Every year for a good number of years now, we at the trail club have volunteered to man a water station for the God’s Country Marathon. And 2019 was no different.
We set up at Water-Station #19, which is at the bottom of Denton Hill, Coudersport side. This means the runners have already done 19 miles, “Conquered The Hill,” meaning they have run over Denton Hill, which for all practical purposes begins in the area of Ski Denton and ends about where our station was.
We don’t have the mileage for that stretch, but it has to be a real test for the runners. So at our post we can encourage them that it’s all downhill to the finish line from here.
The water stations traditionally hand out water and Gatorade, which we did, along with orange slices, the runners pick of several kinds of snacks, cookies, GU gel and pretzels.
They ran the gamut of cruising past us without even slackening their pace, to those who grabbed a quick drink on the way by, and then some who just coasted on in, had a snack, drink and wanted to chat a bit. Obviously these weren’t the front-runners, but were just out running their own race and enjoying the day.
We never know who has won or placed until we read it in the paper, as we are required to stay at our post until the last runner has passed. Then we fold up the tent and table and go our way, except for some who just hang out and visit for awhile.
I don’t know if it is fate or what, but it seems like nearly every year we — and the runners — are blessed with a decent day weather-wise. I’m sure the runners would prefer it a little cooler, even overcast, and I believe even a light rain would not deter them but no lightning thank you.
We give a big shout-out thank you to the Coudersport Ambulance folks, the local town police and state troopers for being there, both visible and vigilant. Lots of traffic on Route 6, but in all of the years I have been doing this, no mishaps, and that’s what we want.
Helping on this day were Art and Robin Huber, Donna Batterson, June Robinson, John Zimmer, Bill Morey, Helen Bernhardy and me. Some others wanted to, but their schedules changed and they couldn’t make it.
Take Dad for a hike on the STS for Father’s Day and watch for the Full Strawberry Moon on the 17th.