Since my roommate and a couple of my friends were signed up to run the NYC Half, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get my +1 volunteer experience out of the way early and perhaps be able to cheer them on in the process. I carefully reviewed the list of volunteer opportunities to find that many of them required a VERY early morning arrival time. I purposefully selected the position (start marshal) that had one of the later start times of 6am. It was hard enough to convince myself that getting up at 5am to make it to Central Park by 6am would be worth it, but imagine the sinking feeling I had when I got a "Volunteers must report at 5am" email from NYRR the week of the race. NOT good. Oh, and did I mention this particular race happened to follow the single most insanely celebrated holiday in NYC - St. Patrick's Day? I mean, seriously, you would think we were in downtown Dublin. Nevertheless, I lived to tell the story...
On race day, I woke up around 4am, got ready, and packed a little backpack for the adventure. I hopped in a cab around 4:40 and headed to the park in the pitch black dark. A little spooked, I head to the volunteer check-in and promptly received my volunteer vest and emergency info card only to wait and wait and wait and well, let's just say if I had shown up at 6am I wouldn't have missed a thing.
|some of my fellow volunteers as we finally began to take our stations|
|standing watch at my post around 7am|
|Top two male finishers - Kirui and Merga. Both finished in under an hour.|
|Top 2 female finishers - Firehewot Dado and Kim Smith. Dado is behind Smith here.|
|Third place finisher - Kara Goucher. All three women finished in under 1:10.|
We were finally dismissed around 10am. I was more than ready to get out of there at that point. It had been a long day already and it wasn't even noon. While the overall experience wasn't my favorite and I think I would have rather run the race, it was good to be on the other side of the fence for a day. I doubt I'll make volunteering at NYRR races a regular part of my schedule, but I am glad to have had the opportunity to work such a great race. And I think I was even inspired to put my name in the hat to run it next year! Upon signing out we received a t-shirt, but I was most thankful that I was #1) not volunteering at the water stations and #2) done with my +1.
|Note to self: Never volunteer to work a water/Gatorade station.|
Now, if I can just power through 8 more races, I'll be on my way to the 2013 Marathon!! I am signed up for several races in April and May. I'll keep you posted.