I was also able to find my marathon clinic co-instructor Jen wandering around with her friend Nicole. They both decided to do the Squamish 23km at the last minute and got in on the lottery in the week before the race. They were both all smiles as usual and enjoyed their races. It was really great to hear runner after runner say how great it was. Jen and Nicole were headed off to put in a volunteer shift now that their race was finished. Hard core!
So now that we had caught up with everyone we knew who was running the 23km event, we decided to mobilize ourselves and head off to some of the aid stations to try and catch our friends running the 50km event. With a pit stop to pick up Solana's car (which was parked at Quest University, one of the starting points) we headed off to what we thought was Aid Station 5.
A ways up a gravelled forest services road, we came across the aid station. A few runners came through and then all of a sudden we noticed the next runner was Solana! She seemed a little surprised to see us but ran over and gave us a quick rundown of things she'd need at the next aid station.
A few hugs and off she went continuing down the trail like a boss. I am always amazed at how focused she looks during her races. Even when she's dirty and dusty and looking pooped, she's focused. I guess that's what it takes to get really good at this trail racing stuff, hey?
We had a few things to pick up but hit the road in search of the next aid station. We had rough directions but weren't totally sure of where we were supposed to turn. Since we needed gum and a freezie for Solana we stopped in at a gas station and the attendant knew exactly where to send us. A short drive down the highway and we turned onto the next forest services road.
This was a great aid station and there was a nice little group of spectators in camp chairs, cheering like crazy for every tired runner that came up the hill. Yes, there was a fairly steep, dusty gravel hill leading up to this aid station! We cheered for the runners and saw some of Solana's teammates pass through and then up came Solana to the aid station.
She got right down to switching out her visor, having some electrolyte drink and eating the (now melted) freezie we'd brought for her. I grabbed her water pack and ran over to get it refilled and she took a quick head dunk in cold water before carrying on.
Soon after our Langley Running Room runners started to pass through the aid station.