Blizzard named “Atlas,” Over Takes Race But Runners Persevere

The plan was to run Crazy Horse in South Dakota on Oct 7, 2013 but as our coach said, “God hit the pause button” on our LIFE Runner weekend.  Our team was to meet up at the Rushmore Express in Keystone, SD.

Our team after being stranded for a few days and events canceled - great spirit shining through.

So that is where my sisters and I headed off to last Wednesday.

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Stopped in Sioux Falls and then went on to Keystone.

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Once you hit South Dakota, you begin moving a bit faster…

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Day 2 of the trip there was met with a cold and sometimes hard rain.

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When we arrived Thursday night, it was rainy and cold with a major winter storm in the forecast.  There was a break in the rain while we checked out a couple of areas in Rapid City before going onto Keystone.  1376581_10151707424758170_416879588_n

At that point the projection was 4 to 8 inches.   That was far from what was to fall on the area.

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After the First Wave with the Worse Yet to Come

Later that night it started and didn’t stop.

We lost our power in the hotel at 3:30 am Friday, which never came back on during our 4 day stay.  By 6:30 am there was 4 inches on the ground.

Later snow began to fall as if in an avalanche from the roof on the cars below.  Some, anticipated the dramatic and destructive fall, so cars were moved quickly.

1380313_10151707431163170_201061498_n Unfortunately a couple of cars took the hit and one even twice incurring $700 in damage.

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After most of it fell off the roof, it created a pile of snow almost as high as the 2nd story of hotel and extended out halfway across the parking lot.1379799_10151707431698170_1171518620_n

The snow fall continued and then turned into a blizzard that was devastating to livestock in the area.

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No cars were allowed on streets and if caught traveling, $400 tickets were handed out.  Snow plows in Rapid City couldn’t push the heavy snow, people were rescued from their cars by snow mobiles and that was after some people had to spend the night in their cars. 1378335_247769822038323_604534434_n The total amount of snow for our area was 31 inches – some areas got as much as 48.  Far from the 4 – 8 inches predicted just a day before we left.

The worse part of the power outage was the utter darkness.  Our rooms were interior, so no outside windows which helped to keep them warm.  But the darkness was such that you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face.  We all had to have flash lights to go anywhere beyond the lobby – day or night.  No sound from TV, computer or anything else to distract you in your room, phones had to be charged and recharged in the car,  snow was shoveled and re-shoveled by the guys that were out there all day long, 1377594_10151707431553170_11711093_n the staff at the hotel looked to their family and friends to cook meals and would run them back to the hotel for us.  There were even a couple of people who went missing in the process but were later found just after dark.  It was a dangerous situation for anyone that left the safety of the hotel.

Awesome hotel staff at the Rushmore Express, Keystone, SD.

Awesome hotel staff at the Rushmore Express, Keystone, SD.

Our team was separated during this storm.  Some came in on a bus that started in St. Louis and picked others up along the way.  They couldn’t make it as far as the hotel, so it was re-routed to Ellsworth Air Force Base.  There were about 50 or 60 people where we were and it gave us all a chance to get to know each other better – building relationships.

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Finally, Saturday morning, we received word, that our race and all the events surrounding it that we spent the last year planning and the 8 to 12 or more weeks training for,  were canceled.  It was hard to hear this but it was the right thing to do.  The record snow fall was too much to tackle and the race officials were stranded in their homes unable to even get word out.

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Here’s a picture of all of us from the hotel, convoying down the mountain afterwards.

1374911_247766935371945_65637441_n1375247_247765448705427_1674376698_nWe are back home again and planning to run races locally in place of the Crazy Horse run.  For me, it will be the St. Louis Rock and Roll Half Marathon (Oct 27).

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one that teared up though as we crossed back into our home state after 4 days of driving and unable to run the  race or carry out the planned team activities.

For our team though, we know, it’s not about us.

We raised a lot of money for the life-saving work of Vitae and pregnancy care centers (still raising funds through year-end) and will just have to run our own races instead of the one together in South Dakota.  I’m still $200 from my goal.  If you’d like to help me hit the $2,500 goal for Vitae Foundation, please click here.

Our time together in South Dakota was a bit different than we planned, but we came back with a lot of great memories and more good friends than even before.

Running for life…there is nothing like it.  I’ll never stop.

Here is the official LIFE Runner’s post about our teams trip to the Black Hills. 

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6 responses

  1. Sounds like a very disappointing trip. I would have been very irritated, especially without power and away from home. Glad you signed up for another to compensate for missing this one. Good luck!

    • Fortunately the hotel remained warm. My room was an interior room with only a window to the hallway. So glad, because it was warm through out the experience. Just thankful we all arrived home safe. It was like nothing I’d ever been through before.
      Thanks for stopping by –
      Anne

  2. I knew about this of course, from seeing some of Pat Castle’s FB Posts and was praying for all of you…for safety and that the Lord would bring out, what He willed from the storm. You are an amazing example of how Christians should be…seeing the good in all things, knowing God’s in charge! I couldn’t help but relate this to the unborn, while reading your words, about being in darkness…not having any control over the situation. Thank you Anne and all Life Runners, for running the race for Life in so many ways….for the sake of His Little Ones.

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