I copied this from the Town of Virgil website, ''Our American culture got it’s start in places like Virgil, New York and the qualities of our early settlers can still be seen in the people who live here today. Their pioneer spirit, civic-mindedness, and friendly hospitality live on in today’s Virgil residents.'' Ummm..sounds alot like the Trail Monsters. A perfect fit for amazing team, amazing spirit, amazing accomplishments and fun!
The journey began at the Virgil Fire Station where, drop bags were left and race pics were taken and bibs were picked up. Appropriately freebie bumper stickers Squirrel eyed said, ''It ain't for Sissies.'' The TMR crew probably would need to look up the definition of the word sissies as there were none among this crew. Excitement at packet pickup was right on cue and went smoothly.
We headed to Hairy Tony's for pre race eating. An odd name for a restaurant, but decent food. The pickings of the group ranged from salad, sammies, fish and chips, quesadillas, pizza and a huge slab of beef (David's choice, of course). The food seemed to fit the bill and it was on to early retirement for the next day's events.
TMR's converged at the start/finish in darkness, lit by well powered headlamps and James bedazzled TMR tee. It was chilly but the vibes were warm. They were off and running soon around the lake into the trails. Story told, Scout's Bada$$ got grabbed by a stranger at the start. Rick and I headed to a random spot for the first sighting and Ian went on to organize crewing/support/pacer/all around TMR leader duties.
Although as per usual my sense of where it was was way off, we arrived in time to see James' bling, David (for a quick glimpse), Joe and the ''Just for Fun'' gang all go past. All were already enjoying their journey or focusing on their goals whatever the case was for each.
We then headed to Lift House aid station. I was quite pleased to have Bruce (Rick) drive George's car for me, due to my directionally challenged especially in foreign areas driving skills. We arranged the ''Just for Fun'' drop bags so they would be in an easy to find group. Ian was quick to notice the turn to the aid station didn't seem well marked and ran to the end of the road to ensure the lead runners headed in. I was majorly impressed with Ian's RD insight and sense of detail.
It didn't taken long to see, TMR bling. James looked awesome. David, truth be told, looked frantic and fast, Joe, was well Joe, strong, steady pace, unmistakable stride and along came the gang, Scout, Squirrel and George, all looking outstanding. It was fun to see them all looking so great! Ian was helping everyone and soon they were all out and headed up and up all in great spirits.
Bruce headed back as he was hooking up with the '' Fun Group'' at some point to get some miles in. I dropped him at the hotel and my 15 minute trek back turned into much longer by getting lost, but finally making it back to the hotel to do some status updates and check out of the hotel.
I headed back to the start finish, daring not to attempt any aid stations for fear of getting lost and during this time throughout waiting for the 100 milers completed the Acorn Hat. :)
Ryan updated me on the progress of all runners and was sure to let me know George's status throughout. He amazingly was able to give me rough ideas of when the 100 milers would arrive. First to come in was James. I was so proud to be associated with the TMR group and James as he was one of the 100 mile leaders. Surprisingly, James had to ask where he should go and I feel like I crazily was screaming ''this way James.'' His aid station stop was swift and he was out looking fresh and fast to his next 50.
David was next to come in. I remember feeling a little nervous, but reminding myself, this was already 50 miles. I couldn't tell if he was limping. Mindy and Josh were amazing, they attended to his every need. I snapped a pic and didn't want to interrupt any of their prep for the next 50 miles. So I went back to my car and which was front row to observe him heading out sometime later. The story has it, he ate a full BBQ dinner at this point.
I waited for Joe and checked with Ryan for an update. I got out of the car and waited for a bit and then checked with check in after checking and rechecking his number. They didn't have him coming in yet. I went into the barn and he was aid station grazing. I was told later, he snuck in from the side and they missed him. Again, not wanting to break any 100 mile mojo body and mindset I didn't know if I should approach him. I tried snapping a pic, but he moved past me. Then the funniest and maybe scariest part of my whole VC100/50 happened. I wanted to pass along the fact that Ryan was updating TM nation via FB to Joe as I sensed he may have hit a bad patch. Last year relaying Ryan's play by play of the race and funny quips on the TMR site really helped bring George out of a funk. So I say to Joe (nervously, as he caveman style is ripping a chunk of bagel with his teeth). ''Ryan's following you'', Joe, ''who's Ryan?'', me nervously, ''Triffitt''...Joe, ''oh ya.'' Me horrified, ''how ya doin'''...Joe, ''alright''...I then watched him move on and back out. I nervously reported back to TM control headquarters, Ryan. Ryan of course responded, ''LOL. Then he's doing what he should." Phew...I could let that whole scene go....this was typical for Joe.
A bit later, while checking times in the barn, I ran into Bruce again. We then began our nervous waiting for the ''Just for Fun Gang.'' Bruce had a rough idea of around 14 hours and George was about a 1/2 hour behind. We had a few false alarms, but had fun trying to detect them by the height range of headlamps for S&S. Bruce finally determined them coming in and it was confirmed with Val's back blinking light. It seemed to me their pace was quite strong and quick which was a great sight. He went down to meet them. I ran to the finish to attempt a pic in the dark. They arrived and quickly headed to the hotel to shower. Chafing was bad from their 50 mile jaunt and it was quite cold at this point. I was sure to urge them out of the cold, although they wanted to wait for George. I knew George was fine and wouldn't want them in the cold. Bruce escorted them to the car like the Rock Stars they were. 50 miles done and they were perfectly normal.
Shortly later, I headed to the point coming up from the lake where some people head onto the road, instead of the path to the finish. (This is how Joe came in during my infamous sighting of him. He also headed out the same way, but I wasn't going to tell him any different). I was pretty glad to be there, as I was able to direct a few in the right direction. Before I knew it, George came up, said, ''hi'', recognized it was me standing in the dark and went on in and finished up in good spirits. 50 miles done.
We all then converged at the resort. and went on James watch. We figured maybe 2 a.m., so Mindy, George and I traveled down at 1:30. It was kind of hard getting updates, but we some how figured out it would be later than we planned. We went back and then back out at least one more time and then waited. I'm not quite sure of time. We were told, the 2nd place guy had dropped and James was second. We cheered the winner and then crazily cheered the next runner, but then realized it wasn't James. Second place guy hadn't dropped. Scout at some point before 2nd place guy joined the watch and we all squished in our Virgil and NYC bound packed car. We dozed off and on, over explained our rumbling stomachs, drank kind of rough coffee and nibbled on day old Tim bits.
We somehow anticipated James' arrival and he came in to his amazing 3rd place finish. 100 mile finishes believe it or not can be anticlimactic for the first finishers as most spectators are either sleeping to rest up for a finish or crewing their guy. It was pretty crazy though, we cheered wildly and maybe even shed a tear or two. We headed back, went out for breakie and went back to wait for David. Ian assured us, he would be in shortly. Ian had paced him through the night, so we knew he was fine.
David arrived with Mindy (the other Mindy) completing an amazing 7th place first time 100 mile finish. Covered in dried up mud with his most amazing and devoted crew, Mindy, he finished all smiles, hugs and again, maybe a few tears (at least on my part :) ). We all checked out his buckle and admired his accomplishment. I really have to mention the devotion of Mindy (the other Mindy's) crewing. Simply amazing!
At this point, we heard Joe was going to be a bit. With little to no sleep, we opted to head out for our NYC 3:00 check in to avoid any night driving. But, with no doubt, Joe finished his 3rd 100 of the year. I'm sure he's got a good story to tell!
All and all, a great time, amazing and inspiring weekend! Go TMR Ultra Group!!