This past Sunday I did my second volunteer stint for 2013 at the Oak Bay Half Marathon and I gotta say...watching all those half marathoners come down that last hill with that look on their faces like "holy eff, I'm so glad that's over!" totally made me want to race again. However, patience young grasshopper...this year is fully dedicated to volunteering, but I've made up my mind that Oak Bay Half 2014 is my first run back. Don't worry, I won't be going nuts or anything and having a repeat fainting episode...I plan on running it with Hubs the whole way so he can keep an eye on me...I know myself and I'll want to gun it!
Anyways, volunteering again and it was super awesome! Well, except for the weather. I woke up Sunday morning to this...
boo urns! blechhhh poooey....
I had to laugh a bit because the last time I ran the Oak Bay back in 2011, it was a torrential downpour from beginning to end. At least I didn't have to worry about heat or dehydration, right? Ah-haha...
The race started at 8am for the half marathoners, so I headed down to meet my group at 7:30am. Ummm...except I couldn't seem to find anyone so wandered back and forth until finally I managed to connect with someone who vaguely looked like they knew what they were doing. Being rainy, everyone was bundled up so I couldn't see the red volunteer shirts that we were given. The race is fairly small at around 1500 participants, so there wasn't a ton to do...well, except for the medals. Apparently each medal comes wrapped in a little teeny eeny weenie tiny plastic bag that's like opening up those plastic bags you get in the grocery store...in short, these things were a total pain in the ass to open, but we thought it was lame to hand everyone their medal in a plastic bag. People want someone to put it around their neck, amirite? So we had about 20 minutes to take out 1500 medals out of their packets...luckily we had lots of hands to help!
medal me, baby!
It was really cool to hand out the medals and congratulate people as they came in...I even got to put the medal on my Mindful Strides coach, Marilyn! I think she was so exhausted that she didn't know it was me at first...she ran a kickass 1:17:33 so kinda can't blame her! First woman finisher too...she's so amazing.
Rest of the race was fairly uneventful (only one barfer, yay!)...lots of wet, elated runners...what I loved about this race was the smaller, more intimate feel. I had quite a few people come up and shyly ask if they could give their medals to their loved ones...of course! One guy wanted to give the medal to his fiancé, which totally brought tears to my eyes...geez, getting verklempt again! The only little event that we had was one lady had just finished the race and as I went to put the medal around her neck, her legs started to buckle beneath her. Again, knowing full well what that felt like, another volunteer and I took her to the medical tent where I left her in good hands. I looked over at the tent a bit later and she was gone, so I think she was fine...whew!
run like the wind...or pour like the rain maybe?
After most of the marathoners came in, the Kids 2K run and 400m dash were on...now we had a ton of medals left, so the race director said we could give each kid a medal. Now seriously...I'm not a kid person...but this was so.much.fun and the total highlight of the race for me! As they came across the finish line, I'd run up and hold the medal up to them and the kids would just beam with the biggest smiles across their little faces as I put that medal around their neck! So, sooooo sweet, it melted even this cold little Asian heart. Heh.
So all in all...a great day! Again, I met some really awesome people and it was a fun group to work and hang out with for the morning. Seriously, all things happen for a reason, and maybe what happened last Fall was kinda good in a way because it's introduced me to volunteering...I'm kinda really getting into this volunteering gig!
Oh and Oak Bay 2014...here I come. Hee hee.