Sunday, November 8, 2015

Monroe Half Marathon Volunteer report

Jerry was off work today, so we had a few glasses of wine before bed last night. I woke up feeling, well, not my best ;) I was signed up to volunteer at the Monroe Half Marathon this morning, but thankfully, the race didn't start until 9:00. Since I was up by 5:30, I had plenty of time to relax before heading out.

Jessica signed up with me to volunteer (actually, it was her idea), so I told her I'd pick her up at 8:30. We had to be at our station by 8:45. Just as I was heading out the door, I had the idea to grab a small portable speaker so that we could play music for the runners. I tore through the kids' bedrooms, but couldn't find their speakers anywhere, so I wasn't able to bring one. I will definitely keep that in mind for next time, though! I did grab some cowbells and signs.

Our official volunteer position was "course marshal", which basically meant we just directed runners to turn, and we had to stop traffic for the runners at an intersection (the course was not closed to traffic). The traffic issue was terrifying to me, because I know that some drivers get really pissed when they get stopped or rerouted for a race. I've nearly been hit by an angry driver during a race before, for that very reason!

We were at mile 3.5, which was nice--we were early in the race, so once the last person passed by us, we were free to leave. There was a church on one corner of our intersection, which was a little concerning, because of the traffic when the service was over. But we just set up with our cowbells and signs, and waited for the runners to come through.



I had to come up with a sign on the fly, because the ones that I had didn't make much sense for a half-marathon. I brought a marker and just wrote on the back of one of the signs: "1,300 CALORIES BURNED... WHAT'S FOR DINNER?" Jessica and I were talking about what motivates us when we run races, and we both like to think about what we're going to eat later, so I thought something food related would be appropriate.

It was a GORGEOUS morning for a run--despite being 35 degrees, it was sunny, not at all windy, and  just great running weather. At around 9:15 or so, there was a hand cyclist that came through. Shortly after, the first runners started trickling through as well. This is a very small race (I would guess maybe 400 or 500 people?). Jessica and I rang our cowbells and cheered for everyone that went by. The sign I threw together last minute was a hit, too--lots of people shouted out what they planned to eat later!

I saw Stephanie and Meg, who were running together. Stephanie is my friend, of course, and Meg actually reads my blog--she and Steph met up at a race before, and made plans to run the half together today!

The traffic situation wasn't as bad as I imagined. I stood in the middle of the street, hoping that when cars saw me, they'd turn instead of trying to go straight (where the runners were coming from). When I saw them coming, I would just point to get them to turn anyway, and that worked well. I got a couple of dirty looks, but most people didn't seem to mind at all (we were in a neighborhood, so it wasn't a huge inconvenience).

When we were getting down to the last runners/walkers, there was an older man shuffling along, and Jessica and I talked about how we thought it was awesome that he was out there doing a half-marathon. When we cheered for him, he said that he was registered for the 5K, but mistakenly started with the half-marathoners, and didn't realize it until mile three. Yikes! He kept going, but I felt awful, and didn't know if he realized how long a half-marathon was. I chased after him, and then told him that he had almost 10 MILES left. I offered him a ride to the finish line, but he said he was sure he wanted to keep going. I just hoped he'd finish.

After he came by, the sweeper came through, so we knew there was no one left on the course. We packed up and headed out. It was super fun being a course marshal! It's basically just spectating, and making sure that runners know where to turn. I would definitely do it again.

I was really curious about the man who was supposed to do the 5K and not the half, so I tried looking up race results at home, but they must not be posted yet. I did find a post on the race's Facebook page that made me happy, though:

So, it turns out that he made it! Can you imagine planning and training for a 5K, only to mistakenly complete a half-marathon instead? I wish I could tell him congrats.

I am happy that I was able to participate in this race in some way, since I decided not to run it this year. Jessica and I had a lot of fun cheering on the runners!


Tomorrow is Motivational Monday, so please send in your submissions tonight!

19 comments:

  1. I'm not sure why, but the half-marathon 5K runner made me a little teary-eyed this evening. Yea for him!

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    1. Me too! I can't imagine signing up for a 5k, getting off course, and thinking "Ok, I'll just do a half-marathon then." Love it!

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    2. Oh I'm so glad I'm not the only one who got a little misty reading that lol What an awesome story of A. Just dealing with whatever comes your way and B. Determination. I will DEFINITELY be thinking of this man now whether I'm doing something that I don't think I can finish. Thank you for sharing this story with us Katie.

      Bridgette

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  2. Maybe that takes off the pre-race jitters/pressure...thinking you are only running a 5K and then just going for a half....pretty interesting and cool!

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  4. YAY for the 5k guy!! I love that story! Never give up!! <3

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  5. OH my gosh-- that story about the guy accidentally running the half is fabulous!!! And can I just say....YOU LOOK SO FABULOUS in that photo holding up the sign. You are my inspiration!

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  6. I volunteered at the event too! Wish I would've seen you and introduced myself. We were at Dunbar and Hull Road, about 2 miles in/out of the race (we stayed and watched as they came back through). My mom and I saw that guy too! My mom had a cowbell as well and rang it hard for all, but especially him when he came through. She met him and jogged with him for a little, just encouraging him. :) I had no idea that he was in the wrong race though! What an inspirational story!

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    1. YAY for crowd support. I actually remember your mom and her cow bell. She told us she rang it for us just because we were pretty! ;)

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    2. Haha! That's great that you remember her! She had something fabulous to say to all the runners!! :)

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  7. Your story about the old guy shuffling along, mistakenly "running" the half marathon instead of the 5K made me think of my Dad, who's been gone 8 years now. He lost a ton of weight and got physically fit in his 60's and remained so until he went into Hospice 8 months before he died in 2007 at the age of 83. He didn't run, but he rode his bike on very long rides well into his 70's, and when he walked, he had a definite shuffle. These guys prove it's never too late to try and get healthier. My dad remains my inspiration as once again I'm struggling with a re-gain. I will get this weight off! My dad did it and I can do it too!

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  8. What a great story about that older gentleman. I love motivational stories like that!

    BTW - you look great! :)

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  9. Awesome story! Thanks for sharing!
    Bridgette in Syracuse, NY

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  10. Aww I'd love to find out how the 5K guy did!!

    I just signed up for my first 5K ~ yikes!!

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  11. Katie- you look INCREDIBLE in that picture. Seriously, I am amazed at the progress you have made in the past few months. It is so good to see these positive updates and to hear how much battery are doing in relation to your health! I love the sign you created to! That was probably a great way to get the runners to think about something else, especially so early on in the run. I like to imagine what I am going to eat when I come home from a runner. It really helps!

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    1. Thanks so much Julia! I am kind of amazed at the progress too. I'm in a much better place mentally and physically than I was just six months ago. It feels good! :)

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  12. Oh my word...i almost cried when I read about the guy that mistakenly started the half instead of the 5k!!!

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  13. Wonderful day and blog about the race. I didnt run but tirnef out with my cowbell from the detroit half a few weekends ago. I would have stayed to ring it extra hard had i known.

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