A few weeks ago I volunteered at a 5k and caught the “volunteering” bug. I knew that the National Marathon needed volunteers and I was able to get a spot at an early water station near a metro. Score! I convinced one of my “mommy” friends to volunteer with me, so we headed over there at 5:45am this morning! It was fun to ride the metro in with all the runners, but it felt strange to not be dressed to run. I kept having the urge to prove my “cred” as a runner LOL.
Shortly after we arrived at the station, the tables, cups, and water arrived. Just for the record, unloading boxes filled with 8 gallons of water is HARD work. It was chilly out but I was sweating by the time we got everything unloaded. Then we had to work crazy fast to get the power.ade mixed and all the glasses poured. I was volunteering with a few Pacers peeps, but most of the water stop was runners from DC Front Runners. They were a great group to work with and had the added bonus of a huge boom box rockin’ with ABBA.
As we were still filling cups, the front runners came through. I’ve never been on the spectating end of a big race, so that was pretty cool! I snapped a picture, stuffed my camera in my pocket, and never got a chance to pull it out again.
After an hour of handing out power.ade, my white sleeves are pink, my hair is sticky, and my voice is shot, but I had an awesome time! I got almost as good of an endorphin rush as I would have running. I could seriously make race volunteering my life’s work. While it was great to see the fast kids, it was even more fun to cheer on the people who were out there giving it their all, regardless of whether they would finish in the middle of the pack or farther back. I got to see a bunch of people I knew as well as a couple of bloggers (DC Running Mama and Tammy from A Life on the Run– I’m sure Tammy had no idea who I was when I cheered for her LOL).
I did learn a few things:
- Don’t wear white while handing out red ‘ade.
- Making eye contact with the runner grabbing a drink from you results in less spillage.
- Runners will generally aim for a box or trash can with their “empty” cups if there is one put out.
- Don’t stand right near said box if you don’t want to wear the ‘ade.
- Runners are generally awesome, appreciative people.
- And a note to myself: just because the race says they provide GU, don’t rely on that. There are always delivery snafus and sometimes the stations run out.
- It’s pretty amazing to watch the public works people clean up at the end. We helped, but they really had the job under control.
Kudos to the National Marathon group (including Dorothy) for organizing a great race and a big thumbs up to everyone I knew who was running. You all looked great at mile 5!
19 thoughts on “Beautiful morning at the National Marathon”
Sounds like a perfect morning, except the pink sleeves!
It's awesome people like you that make marathons a joy to run.
That sounds like an amazing experience…and it also sounds like you did an awesome job!!
What a great experience and I'm sure the racers appreciated you a bunch! Thanks for the not wearing white tip!
Good for you helping out like that. I did my first water stop volunteering a few weeks ago. It was cold and I learned that when water spills on cold hands, they become numb!
Wow, it sounds like you had a great volunteering experience! I would love to volunteer for at least one race sometime this year! God bless the volunteers…we need them! BTW: Thanks for the tips:) I hope that you enjoy the rest of your weekend!
You make me wish I was there volunteering with you. I am actually working at a race next Sunday but a small one. I know what you mean about wanting to establish your running cred!!!
sounds like a great time volunteering!great learnings too. i'll store those away for next time I need them.
You're making volunteering sound like a lotta fun! And yes, awesome volunteers like you make the difference in any race 🙂
I would like to do more volunteering myself. Sounds like fun. I look forward to helping with the Fargo Youth Run in May!
Fun times! Volunteering at the Twim Cities marathon is what really inspired me to run my first marathon. 🙂
thank you, thank you, thank you. I am always amazed by the generous race volunteers. We could not do it without you guys. Thanks so much!
I think that is funny about having to prove yourself – I'm NOT just a volunteer, I run too, I run marathons etc. 90% of all Ironman volunteers are finishers or signing up for the next year. …yeah, the MDot must be worn. I'm one of YOU!PS and I'm not kidding on Oak Barrel – for fun!
I volunteered at a race last year and the runners were so appreciative, saying thank you as they ran…loved it.
Awesome that you volunteered! Sounds like a really fun day… though messy and tiring!
Sounds like a great morning!
Great job! Sounds like fun – well, maybe not the sticky hair part…
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Hello, I am the Executive Director of the National Marathon and I would like to personally thank you and the 800 other volunteers that made this event happen. I am very glad to hear that you had a good time and I look forward to seeing you again next year!Sincerely, Bill Reifsnyder