Monday, December 12, 2011

Another Sunday, Another Race...

Yesterday was the inaugural race of the BCS Marathon and Half Marathon.  A few of our running club people participated in it, while the majority of us manned the water station at the 16.5 mile mark.  Why oh why couldn't we have had this weather for the Dallas Marathon?!?  It was cold, yes, but sunny and clear.  No rain.  Amazing what a difference that one factor - precipitation - can make.  It was funny, though, how we all were still suffering a little PTSD from the cold, rainy day of a week ago - one of our guys brought out a propane heater, while we all wore layers upon layers of dry clothes, and I even bought a pair of rubber rain boots, thinking that otherwise, I'd end up with wet shoes from splashy water handoffs to the runners.  And yes, I wish I'd thought to buy them for last week...oh well. 

I'll admit that when my alarm went off at 6:30 am, the last thing I wanted to do was get up and go stand in the cold for several hours, but I have to say that this was really fun and so inspiring to see runners - both the ones who made it look effortless (at mile 16.5, no less!) and the ones who, you could tell, were feeling every step.  While running a marathon is something that you choose to do, and it seems like a good idea at the time, it sure takes a lot of inner strength and determination to make it to the end.  I'm glad we were able to offer some encouragement along with water and Gatorade - oh, and mini Milky Way candy bars - Julia was given one toward the latter part of her marathon last week, and she swore that made the difference in getting through the race, so she brought a bag for the runners.

For a runner (I can still call myself that, right?), I found the behind-the-scenes part of the race interesting - usually, I just run the race and at some point(s) come across a water station.  Magic?  Apparently not!  We were given a time to arrive and set up - the tables, water and cups had been dropped off at our spot, but we (and I'm saying the royal *we* since some of our group had already arrived and started setting up by the time Jeff and I negotiated road closures to get there) set up the tables, filled the first round of cups, put up signs, started playing some music thanks to a generator being brought by one of our runners, and (of course) posed for pictures:
Moving the Gatorade table closer to the street - we were told to be off the street when the runners came by.
 Water first, Gatorade second...
 USA Fit BCS!  Don't let Jeff's shorts fool you - it WAS cold.  I'm wearing three layers under my coat! 
 Fun crew of ladies!  My half homie, Julia, is in the center...but now I have to call her a full homie since she ran her first marathon last week!
Will showed up dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow - he stood at the turn and hollered and waved his swore for the runners - they loved it!  He was a great distraction for them.
 Waiting for the first runner to come through...
The entire reason we were out there - the runners!
 
Yay - another runner! 
We were also responsible for cleaning up the cup trash - here's Rand coming back after picking up a discarded cup...we had the cleanest aid station by far thanks to him and Stan - all morning they kept up with the trash!

Nearly two years ago, when I was going to run my first race, I remember Helen giving me some advice about the water stations - she said to pick out one person and point to them so they'd know you were going to reach for their cup.  The races I did were never that crazy at the water stations by the time I got there, so that wasn't necessary for me, but this race?  We were told that some runners were trying to qualify for Boston and the Olympic trials, and to be really careful about not impeding their way.  So we were understandably a bit nervous when the first few runners approached.  Imagine my surprise and delight when I realized that as I stood there with a cup of Gatorade held out, a runner pointed at me!  Oooh!  I knew what he meant - I was in the club!!!  That happened many times yesterday - and the handoffs went really well with minimal splashing or missing the runner completely.  Quite cool!
 My new rubber rainboots kept my feet nice and dry - Paco approved them.
Again, why didn't I think about getting these before Dallas?!?  My mind, it boggles me.

While this was fun, and I have no intentions or desire to run a full marathon, I sure would like to be on the other side of the Gatorade table soon.

17 comments:

  1. Looks like a fun time. You made me laugh..."he pointed at me"! Like it was a date to the prom.

    Love the boots, too cute! Yes, call yourself a runner.

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  2. My wish for next year for you is that you will be at the other side of the table too.

    Loved reading your report but comment will be short today. I heard this morning someone I knew passed away suddenly and I'm still in shock. Reading your blog gave me mind something else to think about. Thanks for that.

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  3. I completely forgot telling you about that! Love your new boots - I'm sure they will come in handy over and over again. Jeff is a lunatic. I don't care how many layers he had on top, I can't imagine his legs are furry enough to keep him that warm!!

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  4. Love the boots, too!
    Too bad it wasn't last week end...
    Birds were out - and singing -
    and would have cheered you all on!

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  5. Fun hearing about the 'behind the scenes' stuff at a race! I got a pair of rainboots last year, and loved taking my walks in the rain and snow and still having warm dry feet at the end. Of course, my rainboots were not as cute as yours!

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  6. You guys are so awesome to volunteer. My family volunteered at Portland in the rain two years ago. I remember the thrill of seeing the leaders pass thru our water stop. Good times (and we had gummi bears too!)

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  7. looks like you had a great time! LOVE the boots

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  8. sounds like so much fun oh and LOVE those boots! so cute!

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  9. I love those boots so much I would like you to give them to me, mmmmkay? ;)

    It's so cool that you manned up that station, and I'd be thrilled that they pointed at me too. Cool stuff :D

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  10. Easy to forget what goes behind those races...and thanks for the pointing tip...and let us join you in the club!

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  11. Sounds like a great time on the flip side of a race!

    It is so nice when those stations are all organized well.

    Love the boots!

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  12. I would point at you Shelley!!! And I'd make eye contact and "arr" at Jack Sparrow!!! :)
    Love the boots (and the tip of Paco's nose)
    Have a wonderful week.

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  13. Ooooooh, we're twins!! I have those same boots, Shelley!!!
    I would love to volunteer at a race sometime. It would be fun to be on the other side, cheering the runners along!

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  14. Hi Shelley. thanks for your comments yesterday. So sweet! I have those rain boots! I wear them all the time when I bring the dogs outside. Arent they so cute?!?!

    I dont have any desire to run a full marathon either but I am finding myself pretty excited when I think about another half! Who knew?

    Jennifer
    www.wecanlosethepounds.blogspot.com

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  15. I will never be a runner, but I enjoy hearing about your experiences. Also love the boots! Very nice!

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  16. You make me wish I either lived near you so we could hang out at races, or if I could be in a race with you! (I pick hang out. I am the worst runner, LOL.)

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  17. Thanks for your well wished Shelley! Hopefully this comment will go through! Hugs!

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I love hearing from you and read each and every comment!