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Volunteering: Last Chance Aid Station

Western States Endurance Run

General Information

Dear volunteers,

The 43rd running of the prestigious Western States Endurance Run will take place June 24-26, 2016. Thank you for giving-up your time to support the runners in this ultimate challenge. This extremely arduous and remote race couldn’t happen without the support of volunteers like you.

Any carpool requests should be posted on the Stevens Creek Striders Facebook Group Page. You are welcome to invite more friends to participate. Also if you have medical experience and can assist in the Medical Tent, please let us know. Your enthusiasm is greatly appreciated! We love the fact that in recent years we have enjoyed the company of a large crew of both returning and new volunteers. At Last Chance we have the luxury of a large area that supports camping and the aid station set up. For experienced volunteers who may be tempted to skip the rest of the letter, please note that we are always appreciative if you can bring extra ice and/or water. If you can, please bring 2 bags of ice per person for the runners and some extra water for the runners. We may not ask to use your extra water, but we almost certainly will need your extra ice. Also, mosquitoes should be as bad as usual so be extra careful and use insect repellent (and remember repellent attacks anything made of plastic, such as watches, camcorders, cameras…). When packing up to leave, please make sure you have everything that you brought with you. That includes your coolers and empty or full water containers. Perhaps you will also be willing to carry some extra trash back to the stadium as well. Please bring a spare trash bag or two for this purpose.

This page contains a lot of information collected from various sources over the past 34 years throughout which the Stevens Creek Striders Club has successfully managed this aid station. In fact, the Striders have the longest running service of any of the aid stations! It is also worth noting that through Tom Kaisersatt’s and Eric Lacher’s influence, the San Jose Fit Club has also been an integral part of the Last Chance Aid Station in recent years.

We have so much fun with the Hawaiian Theme, that we thought we would continue the same theme this year. So bring your Hawaiian shirts, hats, grass skirts or whatever tickles your fancy. For the runners, we will provide the normal fare with a Hawaiian flare. As usual, you are asked to provide the bulk of your own food while camping on Friday and Saturday, but since there is always a little mix and match going on, feel free to be creative in the food department.

In short (more to read in exhibits):

  • When: The race will be held on June 25-26, 2016. You’re welcome and actually encouraged to come to the station the day before on Friday afternoon to set-up camp, and avoid rushing on Saturday morning before the access road closes at 9 am (Dusty Corners).
  • Where: in the middle of nowhere… camping in the Sierras…with a bunch of crazy runner enthusiasts. This is dry camping (no shower, just port-a-potties). The station is at mile 43.3 on the race course. See attached instructions to drive up to the station from Auburn. This is about a 5 to 6-hour drive from Cupertino.
  • Who: 399 runners are registered, and the majority will start and continue on through our aid station, which is renowned for its very personalized attention to every runner.
  • How: be prepared for dry camping in a remote, natural and high altitude location. How to get there? By car, of course, up to the station (fire road for the last few miles). If you cannot find people to car pool with, please contact us and we’ll try to accommodate your request.
  • What: we are the second major medical aid station after leaving Squaw. Situated just before one of the toughest canyons, Deadwood, and the subsequent climb to Devil’s Thumb. What to bring? See list attached. Don’t forget camping gear, insect repellent (a must!), some ice for you and the runners (there is never too much). Please bring two bags of ice per person, in a cooler. What to do? We’ve plenty of work between 9am and 6pm on race day (Saturday): preparing food for runners, and the drinks, greeting and assisting them throughout the station, directing them to medical care, dispatching the drop bags, getting water for the “car wash,” cleaning-up the camp site.
  • Note that if you need to leave a little early for pacing, then you must park above where the runners come in. If you need to leave a lot early for pacing, then you must park up at Dusty Corners. We cannot have any cars driving on our part of the course until after our cut time of 5:30. No cars can drive through Dusty Corners until their cut time of 4:10. Please adjust your cars for this before 9 a.m. If you have any questions about where to park, please check with Peggy or Lina.
  • Your capable captains for the day look forward to seeing you!Aloha,Lina McCain, Peggy AlfredLast Chance (LC) Aid Station Captains

Agenda

Friday, June 24

We’re not setting up a meeting point in Cupertino this year. You can caravan to Auburn (3 1/2hours), stop for lunch and pick up final supplies (mainly ice at Raley’s). If you cannot leave Friday morning, we strongly suggest you depart no later than 4:00 p.m. so as to arrive before 9:00 p.m. It takes 5 to 6 hours to get to Last Chance (depending on traffic…). Enclosed are directions to Last Chance so that you won’t get lost. Please follow the directions explicitly – we don’t want to go looking for you!

Bring your own snacks for dinner. After dinner those who want to visit a ghost- town we found a few years back can make the 2-mile trip before it gets dark (you’ll need to ask Jerry Hill, who will pull in with the drop bags and hang with us for a bit on Friday night). We will have a campfire party with story time and singing for those who want to participate.

Special note: The U. S. Forest Service has requested we limit cars into Last Chance as much as we can, hence the proposition to car-pool. We cannot camp in the Meadow area. The water has not been tested for drinking, so bring extra water. There are two endangered species of plant life in the Meadow, so please be careful when going to and from the spring.

Saturday, June 25

No cars allowed into Last Chance after 9:00 a.m. (access road re-opens at 6:00 p.m.)

7:00 to 9:30 Breakfast (on your own)

6:30 to 9:00 a.m. Hike or run down to the river (arduous), if you like. Not officially organized. Another nice option is to hike or run up to Dusty Corners. The trail route is much longer than the road. There are nice views of the river canyon on this route.

9:30 to 10:30 Set-up Aid Station and general instruction meeting at 10:00 a.m.

First runner around 11:15 a.m., cut-off time at 5:30 p.m.

5:30 p.m. Closing and clean up

6:00 p.m. Please check needs with Captains before leaving the station.

Please be ready to help by taking out some trash with you. We also might need help taking some runners back to Foresthill should we have drops. Please make sure that you take back any chairs, coolers and even the extra water if we didn’t use it. We are responsible to cart everything but the porta-potties back out of there.

Sunday, June 26

From 8am to 12pm: Brunch (FREE for the volunteers) served by the Western States Organization at Auburn’s Placer High School Stadium.

If anybody has remained to camp a second night at Last Chance: optional adventurous run along the trail down to the river and back. Breakfast on your own.

Tear down and clean campsite. All trash must be removed.