Saturday, October 25, 2008

YMCA Half Marathon

YMCA Half Marathon & 5K (Volunteer) Report by Reid Axman.

I've never written a volunteer report before. This was my first time volunteering for a race. I've wanted to do one for a long time, but never got around to doing it. So, I was excited to have this opportunity, even though I had to get up super early. I was assigned to the race-day registration table. It was kinda fun to be on the other side of the table. I got to meet a lot of people, including fellow RBF, Pat. We didn't have much opportunity to talk because there were a lot of people registering, but he seemed like a real nice guy. After he walked away, I thought, "I should have gotten a picture with him." Maybe next time.

When it was time for the half marathon to begin, I happened to be bringing some supplies over and got to see the unique start. Wyatt Earp, complete with shotgun started the runners. With a BANG, they were off. It was pretty cool to see all those runners fly by! Something I'd never experienced before. I've always been one of those runners.

My next assignment was to keep the 5K runners in order as they crossed the finish line. I really enjoyed seeing the runners cross the finish and be the first to congratulate them. This didn't last too long as I was given a new assignment of running the results over to the results board. After my first run over, I was given the new assignment of official timer. And I spent the rest of my time clicking a button when the participants finished. That doesn't sound too exciting, but I really had a good time seeing everyone as they reached the finish. It was interesting to observe them. Some were completely exhausted, some were as thrilled as can be, some were relieved it was over. There were families running together. I think the youngest finisher (not in a stroller) was 5 years old. And I was surprised to see how many people were running with their dogs! I guess the "Family 5K" includes pets.

Volunteering was so much fun! There really is a lot going on that we don't really see as runners. The amount of work it takes to organize, set up, direct, take down, etc. etc. is incredible. I really respect the race directors and everyone behind the scenes for doing what they do for runners. Race day must be a crazy day for them. This was a great experience, and I can't wait for another opportunity to volunteer again. I highly recommend it!

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