You may or may not know this, but I live in Richmond, Virginia.
If you didn't know that you probably don't know that I used to live in Canton, Ohio.
If you didn't know the first part, but knew the second, then you may know me personally and decided to finally click that link I share on my Facebook periodically.
If you didn't know either of those things this may be your first time visiting my blog. In that case, WELCOME!
If you knew both of those first two things than I'm sorry for putting you through all that.
Just trying to catch everyone up.
Well, since I moved to Richmond I've noticed something: It's an active city. A day doesn't go by that I don't see someone running or cycling. They also put on a swell marathon each year. By the time I knew this, and was moving to Richmond, it cost 110 bucks to run a half marathon. WOAH! I'm way too cheap for that...
The price afforded me the opportunity of volunteering. Since I've started running races I've thought of volunteering. Even going so far as to sign up to volunteer for the first Canton Marathon (which I then ended up running because I couldn't miss my city's first marathon). When I got the job in Richmond the thought of volunteering was still fresh on my mind. Then one fateful Sunday had me at a new church for the first time. I talked to one of the friendly church volunteers and I asked what they do in the community. He told me they volunteer at the Richmond Marathon. Wooooaaaah! Perfecto!
So with all that said, the Richmond Marathon was this past Saturday. I was there holding down mile 16.6 with my fellow Wave RVA peeps. The plan for Saturday was to set up a stage for the worship band to play and set up a water station to hydrate some runners. All week the weatherman called for a beautiful race day!
When it wasn't raining, it was a gentle mist. Just enough to electrocute someone playing an electric guitar. With that in mind, we turned into a water stop and the worship team members were able to rearrange their trailer.
Side note: All of the contents of the Sunday service are in the trailer because we are currently renting a hall each week. I knew they rented the place (which is funny because the location is actually called The Place) but I didn't know they unloaded and loaded a truck each week. The set up is pretty involved too: screens, sound boards, stages, lights, and even the kids room equipment.
Being that I'm a
sub-par seasoned marathoner I felt like I was prepared for the water stop duties. I helped with the logistics of the set up and helped teach some good cup holding methods. We also had some good free child labor volunteering from some of the kids who came with their parents! They filled the cups and handed them to the runners.
The first pack of 3 runners was a sight to see. They were moving! I've seen fast runners on TV but never in person. Wow. They're much faster than me. About 20 people in we had our first taker of h2o and it didn't slow down for a few hours.
I've always tried my best to thank volunteers at races (or if you're at the later part of the race I'll grunt something incoherently that I think is me saying thank you). Honestly, because it's the right thing to do. They took time out of their lives to come out and help. While I'm being honest, I'll also say that I didn't think volunteering was that tough before Saturday. I was wrong. Would I say it's as tough as being one of the runners? No. I will say that after the race I was POOPED. I have a new respect for the people on the sidelines.
A couple hours in I was tired of saying the same motivating phrases like "you've got this!" and "you're in the single digits!" and I started personalizing it. The bibs had runner's names on them, so I would call out to everyone individually. I even gave water to someone named Jesus. It was much funnier sharing this with fellow believers, for obvious reasons. Towards the end someone confessed to me that they first wondered how I knew so many people on the course, ha. I did know one person, a co-worker of mine. Her goal was to beat Oprah's marathon time of 4:29 and she was only about 9 minutes off. Not too shabby though!
|Good times had by all. Middle right is me showing a 3 year old how it's done!|
On the way home I was immediately in traffic. Since I don't know the city all that well it took me an hour and a half to get home. Live and learn.
I'm going back to Ohio at the end of this week for the rest of November. Stoked to see all our friends and family. Feels like it's been forever.
Till next time!
*My first marathon volunteering