After running my little 5k on Saturday morning, it was time for me to play the part of volunteer and help out with another local race, the Full Moon Half Marathon! Never mind that it was not actually a full moon, it still seemed like a pretty cool race!
I showed up at the high school where the runners would finish and also parked before to be bused to the start around 5:30 to pick up my official volunteer garb, helped load up some ice for another volunteer and then headed out to man my first post! This race is a 13.1 mile point to point so they needed quite a few volunteers along the way, just in case. I ended up being very confused on where I was technically supposed to be but I still made it work I think?! Although I am still not sure how helpful I really was…
My first point was probably mile 2-3 for the runners so at that point they didn’t really seem to need much and I think I just got in the way more than anything. There was a pretty busy traffic crossing that I didn’t really think I was supposed to be directing as they said the police would do that where necessary… but I think cars were thinking I was directing them even though I was just standing to the side? I really have no clue what was going on there… Since it was still the early parts of the race, it didn’t take that long for everyone to filter through that spot so I headed on to another one.
Again, it was kind of confusing as to where I should go but I just ended up driving until I was ahead of the first runner and pulled over to park and wait. Once they started coming through I used that opportunity to cheer everyone on as best as I could. It was mile 6 and I know from experience that is one of the worst miles of a half because you aren’t quite half way done but starting to feel it… It was a mix of people being thankful for the cheering and those being annoyed looking with it… I really need to practice my race cheers! I had no idea what to say except “Good Job” and “Stay Strong” and “Keep it up”… Not the most inspiring words ever, doi.
It took everyone a little longer to get through this point and the pace spread had really started to take effect. I ended up being at that point for probably 45 minutes or so and then ended up calling it a day and driving back to drop off my flag and vest. I was thinking of stopping again along the way but it seemed to be better staffed with volunteers and cheer teams closer to the finish plus I was starving so I just called it quits to go pick up my pup from my parents and eat ice cream – hah!
This race seemed like a really cool race to run but I really wonder if I would have much success running a half marathon at 6pm at night… I am a total early morning runner and always fade by the end up the day?! Hopefully at some point I can give this race a try though because it does look unique enough to be worth it – although possibly a little on the expensive side.
Another worry I would have about future years would be the weather at 6pm on an August night. This particular day was beautiful but I seem to recall most August evenings are rather warm and humid so more undesirable conditions!
I guess next year if I decide not to run it, I will have to come back and volunteer again. But maybe this next time I will bring some pump up tunes and brush up on my cheerabilities?!? Maybe make a sign or two
I need your help: What would be most helpful to hear from someone on the side lines of a race? Just a cheer? A certain phrase? I feel so lost as to what to do for such a thing as I am so used to running them myself