Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Wildcat Volunteering

 Again I have to say I almost feel bad with how much we are compensated for spending a beautiful morning outside in the middle of nowhere helping runners get through a tough half marathon.  Brazen is the best, still.  For 6 hours of "work" we get shirts, medals, lunch, and 5 comped race entries.  What does that equal out to? Well the race we used our entries on would have been $54 x 5.  But, and I hate to sound cliche or sappy, but when we got to the finish area after we had our last runner come through, we got so many thank you's from the runners who had come through our station earlier in the day.  That's really the highlight of the experience.

Anyway, we got to where everything had been dropped the day before. It was in a big pile under a tarp.  We all went to work getting everything set up, slicing fruit, filling cups, mixing sports drink, setting up signs, and sending Brian a mile out to be a course marshal at a turn.  It was a beautiful morning! Just stunning.  It was a bit windy and we quickly took down the tent we had up initially, but other than that, it was an amazingly pretty morning.  There were cows off in the distance, and turkeys that would get pretty close from time to time.

 Above, that's sports drink and ginger ale.

 Above, that's Mt. Diablo off in the distance.
 We got set up pretty fast and then had to wait what we estimated would be about 40 minutes if the fastest runner was running somewhere in the 7's per mile.  We were at almost exactly the half way point.

 Above, runner coming down the hill.  Below, a lady turkey about to cross the trail.

 Once the runners started coming, things just go by in a blur.  Lot's of activity and refilling things.  Filling up the runners water bottles, making sure the ones who don't look great are ok, not talking to the ones who you can tell don't want to talk, and making conversation with the runners who want to hang out for a bit to recoup. A funny thing that I haven't had happen before was we had a little run on wipes. Yes, for that.  There were few (if any??) potties along this course.  Runners were needing to go, so I'd send one off in one direction to a bush, and try to not send the next one in that same direction. I thought we only had baby wipes, but after so many people were asking for tissue I dug through a bin again and found a roll of TP that I could have sold for a pretty penny at that point.
 This was the view on the walk out and back from where we parked to where the aid station was. Not Bad.

 Above....it may look like nothing, but picture a screaming mouse inside a snakes mouth being carried away to be eaten.  It was kind of awesome. Sad, but that's nature.
 Once the sweeper came through and said that's it, no more runners, we packed it all back up. I texted Jasmin to tell her we were packed up, and she let the park ranger know. He came out in a truck and we loaded it all in his truck and hiked back to the car. Then drove to the finish area for It's It's and goody bags and visiting.

Check out the size of that medal! It's huge!! A fun side bit is Emma took pictures of the runners that came through the aid station.  She was able to upload them to the race site, and Jasmin gave her a shout out in the post race email, and one of her pictures was also used in the email.  She was so excited!
So that's about it.  It was a blast.  I was tired at the end of the day, it's fun, but it is tiring once it's over and you home and trying to figure out why your back and feet hurt. Not that it compares at all to actually running....I'm just saying I'm so totally out of shape that I was feeling it that night : )

It was fun to see some old friends, and to see Sam and Jasmin again.  Felt kind of like putting back on a favorite sweatshirt you forgot you had but found again in the back of your closet. We quickly got signed up for Brazen's Nitro 5k which is right around the corner.  Can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. This is such a cool post! And congrats to Emma! I'm always amazed at how tired I get after volunteering like that, but you are on your feet the whole time and are so focussed on the runners that it really does feel like you ran the thing! See you at Nitro!