Sunday, June 06, 2010

Heat Humidity & the North Face Endurance Challenge

Heat Humidity Hot Muggy Stifling Energy-Sapping~~~

This discribes the North Face Endurance Challenge held just outside of Washington D.C. on June 5th where my son ran the 50K race.
He is pictured below coming into the Great Falls Aide Station at approximately 19 miles into the race.

He had nearly 11 more miles yet to run after this stop.
Notice the smile.
Notice his shoes.
I was impressed not only by him but other runners as well.
Some were doing 50 miles in this heat and humidity.

Now ask me what it was like being a 'mom' at this event and trying to be a 'crew' to my son at the same time.
It was nerve wracking.
It was hot.
I worried.
I fretted.
I worried some more.
Relief washed over me each time I met him at the Great Falls Aide Station.
He was okay and he looked in good spirits.

I must say though that the Aide Station was in a particularly spectacular spot along the Potomac River.
Great Falls.
A photographer's dream come true.

As my son left the Aide station I walked with him while he explained what had been happening on the trails.
You see 'Trail Running' is NOT marathon running on the road. This is like an extreme sport in a sense.
The runner has to carry supplies and run over difficult and hilly terrain.
My son explained that the cliff he'd run on over the Potomac had been cool but a bit hairy [not exactly his words...I think he said 'awesome'].

He told me of the woman who had fallen and split open her leg - blood gushing. He'd helped her back to an Aide Station and then went back to running.
One place he'd been scrambling through a wet mucky ditch and fell. He got dirty, but not hurt.

So when I found my way back to the Start/Finish Line I waited anxiously in the heat. Not just heat, but full blown Southern Heat.

In my mind I began to worry about my son. [It's a mom thing]
If the heat and humidity were so awful for me standing around doing nothing, how would it be for someone running 30+ miles?

One man came down the finish lane stumbling, post legged, and wobbly.

The mom worry factor ramped up a bit.

Then finally utter and wonderful relief washed over me as I saw my son with another runner approaching.

So how is it being a mom and a crew member for your son?
Well, very satisfying, very worrisome, ...
with a clash of other emotions mixed in.

Proud Mom of an Ultra Marathoner.


  1. What an experience. Thank you for posting this. Your son is really a strong brave young man.

    Oh to be young again!

  2. I sure am impressed!