|Scott & Bella Scott, Larry, and Andy|
Saturday started out crisp and displaying a sky filled with gorgeous stars. Since StoneCat starts at 6:15 a.m., the stars were joined by a sea of headlamps. I had Bella with me as I kissed Scott and wished him a good race. At lap 4, the plan was to join Scott for his “victory lap”. The buzz of the runners, the sound of the bagpipes, and the distinct whine of impatient Bella told us the start of StoneCat 2013 was near! Right on time, the runners were off, disappearing into the dark Willowdale forest. That’s when Bella and I sprang into action!
For the next couple of hours, Bella and I leapfrogged between the aide stations. The race staff sure got to know us and Bella loved the extra attention. They provided hot soups, a variety of water, Gatorade, and coke, and of all things, sizzling bacon! Bella and I cheered runners on all morning like it was our job.
|Looking strong Scott!|
After we saw Scott at the second aide station, I took Bella to her favorite doggie daycare. She’d get some great play time with a bunch of her puppy friends and I’d gain some freedom to enable me to pace Scott later on. Before I knew it, my leapfrogging and general course support was complete and my work as pacer began in earnest. By the time Scott completed lap 3 and was ready to pick me up, the temperature had risen to well over 60 degrees. November in New England – go figure. Fortunately, I had packed running attire for every season. Armed with Gatorade and Gels, I lead Scott back into the woods.
Having run StoneCat 50 last year, I was keenly aware of the degree to which the latter miles can mess with the runners. Hoping I wasn’t sounding like a bossy wife, I doled out advice and commands as I thought he needed. Scott knows what to do and what not to do, but there is a certain delirium that sets in somewhere after mile 37.5….
Our lap came together nicely, neither of us fell (during that lap), and we made a great team. I’m so glad I had my own StoneCat experience to draw from. I think it made all the difference in the world, because…
Scott PR’d by 35 minutes!!!!!
2013: 50 miles @ 9:21 (34th place)
2010: 50 miles @ 9:54 (51st place)
A number of times on the course and afterwards, Scott thanked me. But honestly, I was so happy to help in any way I could. For me, what a bonus to get to support, cheer, and pace – all in the same race.
Scott had a great training cycle, was thorough in his fueling strategy, and planned for everything possible (including packing plenty of salt tablets, which were critical on this warm day). I’m so proud of his drive, his discipline, and his strength. And once again, as a pacer to a runner achieving a new PR, I feel like I got another small moment amongst something big for my best friend in the world. So Scott, you did all the work…I was just there to remind you J