different perspective. I had FUN! I kept busy, between getting the hubby ready, riding around in Horton's truck listening to him harass the runners, hiking to the top of Terrapin Mtn from Camping Gap (main aid station), taking pictures, and in the sensation of spring in the beautiful mountains of southwest Virginia.

I don't have any real "report" to share with you, but I did want to share some fun pictures! Enjoy, notice all the smiles! Ultra running is truly special, even more so when you're out there surrounded by friends & "family."

 Pre-Race & Start

Pre-race I had no real plan for the day. It was a solid 4-5 miles up the mountain to the main aid station and crew members were not suppose to drive there. Running there was not an option (I'm still in recovery mode and was scheduled for an off day) and walking would have taken WAY too long (I walk really slow). Thankfully, Dr. Horton granted me the privilege of riding in his truck up the mountain (yes, he has special,well-earned rights to drive wherever he wants!). I enjoyed sitting back and riding along, chatting about life and catching up. 

Too early to be awake but look at those smiles!
Dr. Horton doing what he loves... encouraging (and harassing) runners. Just past the 1 mile mark. 

Terrapin Mtn Overlook 

After catching a ride up the main aid station (Camping Gap), I took a short stroll (~2 miles round trip) to the top of Terrapin Mtn to check out the view. The windy was gusting up above 20 mph and I am terrified of heights... fun stuff.

Sights & Scenes near Camping Gap/Terrapin Mtn.
Fun couple at the top of Terrapin Mtn (half marathon runners). Their encouragement of each other was fun to listen to!

Camping Gap Aid Station 

Runners passed through the Camping Gap aid station three times, making it the obvious spot for watching the race. The energy of the aid station volunteers was tremendous. They keep moving for hours on end to help runners stay hydrated, fueled and motivated. They are without a doubt an essential part of putting on a successful race.

The hubby with about 10 miles to go, being helped by AWESOME aid station volunteer Todd T.
Woot! VT top runners at halfway still having some fun. 
My ride for the day :) Horty's Truck
Beth, 4th female coming into the halfway mark.
Todd eagerly awaiting the arrival of AJW to Camping Gap. Probably my favorite picture of the day.

It takes a lot of coordinated effort and hard work on behalf of volunteers to run a successful & busy aid station. These folks rocked it! Get'm in, get'm out!
Rick G... Always with a smile on his face!

Jamie S. & friend 
Support crew: Me, Mike & Rachel

2 Miles to Go & The Finish Line

Here I played around in the stream crossings (rock hopping, a childhood favorite activity of mine!) while waiting for a few of our top runners (and the hubby of course). It was fun to see each person's 'unique approach' as to the best way to get across the stream :P

Rudy R. on his way to a stellar 2nd place overall finish. 
2 miles to go
The finish line energy was awesome! We laid around for hours waiting for athletes to filter in, enjoying the warm sun and spring air.

The hubby finishing the 50k: 4:40 & change, 5th overall male. Big course PR for him!

Top 10 Hokies (4 in the top 7)

Gotta love the tunnel finish! 2 Freshman completing their 2nd 50k of the spring

Helen M. & Jeff M. finishing side-by-side.

Doc Chang taking care of his team!
Oh so enthusiastic!

Rocking the pink sunglasses post-race.

Last but not least, GO Hokies!!!

Approximately 14 Hokies finished the 50k and 4 the Half Marathon. Four Hokie guys were in the top 10 overall for the 50k! Hokies took 1st in the 1/2 marathon for men and 2nd for women. How's that for some inspirational young people!

The Hokie crew minus one or two, including myself... I was taking the picture!

Woot! #somethinginthewater

This was #2 of 6 ultras on the hubby's schedule this year, so there will definitely be more crew's perspective posts to come! As I've mentioned, I love to opportunity to be out there supporting the athletes and putting my camera to good use. I enjoyed chatting with friends we've made over the years and meeting a few new people, including a newly hired VT professor (!) and a recent blog follower (hi Alissa!) Since I have no ultras on the schedule this year (major sad face!) it will have to be a fun season of honing my photography skills and hanging out at the races... THAT I THINK I can handle :D


  1. Loved your recap from the other side, and loved that so many Hokies did so well!

    1. Thanks Deb... I love that our Hokies did well too!

  2. Wow very cool! So neat that you got to crew along. We've got a 100 miler coming up nearby that I love to volunteer at. The people you see working an aide station, everything is just incredible. Such a cool environment.

    1. Yea John, volunteering or spectating really puts things in perspective and provides a source of inspiration!


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