Sweating with the boys at the 7IL Ranch: Habanero 100 Trail Race setup


The 7IL Ranch at the start of the October 2016 Blazing 7s race.

Yesterday I did something I haven’t had time for lately. I volunteered. This is not a big deal for most runners, you know you should and you want to and it’s fun , so a lot of us volunteer at races. But, with the way my month and year have been going, it just hasn’t been possible. I’ll spare my male readers the gory details, but let’s just say that AF has been visiting me VERY often and staying a LONG time and leaving me feeling pretty bad, and guess what , she was with me yesterday. But I had made a commitment and I really, really did not want to back out, so I took multiple protective measures and off I went with determination, prayers and a positive attitude.

The 7IL is a working cattle ranch with trails for running and horseback riding . They also host an obstacle course race there.

Now this volunteer shift was not a fairly easy one like registration, packet pickup, or working the aid station, which I’ve done before. This was SET UP. I had a vague idea of what that might entail, but I’d never done it. I knew it was a lot of hard physical work. I chose this shift because it was most convenient for my family and also I plan to pace at the race so I need to be available. Well, I busted my  ass yesterday, my arms are sore today, and I feel good about it! I worked with two young men and I tried hard to do my share of everything. There were a few boxes that were too heavy and a few things that were too high for me to reach,  but I helped put up many tents, carry boxes, carry cases of Redbull, etc, etc. The fun part was working as a team, having the boss/ race director, Rob Goyen,  tell us what to do. I’m so used to being the boss of my kids all day, it was a nice change! I hope my work , even though it was voluntary, was satisfactory.

This is from the Blazing 7s race which is held in October at the same location.

I’ll be out there again on Saturday, this time at an aid station all day, which I hadn’t planned, but an empty volunteer spot came up. Then I’ll sleep a few hours and then go back out and run all night as a pacer with my friend to help him stay awake to finish his 100 miles. This race is really crazy! It’s called the Habanero 100, put on by Trail Racing Over Texas. It’s only a few miles from my house, so how can I not participate as much as I can? More people than ever have signed up this year, and I look forward to helping them do the best they can to survive in the heat. This is TEXAS, the race starts at noon, the temps will be in the upper 90s and the course is a sandy, grassy, hilly, sunny 10k loop in a cattle ranch over and over . It is a very hard race! Good luck to everyone!

The 7IL Ranch website. 


  1. I’ve been thinking about volunteering at some races this fall; I’ve always thought it would be fun. I’m just realizing from this post that you’re a fellow Texan. I’m in N T, near Abilene, but I’ve lived down in that area, too.

  2. I love the different weather and terrain of North Texas. Looking forward to hiking at Palo Duro when it cools down. Definitely try to do some volunteering! Are you a trail runner?

  3. My favorite races are trail races, but I haven’t been running in a while. My last two trail runs were in 2015, probably. They were both somewhere around half-marathons; no way I could do that right now. Like I said the other day, “I’ve gotten old, fat, and lazy.” The truth is that I’ve concentrated on lifting weights for the past three years. The weight I’ve gained isn’t really fat, but when you’re running, your body doesn’t seem to know the difference. Palo Duro is great. I also love Caprock Canyons State Park. The hiking is as good, but it is much more rural and less crowded. I hiked twice there last spring.

  4. This post reminds me of once, I had a visitor who wanted to do the One Mile Sea Swim, but she had a daughter who needed looking after, so I skipped the swim and walked the route with her daughter. There’s nothing like the sound of 800 swimmers tking off from the starting line!
    I’ve been following you on your Garmin app page. I am very impressed by your running! You’d blow me away!

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