Sunday, December 4, 2011

Another First: Volunteering

I accomplished another first on Sunday, but it had nothing to do with times or distances.

For the first time, I volunteered for a race.

My running club held their annual Loper Holiday Classic 5K/15K race on Sunday and I volunteered for the event. I was a bit nervous to be honest, wondering what it would be like. We were assigned two traffic spots. The first was the one-mile mark, then we had to get over to the 7.5-mile mark. At both spots we had to make sure cars watched out for runners and in the second spot we had to make sure runners zigged when they were supposed to zig.

It was chilly! We walked out of our house at 5:45 a.m. and after a stop at Starbucks set up at our first spot around 6:25, and it was in the high 30s. Super cold for us SoCal folk. The race started at 7 a.m. so at about 7:05 we saw runners, the 5K frontrunners. We cheered on as many runners as we could and by about 7:20 we headed out to get over to our next stop (and made a quick pit stop at a grocery store). We set up at about 7:40 and some of the 15K runners we'd seen on the way out, we saw again.

All the 15K runners/walkers on the way back passed by us once more. And I cheered for every single one of them. I clapped, and even though my claps were muffled due to my gloves, I clapped as loud as I could. I yelled words of encouragement...

"Looking strong runner!"

"You got this!"

"Way to go runner!"

And things like that.

I was particularly excited for runners in my pace group. I cheered loudest for them and for some of the my other Loper buddies.

It was fun hearing things runners would say to us as well.

"Thank you for being out here!"

"Thanks for your encouragement!"

That was the best part, to be honest. Seeing all the first-timers out there with smiles on their faces was so much fun, and seeing every runner/walker out there taking on the 15k distance was also fun. It was rewarding on all levels, and definitely something I'd do again. Except hopefully next time it won't be so chilly.


The Jesse said...

I've been wanting to volunteer at a race for a while now but I am shy and always scare myself away from doing it. Last weekend I "spectated" the CIM here in Sacramento and it really sparked my interest into volunteering at a race again so I'm hopeful that I'll find the courage to do it in 2012 :)

MissJewels said...

That's awesome! I've never volunteered either. I should look into it. I'm excited to cheer for the first time next month. Our team is running Tinkerbell and I'm planning to be out on the course cheering them on.