Ha. No, I didn't! Only in my dreams. I did, however, have the opportunity to cheer the runners on a three day Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) trail work party. Party? Well, that's what they call it...
There were 11 of us including Jack, our crew leader. We were tasked with doing rock work on a section of the PCT to improve the tread to make it a bit safer. We worked hard for two and a half days, camped, and ate wonderful food provided by PCTA and prepared by our volunteer chef, Matt.
PCTA has been working sections of the trail during the Cascade Crest 100 for more than 10 years. We were provided the bib numbers so we could look up their names and cheer them by name as the passed through the beer gauntlet. Yes, we gently taunted them with beer and some even paused for a few sips before continuing on.
We also encountered a lot of thru-hikers on their way to Canada. Many stopped and we changed over to trail angel mode, offering beer and some of Matt's great food.
Trail work is a great experience. Consider joining a work party with PCTA or Washington Trails Association (WTA) or one of the other many trail advocacy organizations. You'll be tired at the end of the day, but you'll develop a sense of pride and ownership. And, you're sure to have some great fun!