I recently had the opportunity to visit Silver City, Idaho. I'd been there once or twice before, but this time was different. This time, I was photographing runners who would take on the challenge of running areas of the Owyhee Mountains surrounding the historic mining town of Silver City. But more than that, I was in charge of overseeing an aid station that the runners visited while on the course. The aid station was prepared, complete with the aid station crew dressed up with their favorite super hero shirts, matching colors, and yes, even costumes.
The various food and liquid items were ready for the runners as they passed. At this point in the course, most runners passed through quickly, even though they had already run 18 miles. There were still lots of miles left to cover (45 or so, give or take some bonus miles for those that got off course). The clock was ticking.
As the runners left the aid station on their first of two visits, they were greeted to a cool water crossing. With temperatures in the 40s, it was like an ice bath after a hard run, but one that some runners tackled without hesitation.
Some runners opted to try to keep their feet dry and instead tried to navigate their way over some rocks in an attempt to avoid the cool sting of the water. Not all were successful and ended up wet as well.
Some runners took a moment to strike a pose before moving on. Perhaps a show of their ample energy as they embarked on the next section of the course.
As the runners made their way on the course we all had time to wait for their return. The crew made good use of their time.
Some studied their notes.
And some rested.
When the runners returned for their second time, some were greeted by their friends and family, while others had pacers waiting to run alongside them for the remainder of the course.
The warm smiles provided a boost of emotional energy. A quick breather while chatting, replenishment of nutrients and liquids, and then the runners were on their way again.
As the afternoon wore on, the emotions that the runners were experiencing was evident on their faces. While some runners will tell you that they didn't have the kind of performance they had hoped for, all have a story to share. And on that day, all became super heroes.