The Pioneer Saloon was built in 1913 and known for having wet many a thirsty miner's whistle. It's also known for its patterned tin exterior and interior walls, some resembling bricks. The Pioneer Saloon is one of the nation's oldest stamped-metal building still standing, its thought to be one of the last if not, the last of its kind in the United States. The famous screen legend, Clark Gable, waited for three days at the bar for word on his wife of less than two years Carole Lombard. She was lost in a plane crash near Mount Potosi just oustside of Goodsprings. There are actual shirts from the Saloon that say, "Where the Hell is Goodsprings?"... funny.
After seeing this place it was great and I knew I wanted to take it on. So we got a date set, submitted for permits, traffic plans, porta-janes, GPS'ing the course, finishers medals, shirts, food, prize donation, and many other behind the scenes things in preparing for the event.
The race course would be through the small town of Goodsprings, with approx. 3/4 mile of asphalt, then on to dirt road leading on out and back course. A gradual incline would find all the runners making there way till about mile 6 when the course drops down and had a long 9 mile gradual drop all the way to the California State Line! Yup, Run to California from Nevada on this 50k turn around, cool huh!
We only had one minor hick up, okay, it was Major. A date Change! Long story short, we had to change from a Saturday date to Sunday due to a motocross event taking place the same day and with almost 200 motocross bikes on and around our running area it was deemed unsafe and we were forced to move, but all worked out great as we picked up a couple more runners. The race was small, only 36 for such a short planned event of 5 weeks!
Come race morning, also happened to be Day Light Savings time forward to not only was I waking up early to meet Brendan/Kendall to drive out to Goodsprings we were losing an hour, so 1am came super fast. Once we hit the race course, weird things and noise's were occurring at the Saloon as we started set up, guess the Ghost knew we were there! Brendan and I took off setting/marking the course while it was still dark outside, dropping aid station set ups and supplies and getting back to the start before the event went off at 7am. The Ghost made his presence known when our 2 mile sign/marker came up missing from the course, turns out some yahoo that we saw out there now has it hanging in his garage. We blame him because one, we never saw the Ghost and two, there was only one vehicle driving around in the middle Where the Hell is Goodsprings at this time of the morning!
Once everyone was checked in and ready to go we lined them up, went over the brief description of the course, let Noel, the owner of the Pioneer Saloon give the count down and everyone was off!! all 36 of them, 2 others would show up later missing the time change and take on the 10k, so 38. I quickly headed out to my aid station, I was manning the Half Marathon turn-around and mile 24 on the out and back course of the 50k. Come mile 24 on the 50k course runners would be looking to see this aid station as they made the turn around at the State Line and made a 9 mile gradual to building climb back to me. Then there was 3/4 mile steep climb to mile 25, then all down hill back to the start.
The day seemed to go by fast as the Half Marathoner's arrived with the 50ker's and those turned around and others pushed on to the State Line. Then I was alone and eating all the snacks at my aid station for about 2 hours. Once the 50k's came back through they moved on quickly to get to the top of the hill and hit that last 5 miles down hill. Once the last runner past, who, had just ran a marathon the day before, I started clean up and Brendan showed up from his mile 9.6 mile aid station. We chatted for a while and then headed towards the finish picking up gear along the way. I eventually passed the last runner and Brendan stayed behind to follow behind at a long distance as to not make him feel pushed. The course was open for 10 hours and this guy was slated to finish in about 7 so plenty of time. Back at the finish line I hung out with some of the runners, chatted and heard nothing but great things about the race and the Pioneer Saloon, where Noel, was cooking up Burgers/Hot Dogs and other goodies for the runners and there families. Of course beer was being served and others were hanging out in the back of the saloon lounge area. Also, many bikers/motor cycle riders come here as a stop on there cruising around day and along with a small band playing there was lots going on.
Soon the last runner arrived and was cheered on by all the race staff/crew and new biker friends, who just wanted to join in and help cheer him in! It was a great time!! Not only that but every finisher received a finisher medal that is also a bottle opener! What better medal than for finishing at a Saloon!
It was a long day but totally worth all the time we all put into it, even the crazy change in the date. We are excited for the Fall event of the Pioneer Saloon Run, Oct. 22, 2012 which will include the 10k/Half/50k and 50 miler!!!! and next Spring will be the 100th Anniversary of the Saloon so we will have a HUGE event! which should include a 100 mile distance! (also we will include more trails other than the dirt road, which by the way is the Original State Highway from NV to Cali.)
I also decided this week to enter the Leona Divide 50k April 28, so its game on for the next 5 weeks! Time to go run!