This is the second week for Deb’s new Wednesday Word linkup. This week’s word is spontaneous. As runners, I think we often find ourselves following regimented training programs while preparing for the next big race. Training can get monotonous, but mixing in a little spontaneity (be it the place you run, the time of day you run, or who you run with) can keep things interesting.
Last weekend, in the spirit of being spontaneous, I decided to do something I’ve never done before and volunteered at a local race. Without further ado, I give you my volunteer recap…
This past weekend I was at yet another Mountain Junkies RNUTS trail race – the Mill Mountain Mayhem 10K in Roanoke. For the first time ever, I found myself on the volunteer side of things. I’m just like Katniss now. And I still got a shirt, which I was not expecting!
Barry and I arrived in Roanoke about 30 minutes before the start of the race. He grabbed his packet and got ready to go for the race. A little before 9 AM the runners made their way from race headquarters up to the actual race start. I took advantage of the now free porta potties and then hiked up a trail towards the start. It was a pretty trail and had me itching to run.
It was about a quarter to half mile walk to the start. About an hour later, runners would be storming down this trail on their way to the finish. I wasn’t sure if I would make it up to the road in time for the start, but the race ended up starting about 6 minutes late so I got to see Barry off.
After the runners took off I had about 35 minutes or so to mentally prepare and get my head in the game. I jogged around a bit, stretched, and got loose and ready to go. This was it.
Armed with my safety vest and stop sign in hand, I took to the road and stopped my first car as the lead runner came blazing through. From there on, I worked with my traffic control partner Renee, of Roanoke City Parks & Rec. More and more runners came through, and I saw Barry cruise by solidly in 13th place. The runners started to come by with more frequency after that, often in large groups. Each time a runner appeared Renee would yell “runner up!.” I continued to wield my stop sign each time. It was coming easier now, and my stop sign flew into the air without hesitation.
After the first two hours I felt my energy start to drop and feared I was about to hit the wall. I dug deep and persevered, getting a boost when Barry came back up the trail to see how things were going. He informed me that he had placed 2nd in his age group! Our final runner came through around 2 hours and 40 minutes after the start of the race. We saw him across the road and then got a ride with Renee back to race headquarters.
All in all it was a great day for both Barry and me. We headed home from Roanoke tired but satisfied with our morning’s work. My first time volunteering was a great experience and I fully intend to do more of it in the future!
*Note: In no way did I intend to denounce the importance or hard work of race volunteers. I thought it would be fun to write a volunteer recap the same way a race recap would be written. Hopefully it gave you a laugh, unless you spent the whole time thinking I was crazy for recapping my volunteer experience!
Have you ever volunteered at a race or other sporting event?