Monday, February 9, 2015

Volunteering at Love the Run You're With

This past weekend I didn’t have a race, but I did volunteer at one. This was my second time volunteering for the Pacers Love the Run You’re With 5K (last year I ran it). It’s a simple out & back course. The water station was located almost at the halfway turnaround, and was staffed by my running club Shirlington Running Club.

 
SRC volunteers at Love the Run You're With water station
 
Two years ago when I volunteered at this race, it was so cold that I actually wore heated foot warmers in my shoes and my down coat. The water in the cups iced over. I’d love to have ice water at a hot weather race, but I don’t think it really hit the spot for the runners when the temps were in the 20s Fahrenheit. This year it was much warmer, though still cold enough for warm clothes and fleece gloves.

We had a good crew for the water station. We arrived around 8:00 AM (the race would start at 9:00 AM) to set up tables, trash cans and fill the cups with water. Jennifer was our captain and had brought coffee and pastries from Starbucks. With as many of us as there were, set-up was fast, and we had some time to chat as we waited for the race to start more than a mile away. Several runners were using the course to warm up, and came out as far as the turn-around. I’ve never been one of these folks, who were actually doing an easy 5K run before they raced the 5K race.

Setting up
 
Many of the runners and walkers were dressed up according to the Valentine’s Day theme, but I didn’t have a chance to take any pics as they came by. I was much too busy handing out water. It got busy for a brief time, but as this was only a 5K, we were finished with our volunteer duties and had cleaned everything up before 10:00 AM.

The post-race party was held at Champp’s Americana in Pentagon Row. Runners each got a drink ticket for a mimosa, a bloody mary, or a small cup of beer. We volunteers got drink tickets too, and I had a couple mimosas. I enjoyed the company of most of my fellow volunteers (not everyone came to the party) while we hung out at Champps’s for an hour or so.

 
Some of the volunteers enjoying mimosas at Champps
 
This is a good race to be a volunteer. We got the same perks as the runners, but didn’t need to run up the hill in the first mile of the course. However, we did need to get there earlier than the runners. Still, I enjoy occasionally volunteering at a race. It’s nice to give back to the runners, and also to Pacers for sponsoring our club.

This race typically does a fleece blanket in lieu of a shirt, and there it is with my mostly finished mimosa

2 comments:

  1. I so love volunteering at races... you get to feel the energy of races, meet new people & leave without the soreness :)

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    Replies
    1. That's true. And as a runner, you know what runners want, so it can be a very fulfilling volunteer gig.

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