Volunteer for a marathon the weekend before!
Right after our amazing experience volunteering at the Sehgahunda Marathon, Mike and I were excited to volunteer for another race. It is such a great feeling giving back to the community and sport that gives so much to us. With all the racing that we do, we probably encounter thousands of volunteers, it is nice to be on the other side every once in awhile.
We had already signed up to volunteer for the Rochester Marathon prior to Sehgahunda. We will also be volunteering at the Great Lakes 100 Mile Triathlon in two weeks.
Today was the Rochester Marathon and we were assigned to work the water stop at mile 17.
After getting to our designated water stop at 8am we started to help set up as the other volunteers trickled in.
Putting on the volunteer shirt
Mixing some Gatorade, it was cold out!
Our Gatorade and water all ready for the runners!
Since we were over halfway into the race, we didn't get anyone for awhile. Eventually, really he was going extremely fast, the first runner showed up!
Lead runner at mile 17
One nice thing about volunteering for a race but also being a runner is that we knew some people running the race. We were able to cheer on some people that we know in real life and from online through websites such as DailyMile.
Everyone was so appreciative of the fact that we were out there volunteering and it really meant a lot when they would say, "thank you". I am the kind of runner that is always "in the zone" and doesn't really acknowledge people, but I am going to try next weekend!
Everyone working hard
There was one lady who didn't appreciate what we were doing, though. The Rochester Marathon course goes along the Erie Canal path and the course is open to the public. There were other runners, walkers and cyclists out while the race was going on. One woman who was out walking stopped by our table and yelled at us because we hadn't picked up the cups along the course yet.
We didn't think much of it, since none of the cups were in the runners' way and we were going to pick them up later, but she came back 20 minutes later and yelled at us again! She had used energy gel packets in her hand and chastised us because it was a "windy day" and it was "bad for the environment".
We pretty much ignored her and said that at that moment our focus was on the runners' needs and that we would get the trash later (even though we weren't responsible for areas other than immediately around our water stop). She didn't really like how we were handling her requests and basically told us that we should be like Wegmans (local grocery store) employees and do what the customer wants. She was nuts! (In the end when we picked up the trash there was only ONE energy gel packet on the side of the path).
Other than that little fiasco, this morning was a lot of fun and we are really excited to volunteer again in two weeks!
Are you going to try to volunteer for a race before the end of the year?