|Shared from the Peggy Sue Facebook wall|
The volunteers provide us with support, encouragement, safety and medical (our police/ EMT/Firefighters) along with hydration and fuel always having a touch of smiling gratitude. I know that without race volunteers there have been many times when I felt as though I couldn't continue and a kind word from them has kept me going to the finish line.
I had the opportunity this past Sunday (June 7) to volunteer at a local race, the EC 5K & 10K in Ellicott City, Maryland. I know EC and it is a hilly little town with shops, restaurants-quite lovely nestled along the Patuxent River.
|Pictures taken from Main Street, EC|
I decided to volunteer after receiving several emails from the company, Rip It Events. I have done several races with this company locally. What a great way to give back as a runner after all the races that I've done and had wonderful volunteers giving their time to me! I also asked on my Facebook page if anyone had volunteered at a race and the feedback that I received was so positive-thank you!
I received my email and saw that I was a course volunteer. I saw that several friends including moms from my local Moms Run This Town were running the race. I got up early on Sunday morning (after running the Baltimore 10 miler the day before and working); a bit tired and drove to the race. I picked up my volunteer shirt and race flag along with receiving my course location. I then saw my friends; they looked fantastic as Super Moms!
I drove to my location, parked my car and grabbed a cup of coffee while putting on my volunteer shirt. There was a water stop before the turn and I introduced myself to the other volunteers. I saw that the turn was a bottom of a hill so I decided to walk up the hill to see where the runners were going on the course. This part of the race lead to a wonderful trail run and there was a police officer there waiting to assist with traffic. I found out that he was a runner as well and his daughter was running the race. Again, a huge THANK YOU to our police who assist in traffic and safety during our races!
|Super Moms-Deb Strong and Jennifer Caplan Givens|
The race started at 8:15 am and I saw the first runner about 8:22 am. WOW..can you say FAST! I kept cheering the runners up the hill (this was the half-way point if you were doing the 5K). I saw Deb coming strong up the hill along with one of my running coaches from 3 years ago, Susie! I tried to provide as much encouragement for everyone. I know as a runner what those words mean to you. I also saw Jennifer being very fast as she and Deb were a relay team-Way to go, ladies!
I have to admit that it was tough to be encouraging with different motivation throughout the race even though I enjoyed it! I tried to remember some of the words spoken to me during races and I hope that I was able to do that for the runners. There were a lot of thank yous and smiles throughout the race.
I saw the last two runners about 9:20 am, thanked the officer and walked down the hill. I thanked my fellow volunteers and the race personnel, handing them my race flag and drove home. I saw that Deb and Jennifer had won first place in the relay-Congratulations, ladies! I'm so proud of them and blessed to have them as friends.
I had a fanastic time volunteering at this race. Would I do it again-in a heartbeat!! I was able to be on the other side of a race and I believe in giving back when the opportunity arises. I believe that it takes all aspects to be a healthy person; not just physically healthy. It was a wonderful opportunity to give back to the racing community that has given so much to me.
Ironically, I saw this article yesterday on Facebook on the Runner's World page, Race volunteers lawsuit against Competitor lawsuit will go forward. I am a bit saddened by this because without volunteers at races, we as runners, would have many consequences. What are your thoughts about this? Have you ever volunteered at a race and what was your experience?
And remember, my journey continues....If you can dream it, you can do it as Walt Disney said!