OK, apparently my body clock is all messed up now - it's 2 am and I can't sleep. So: a few more thoughts that are running through my head.
One reason that doing the 50M was cool (as opposed to the 50K) is that you got to see most of the field go by.
In the 50K, you start with the 50 milers, and run up through the Red House Loop with them. You might get to see the back end of the 100M runners on Red House. Then you peel off and head back to the start, while everyone else heads up to Mt. Rose. 50K runners don't get to see most of the 100 milers at all, since they started an hour earlier and are up at Mt. Rose when the 50Ks are heading back to Spooner. (Last year, the leading 100M runner came through as I was sitting in the finish chute recuperating.)
With the 50M, though, you start with the 50K crowd and do up through the Red House loop with them. May have started picking off some 100 milers by this point. Heading up to Mt. Rose, you'd pass more of the slower 100 milers, then start seeing the faster ones heading back towards you. At some point, the faster 50 milers will pass you as well, heading back down. So you get to see most of the quick runners. Then, heading back to Spooner, you might start passing 50K runners who are taking their time with it. Pretty cool to see the whole variety of people out doing the event.
And let me stress: EVERYONE out there is pretty much a super stud. Even if you're basically walking the 50K in 11 hours, you're out there going 32 miles in a day. That's impressive no matter what.
Volunteers: Holy crap the volunteers at this event are awesome. Every aid station, I had someone RIGHT on me asking to refill my hydration pack, asking if I needed anything. The Hobart aid station was all outfitted like an Irish pub, complete with dartboard and a bottle of Jameson's for the braver (?) runners. Tunnel Creek was super organized, Mt. Rose was kind of a zoo, but in a good way. Anyway, I think events like this pretty much run on the backs of the volunteers, and a big thank you to all of them.
I ran without a watch. Felt kind of weird. It was useless to wear the Garmin, its 7 hour battery life (while recording) would barely have got me back to Hobart. I had planned to wear a cheap sport watch, but managed to leave it on my dresser. So I was checking time on the course with my cell phone. (Got no service except for at Spooner and Rose, but I had it set to vibrate anyway.) I was kind of embarrassed about pulling it out to check the time, though, so I only did when I thought no one could see... But it worked fine as a watch, and then allowed me to tweet my finish time while still in the chute.