The Soup at Edinburg

By Brenda Davidson

Edinburg Aid Station at NightOk, here's a rebuttal to calling Edinburg Gap "soup Nazis." We have been called this before. No hard feelings, but I feel when someone does not understand something, it is polite to try to explain, so here goes.

This is the third year that we have run the Edinburg Gap aid station. It is a fun experience to stay up all night one day a year. We cater to those runners who have run 75 miles and survived Short Mountain. We do not ignore the pacers, as we are aware that the pacer is very important to the numbered runner.

We decided that it would be great if we could provide the runners with a speciality item like the other aid stations do. We decided that potato soup would probably "hit the spot" as they say. So several days before the run, Anstr and I go to COSTCO and buy as many yummy things that we can so all the cravings can be satisfied. Along with the groceries in the cart, are 40 lbs of potatoes.

We take a day of leave from work on Friday as a lot of people do. Anstr goes out to the Ranch and I get up early to start the process of making potato soup. Not opening cans, but washing 40 lbs of potatoes, peeling 40 lbs of potatoes, cutting up 40 lbs of potatoes, and boiling 40 lbs of potatoes.

I don't have enough burners on the stove to boil all the potatoes all at once, so it's done in shifts. Then the rest of the ingredients are chopped and added. I then transfer it to about 8 - 10 large containers that are placed in the refrigerator over night. The next day the soup is placed in the two big coolers and iced down. Condensed milk is added to make the soup creamy and white, so it is necessary that the soup be kept cold.

We load three cars to the brim with all the equipment that we need for the comfort of the runners and us. Due to limited space and the fact that we can only bring so much stuff, we decided that we could only offer the soup to the numbered runners who have run 75 miles. We offer anything and everything else that we have to the pacers -- sandwiches, hot coffee, tea, and chocolate, pudding -- just not soup. We don't want the last runners though our aid station to miss out on the soup. So hopefully this explanation will calm those pacers who get angry with us for not offering them the homemade soup.

Your humble soup Nazi,

Brenda Davidson

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