I was originally assigned to the finish line, but a last minute cancellation required a course monitor for the 5k. So I parked my car on the shoulder of the road just past the second mile marker.
This was my view:
The hardest part was trying to find the right words to call out to the runners. “Great job!” “You’re looking great!” “Less than a mile to go!”
After the sweeper bike came through and told me I could go, I drove to the finish area.
Seeing the winners of the half marathon come across, I realized I’ve never watched the finish of a race, because I’m always running in it. I was taken aback by how effortlessly they seemed to finish. They looked so smooth and poised – no posture issues there. It was so motivating, I was almost jealous and ready to take off running. I knew several from my running group who were running the race, and I enjoyed seeing PRs, age group wins, and finish line accomplishments. As I continued watching runners finish, I saw several with tears, lots of hugs, and smiles all around.
I point back to the name of this blog. I truly believe that anyone can run, whether that means running or walking the race, volunteering, or cheering. Anyone can be a part.
Then there are the other perks of volunteering:
On Sunday, I cranked out my longest long run for Oklahoma City. It was cool and rainy, but this was my only shot to get it done. I’ve said it before: You don’t get to choose your weather for race day. I pushed my pace more because of the rain, spending the middle 10 miles near race pace. The last five started to slow down, and I was afraid I was getting a blister on my foot. Anyway, this was my fastest 20 miler to date – in spite of the rain.
There’s a sub 4 marathon in me somewhere.
(Don’t forget to vote. You can do it once a day every day until April 18th)
I spent what was left of my day with achy legs and most of the night and the next day dealing with a stomach virus my children were kind enough to share. That’s one way to lose a few pounds, but not recommended.
Have you ever volunteered for a race?
What about being a spectator?