You go out, you run your race, and sometimes you take for granted that someone will be there to give you your bib, your t-shirt, your cup of water at miles 3, 6, 9 and 12, and your medal at the end. Someone got up really early in the morning to make sure there was water poured out and ready to hand off to you, to make sure you were in the right corral for your speed, and to overall make sure you had a great race. Those people are volunteers.
I decided to try out the volunteering experience with a local running club since my schedule never seems to line up with their running times. Good way to meet people and I could get a ride out to Pentagon City with one of the other volunteers, so a win-win. Wait, we’re getting there at 6am? Say what? The race was the Army 10 Miler and I did indeed meet some really great people as waited (almost two hours) for the sun to rise and the runners to show up. It was a mix of civilians and actually army soldiers/staff, this explains why we had to be there at 6am for a race that started at 8am. As one soldier explained, “We’ve been here since 5am. Gotta be prepared, miss.” If only for the opportunity to watch these 7′ tall guys in army fatigues dance along to that Korean song everyone loves now, the day was a winner.
For a race that started at 8am, I gotta give a salutation to the people who volunteer for the Disney races that start at 5:30am–you people are insane and I love you for it. To all the volunteers, high school bands, cheerleaders, classic car owners, and random people with sharpies and poster board, THANK YOU. YOU’RE AWESOME. And to everyone else who goes out and runs races: Go volunteer. That’ll teach you to throw your cup in the f%(^ing trash can or at least aim better.