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?
17 thoughts on “Mill Mountain Mayhem 10K – Volunteer Recap”
Great job! You look like you’re a pro with that stop sign.
I volunteered at a mud run/obstacle run last summer. It was fun, but exhausting! I worked the check-in/packet-pick up table. Just remembering all the things I had to tell the runners was work! Remember your start time because of the wave starts, this arm band means one thing, that arm band means another thing, medical tent is this way, etc. I definitely have a great appreciation for race volunteers now!
I was a pro 🙂 and so official! That sounds like a lot to keep track of at the mud run. I would have been worn out and mentally exhausted.
Congrats to Barry on his 2nd place age group finish! I think it would be very nerve wracking to volunteer at a road crossing. It sounds like it was a good idea for you to have a partner. I’ll have my first opportunity to volunteer at a race in May when I’ll hand out water with my MRTT friends at a local 5K/10K. I plan to recap it, so I don’t think it odd at all that you recapped your volunteer experience.
Thanks for linking up!
There were only a few times (like 3 or 4) where I wasn’t too sure that someone was going to obey me. A couple of cars actually sped up at first when they saw me start to put my stop sign up. Yikes! I look forward to reading about your upcoming volunteer experience 🙂
Have I ever volunteered? Soccer, basketball, swimming, and let’s not forget being the only dad on the elementary school field trips!
Good recap and it sounds likes you had a good time. And what power! A vest and a stop sign.
Yea you were there for it all 🙂 And still are. I should have brought my badge to go with my vest!
I have never volunteered at a race but keep thinking it would be fun to help at the 50 I have attempted in the past. Maybe I should check to see if they still need help since it is in just a few weeks.
That’s a good idea. You should look into it!
Great job to you both! The race volunteers really are so important and can make or break a race! I love Barry’s shirt!
I’ve always appreciated race volunteers, but even more so now. His shirt is the Blue Ridge shirt from 2013 🙂
Love it. And I agree. That beautiful path had me itching to run, too 🙂
I think I’m going to have to go up to Roanoke some Saturday and check out the Mill Mountain trails!
But did you carry a hydration pack?!
Seriously, I am wondering what kind you have after you mentioned on my blog how much you like yours.
Haha, no I did not. I actually did not drink water all morning, and I really felt that later in the day on my afternoon run.
I have a Nathan Intensity hydration pack and I’m really happy with it! Plus I love Nathan’s lifetime product warranty.
Your Nathan Intensity hydration pack sounds like a good one! I like the color and the handy pockets in front. I didn’t know Nathan has a lifetime warranty. I have a few of their belts and bottles so that’s good to know.
I really enjoyed the way this post was written, had me laughing. Especially the hitting the wall comment lol. Man that trail looked perfect for running.
I’m glad you were laughing – that was my goal! I need to go back there sometime and check out the trails there.