Wednesday, June 09, 2010

volunteering at a water station

For the first time in 4 years, neither Jordan nor I were participating in Ottawa Race Weekend. It was kind of strange, but we found a way to make it interesting- we volunteered at a water station. Luckily for us, it was really quite easy to get involved because my office was sponsoring a water station and it was relatively close to home.

The day started early- we had to be there for 6:30. We got to work setting up cups and pouring water:

We had strict instructions as to how to set up the water. Three levels, use an "L" shape (and then fill in) when setting up cups, and the cups should be no less than 1/2 but no more than 3/4 full. We tried our best to follow the rules :) (although even 3/4 full seemed like too much water).
Since we were at the 28K mark of the marathon (and the 15K or so mark of the half), we did have to wait a bit before runners came. So, we practiced our water handing out technique: one foot on the curb, gloves on, hand flat, arm extended, calling out what is in the cup (water in this case), and of course, all volunteers MUST wear the hat.
The good thing about the waiting, was that pretty soon, the elites went by and since we were on the "wrong side" (or long side I guess) of the street, we got to watch the elite blur go by:
It was pretty cool to be that close. Also cool was to watch the transition from elite, to sub-elite, to "normal" fast people, and then the crowds. It was fun to hand the water out, fun to encourage the runners, and fun to see what the runners were doing or saying. One guy thanked every single person he ran by. It was also pretty cool to see a friend at the 28K mark of her first marathon:
All in all, it was a lot of fun. Sure we had to get up almost a early as we would have if one of us was racing, sure it was a little chilly (both Jordan and I were shivering for awhile), and sure I had a bit of stiffness despite not running (holding your arm out for that long makes it a little sore) but to still be a part of it was a great experience.

So, next time you aren't registered in a local race, look into being a water station volunteer- it is great to be on the "other side" of it all.


lu said...

very cool! i also love the photos of the correct posture and stance!

Derek said...

Its always good Karma to volunteer every once in a while. I just did at a local tri a few weeks ago!