Monday, July 7, 2008

The other side of a race...

So, I love running. I love running a lot. I love races. I love the atmosphere they offer, I love the feeling of accomplishment when I cross the finish line. I love the bling. Yesterday however, I did something a little bit different. I was part of a water station at the Calgary Marathon. 

I've done a lot of races, and I always truly appreciate the people that come out and help so that the race can go ahead. So that I can enjoy water, or gatorade, or whatever else is being offered. I always wanted to volunteer at a race, but, rather selfishly, most of the races I would rather participate in than volunteer at, so, so far, I haven't given back to the running community that has given so much to me.

Yesterday though, that all changed. I was up at the crack of dawn, along with my husband and son. We dropped Sebastian off at his grandma's house and headed for our water station. We needed to be there at by 7:15am just in case there were road closures and such. We arrived to a group of fun and full of energy people. We chatted, we got things ready, and we anxiously awaited the first runners. 

Allow my to side step a little here. I am a slow runner. I am a back of the pack kind of runner. Seldom, would I ever even see the people who win races simply because I don't run fast. The first people finishing the Calgary Marathon finish in a faster time than I can finish a half marathon, if that gives you a bit of an idea of the type of runner I am. Now, I'm not the slowest but usually somewhere in the later parts of the race. 

So, back to waiting for the runners. It was so neat when the first runner came through. He was fast. I'm talking lightning. It was incredible. And the next few were equally as talented and speedy. It was so exciting to see these elite athletes come through. I was totally pumped!!

As time went on, we got slower and as a result busier. It was fun though. I cheered for people by name (most people have their names on their numbers). I had two people ask me how I knew so many runners. That made me laugh. They hadn't noticed the names on the numbers yet. I did know a few people running. And, I got to see them too!! Good job Steven, loved your shirt Rob, amazing Irma, second marathon in 2 months!! It was fun. 

I enjoyed doing the water station almost as much as I enjoyed running, with the added bonus of no chafing, and not having to consume any gels, and no blisters the next day, and no ice bath. So, I just might volunteer for another run. Of course, I'll probably pick one I don't really want to actually race, since being a participant is still a little more fun than volunteering!!

1 comment:

Claudia said...

Ever since I passed up the golden opportunity of volunteering for the WDW back in our Vista Way days I've been wanting to do this. I've had some stuff lately that means my running days are probably behind me now (at least for the time being) so I will definitely consider volunteering. Thanks!