On Saturday I showed up a few hours early for the Nose Creek XC race. My friend Dawn is the race director, and I was there early to “pre-run” the course before helping her out in a volunteer capacity. It was still important for me to cover the course that day, as I’m working towards my 50-in-a-row status. Dawn, her granddaughter and I walked and ran the course with extra flags, to make sure everything was set to go for the racers at noon.
There was a lot of snow cover, but it wasn’t very deep and it was kind of sticky in the warm, strong wind of the chinook that had begun the day before. The wind was really really strong, but otherwise it was nice to be out there.
Dawn took this video of me on the first big downhill of the course. It’s my favourite descent in the park.
Originally I was going to be a course marshal during the race itself, but the person who she had planned to have work in the kitchen was injured, so I headed for the kitchen. I had made a pot of pumpkin curry soup, and I brought Dawn’s three pots of soup to the hall as well.
Once I got to the hall I figured out how to start two of the six burners on the big stove. I started a big urn of coffee and fiddled with the stove to get some heat under four other pots. I found two hot plates in the Roadrunner supply boxes and set two more pots on those. By that time Gerri and her girls had arrived. Gerri’s great – she often helps set up and serve in the kitchen and it’s a wonderful thing she does.
While Gerri carried on with cutting buns and setting out stuff, I set up tables and chairs. Dawn had told me she was expecting about 100 racers, so one by one I hauled out and set up 25 tables and 145 chairs. Little Runner and Gerri’s girls were a huge help with the chairs. I’d haul out a big stack of 8-12 chairs (I called them “chair mountains”) and the girls took them off the stack and set them around the tables. A couple of racers helped with the last couple of stacks, and I headed into the kitchen to serve soup to the masses.
There were a lot of good soups; spinach-lentil, chunky minestrone, “Christmas Dinner”, yam & peanut, chicken rice, pulled pork & vegetable, and another kind of minestrone. Everybody looked all rosy cheeked as they raved about pushing through the wind over the mashed potato snow. I had some dessert too; a brownie, a cookie and a slice of lime loaf.
Announcements happened and we all packed up our gear. As usual, we were out of the hall by 2:30.