If you've never volunteered for a race, I highly recommend it. It is an extremely rewarding experience and it is a treat to see things from the non-runner point of view.
My station was water stop #2. This was my first time working a water stop, my previous volunteer duties having included handing out bibs at the Richmond Marathon expo and medals at the race last year. (By the way, handing out medals is the most awesome volunteer job ever.)
Let me just say that water stop #2 was the most well-run water stop ever. Our team had 200 cups of water set up and ready to go at 7:00 pm.
|That's some high quality H2O.|
(Sorry, couldn't help it)
|Second place - pushing a stroller! What a beast!|
There were 9 of us stationed at the stop, including 2 kids who were of course the most popular water distributers. And there was also our official water stop mascot, Morgan the golden retriever.
I actually handed out only two cups of water: one to the first place man, who doubled back on the course for some more miles, and Marcey, who gave me a very sweaty hug.
|I can never get a non-blurry photo of HMR in action.|
With more than enough water distributors, I spent most of my time cheering and picking up discarded cups instead - a perfect job for an obsessive compulsive neatnik like me. I even got in probably an extra mile of running as I jogged up and down the curb cleaning up.
What I enjoy most about volunteering is seeing the huge amount of diversity among runners: 70 year old men, kids under 10, moms and dads pushing strollers, the super fit lead pack who seem to float on the pavement as they passed, even a team of a blind father and his daughter who was leading him. So many different people, all accomplishing something big and on their own terms. From first place to the final participant who we all cheered enthusiastically, I couldn't help but be amazed and touched by what we can all achieve if we set our minds to something.
I am not sorry for a minute that I did not run the race last night. To be honest, it was disgustingly humid and warm and I was sweating just standing still at the water stop, so I can't imagine how miserable the runners were. Kudos to all of them for their efforts! I am very glad that I decided to participate as a volunteer, not only because it's always rewarding, but also because I got to cheer on Marcey and receive a very special package that she had for me:
Just in case you can't make it out, this is a Rail Europe train pass for my trip from Kaiserslautern, Germany to Paris, France. When I booked it, print at home tickets weren't an option. It had to be shipped and signed for and Marcey was good enough to let me ship it to her house for daytime delivery and signature.
I literally did a dance in the parking lot when she pulled the envelope out. I cannot wait to be in Paris again, even if it is only for a whirlwind 24 hours!
Ah, Paris. I'll see you in just 26 days.
Meanwhile, congratulations to everyone who ran the 4 Miler last night. It's a tough one and you should all be proud of your accomplishment!