Saturday, February 2, 2013

Just Call Me Red Hot 33K Course Sweeper

This morning I woke up dreaming that I had won an entry into the Dogtown Half Marathon.

The Utah Running Guide is an awesome Facebook page that highlights so many different running events all over Utah and they give entry's away all the time to many races.

They currently have two entry's they are giving away to run down by St. George, in Dogtown, (Washington City) and I want to head South so bad to enjoy some warm running temperatures. 

When I woke up I headed straight to the computer to see if my dream was a reality.  My dream was quickly forgotten when I saw this instead:

GrassRoots Events
Looking for a sweeper for the Red Hot 33k course Feb. 16th. Course sweep will start at 12:30pm (55k cut-off time) and will start their sweep 4mi from the start. If you can help with sweep you will have a comp into your race of choice: Red Hot 2014, MAS50 (sept 14th) or Amasa (April 13th)

I immediately responded back asking for more details and expressing that I was VERY interested. I got a reply back right away from the GrassRoots Events people. He asked for my phone number and immediately called me with everything I needed to know to perform this task. 
There was absolutely no hesitation on my part in accepting this responsibility!  I welcomed it whole-heartedly!  He told me there was one other woman interested from Arizona and that there would be two of us out there together sharing the job.  These photos are all google images taken from the Moab 55K/33K course and I cannot wait to get out there and be amongst the beauty!!
So what precisely does a sweeper do?  We get to be at the very end of the line.  We get to run the entire course and pick up all the pink flagging that guides runner's along the course so they don't get lost.  We will hand off rosters of the runner's from one aid station to the next.  We will still get to enjoy all the benefits and goodies of the aid stations because they clean up after we leave.  (I hope there's still treats leftover for us) We get to enjoy the beautiful scenery and cool weather, and not be worried about meeting any time restrictions.  He told us we have basically about 6 hours (longer if needed) to run 20 miles (33k) while cleaning up the course. That's definitely do-able. 
He also said under no circumstances are we to pass any runners.  We definitely are there to make sure we don't leave anyone behind as well, and we don't want to take down their trail markings too early. That would just be sad to leave someone wandering lost out there.
The exciting thing to me is I wanted to try this race so bad and had already been looking at their website and researching it beforehand. But, once again the big chicken in me didn't dare sign up because I don't like being alone out on an unknown course.  Even though there are always people out there running, for some reason I just think I'm going to be left in the dust and the bears are going to eat me.  Crazy thinking I know. 
This will now be a perfect opportunity to get to enjoy an awesome trail run in beautiful Moab.  The best part??? It's FREE!!! It's like they are paying me to sweep the course for them with a free run.  It's a win/win situation. On top of that I get to pick any of their races and have another free entry!!  Two trail run races for free!! Wahoo!! Can you tell I like FREE??
This run will be a perfect opportunity to get some trail miles under my feet before the big 24 hour trail run in March.  Yeah, I'm pretty stoked!
Oh and about my dream and Dogtown?  Giveaway is happening tonight.  I'm still not giving up hope yet for that one.


Jim ... 50after40 said...

That's really interesting. I didn't know they had sweepers who "ran" the course. But I guess on a trail race like this, that's about the only way to clean up the course. I usually just see them in a truck or police car after the last runner. That should be fun, and a great way to give back an help out - good job!

Amy N. said...

That sounds like a fantastic job! And no one better to do it than you! You have such an opportunity to make a huge difference in their experience!

I wish there was a website like that for Washington!

Christy said...

Awesome! Hopefully you will have extra time to capture the beautiful scenery on camera.

Jenny Lynn said...

You rock! The scenery must be amazing.

Doran & Jody said...

Woot! Good luck!
This sounds like a lot of fun...sort of.


Maybe when I get running again it will sound fun.

Cory Reese said...

Awesome! Is it Chris that you are working with?

If so, I got to spend some quality time with him in his car during a ride back to the starting line when I didn't make a cutoff at his MAS 50 race. One of the most beautiful and unbelievably grueling races I've ever done.

Congrats on the Red Hot!

Jerilee E. said...

That sounds awesome! What a cool thing to be able to do!