This past weekend I volunteered at the 2015 Mountain Lakes 100So. Much. Fun.

It was my first time volunteering and a wonderful experience. As with every ultra I’ve been a part of, everyone was awesome. I may be a quiet, introverted fella, but these are my people.

How it went down

I worked at the Pinheads Aid Station, or Aid Station 15, at mile 89. At the AS with me were Claire (AS volunteer), LaGrande (HAM radio operator), and Eric (HAM radio operator). Each of them was fun, super kind to the runners, and simply good people doing a good thing.

Our shift began at 8:00pm and was scheduled to go until 10:00am. We didn’t see our first runner until nearly 10:30pm, so for the first couple hours we acquainted ourselves with the supplies, got to know one another, gathered wood for our fire, and waited. It was pretty damn cold.

After the first person arrived at the AS we had a fairly steady stream of runners to help througout the night. By steady stream I mean we’d see a runner, often with pacer, every 20-30 minutes. Sometimes there would be a small cluster, sometimes the gap between runners was a bit longer. We did our best to help and encourage all the runners. We stayed close to the fire otherwise.

We finished tearing down the AS around 12:30pm on Sunday. Claire, a runner who dropped at our AS, and I took the rough road back to the Clackamas Ranger station. Upon arrival we unloaded the car.

18 hours after the fun began, Claire and I said our goodbyes and my first ultra volunteering adventure was complete. The drive back to Portland was pleasant as my mind wandered and settled on the prospect of running next year’s Mountain Lakes 100.

Sincere thanks go out to Claire, LaGrande, Eric, all the runners, and Go Beyond Racing. I enjoyed the experience beyond words and am forever grateful. It really is true, you get a lot more by giving.

View from aid station at the 2015 Mountain Lakes 100